Co-written by Sonya Goodanetz
Building on the success of the award-winning 2019 TMF Catalyst, 5G Riders on the Storm, which took home top honors for outstanding contribution to TM Forum assets, Incognito is excited to once again participate in this year’s TM Forum Catalyst Digital Showcase as part of the 5G Ride On! catalyst.
The objective of the 5G Ride On! catalyst is to showcase how operators can move higher up in the electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem, going beyond connectivity, to enable information and communications technology services. As sales of 5G enabled connected vehicles are forecasted to reach 16 million in the EU, US, and China by 2030, this represents a tremendous market opportunity for operators.
In early July 2020, Incognito participated in the Catalyst Digital Showcase alongside Orange, BT, and TIM to demonstrate how a telecom service provider can offer business continuity 24/7/365, using the complexity of an EV charging ecosystem as the backdrop business case. In this day and age, when many businesses are extremely dependent on an internet connection, an outage in network connection can have significant impacts on the ability to generate revenue and the customer experience. The catalyst project use case follows the journey of an EV user who is on the road running low on battery power and is in need of a charging station.
Even before our end-user gets to the station and plugs in their car for a charge, there are several facets of our user’s journey which requires resilient connectivity:
- IoT SLA adherence for sensors and devices located in EV charging stations and EV cars which are dependent on solid internet connections to provide status, geo-location, low-battery alerts, and business-critical data such as a charging station up-time, diagnostics, and usage data.
- Locating the charging station using 5G network slices and multi-access edge computing (MEC) for network resiliency – enabling the user to not only find a nearby station but also locate one with available time slots for charging.
- A “smart” or managed EV charging station, which maintains internet connectivity using fiber, cable, Metro Ethernet, or mobile access – enabling remote maintenance, troubleshooting, provisioning, and configuration. Fiber is extremely common to use at charge points as it is convenient for electrical utilities to place fiber in ducts alongside power distribution. Mobile SIM cards within the charging point provide automated network connectivity redundancy should the need arise.
- Supporting billing and real-time updates with systems for charging payment, authentication, and access controls.
In the 5G Ride On! catalyst, Incognito’s role is to provide end-to-end service orchestration and autonomous provisioning processes through a centralized platform to enable the fulfillment of fixed-line business services, cloud/MEC, and 5G network slicing, while integrating with EV charging ecosystem players across billing, RAN, MEC computing, service assurance, and IoT.
Delivering connectivity is just one piece of the puzzle – continuous feedback loops ensure the reliability of internet access, not only for cost reduction and operational efficiency, but to deliver a seamless end-user ‘charged’ experience.
At the conclusion of the TMF Catalyst Digital Showcase, an audience poll showed that 37% agreed with the commercial value of an EV ecosystem showcasing the power of a B2B2X offering. This finding reinforces the fact that service providers need to be able to support resilient 5G and fixed connectivity in order to ensure these types of services – which are set to become more commonplace in the future.
Learn more about the award-winning 5G monetization and networking slicing catalyst project (Outstanding Ecosystem Design), and how we are helping drive innovation and validate TM Forum standards and best practices by clicking here.