HCL unlocking 5G value with OEMs as GSI | HCLTech

HCL unlocking 5G value with OEMs as GSI

HCL unlocking 5G value with OEMs as GSI
March 10, 2021

Co-author: Ajitesh Gupta


The telecom world is embarking on a new journey of digital transformation, which is full of opportunities and innovation. The most blooming and disrupting player on this journey of digital transformation is Communication Service Providers (CSPs).

With the prime goal of providing an enhanced customer experience service with 5G network, CSPs now have the chance to transform their networks. Now they can deliver what the customer needs in a new digital world with a touch of delight. Communication service providers are evolving themselves from dumb pipes to smart pipes connecting all the enterprises in a digital way by bringing innovative use cases. CSPs expect their prime suppliers, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to own the 5G integration, address aspects of end-to-end performance, and bring new value creation approach. The original equipment manufacturers are finding this change far more complex than any other technology.

The open nature of the 5G network architecture will provide opportunity and economic benefit to CSPs. However, the costs of integrating and operating such open networks has its own challenges.

Key Challenges faced by Network Equipment Manufacturers

CSPs are looking toward cloud-native networks that meet the latency, reliability, and flexibility requirements. Some of the key challenges faced by original equipment manufacturers are: -

  • Multivendor environment simulation and integration expertise: One of the biggest challenges in pre-production product stage by the OEM is to simulate the multivendor environment, i.e., to get products from other vendors in their lab. This helps to identify and eliminate the risks of incompatibilities between the disaggregated radio and core products from different vendors. For multivendor integration, expertise in programing open APIs is required. The integration requires niche experience of any mix of hardware and software to make it work in a CSP environment
  • Hybrid environment setup support: Another important challenge is to replicate a CSP hybrid environment for product development and validation. It is difficult to simulate the hybrid environment which comprises a bare metal, virtual machines with VNFs, containers with CNFs, private cloud, and public cloud
  • End-to-end SRE model: CSPs expect the OEMS to bring an approach for the end-to-end implementation and acceleration of SRE (Site Reliability Engineering) model covering the entire spectrum of products in its network. In a multivendor environment, fragmented tools and siloed teams make it difficult for one OEM to come up and implement that.
  • Need for multi-vertical expertise: 5G services provides CSPs with an opportunity to engage and work with wider enterprises such as retail, manufacturing, healthcare, automobile, and many others. Suddenly, OEMs are expected to think of their network products through enterprise lenses.
  • Increase in demand for the lab: Cloud-native virtual network functions coupled with multiple deployment options lead to the demand for multiple testbeds requirements. This creates severe pressure on existing OEM labs. To ensure shorter lab verification cycle, OEMs continuously look for partners to provide ‘Lab as a service’
  • Customization of service assurance: 5G network architecture demands new OSS BSS system to become more intelligent and agile with real-time data. Customization of existing OSS system is needed for preventive analytics and close loop automation. Customization of BSS in a CSP environment is required to respond to the changing market needs with new services, offers and promotions

While the challenges surrounding OEMs can be daunting, having the right global system integrator partner in place can alleviate the pressure. It requires a more innovative spirit to collaborate with system integrators in order to deliver the diversity of services to CSP.

HCLTech as Global System Integrator

System integration in the CSP environment is one of the most critical tasks in 5G services. Having HCLTech as a partner can help in overcoming the challenges.

Global System Integrator

HCLTech specializes in 5G network architecture consultancy, design, development, and validation of network functions. By powering their products with HCLTech innovative services and solutions, the OEMs can deliver cost-effective, flexible, and reliable 5G networks to CSPs. HCLTech Global System Integrator partnership will help OEMs in multitude of ways: -

  • Significant OPEX reduction by leveraging HCLs solutions, resources, tools, and frameworks
  • Innovation bed by leveraging HCLs multivendor lab for POCs and use case validation
  • Reduced time- to-market with HCLs 40+ years of product engineering experience

Partnership Model with OEM

Figure 1: Proposed Global System Integration Partnership Model with OEM

Some of the proposed areas of collaboration with OEMs are: -

  • Open RAN: HCLTech has invested in Open RAN which focuses on Open RAN engineering with its enhanced multivendor partner ecosystem which brings O-CU, O-DU, and O-RU. HCLTech has also invested in Open RAN solution accelerator such as SON for analytics and optimization and TURBO for test automation of RAN test cases. HCLTech contribution in ORAN alliance in cloud-native RIC implementation makes it a complete global system integrator partner choice for OEMs
  • Private networks: HCLTech has 40+ years of experience working with 12+ industry verticals. The company has developed 30+ use cases for manufacturing, retail, aviation, healthcare, and many more industries. HCLTech can help in validating OEMs xNFs, relevant for enterprise use cases
  • Telco cloud: HCLTech has worked with more than 35 VNF/CNF vendors constituting more than 135 VNFs/CNFs that include vEPC, vRAN, SD-WAN, vRouter, vIMS, vSBC, and many others. It’s investment in telco cloud lab and zero-touch automation and life cycle management solution can help OEMs in pre-validation and deployment automation of their workloads
  • Lab as Service: HCLTech has invested in the multivendor lab which has more than 15 partners comprising Intel, Dell, Microsoft Azure, Casa, CommScope, Benetel, and many others. HCLTech labs can help OEMs to have access to multivendor setups and mitigate interoperability challenges. Labs can be used for validation of OEM products, developing proof of concepts, and new use case development

HCLTech partnership as a global system integrator with OEMs is more than just a collaboration on customer projects. It involves co-innovation and co-creation, with shared risks and responsibilities. Investment with HCLTech as global system integrator will result in a best-of-breed solution of OEM for accelerating CSP 5G services.

winning together

Success Stories

HCLTech has a remarkable track record of successful 5G solution delivery and strategic partnership. HCLTech gets involved from the product conceptualization to product deployment phases with OEMs. Some of client success stories are:

HCLTech has a remarkable track record of successful 5G solution delivery and strategic partnership. HCLTech gets involved from the product conceptualization to product deployment phases with OEMs. Some of client success stories are:

  • For a leading tier-1 European OEM, HCLTech did core network deployment, which includes – PCRF, vIMS. End customers were supported across 28 countries providing 40% cost reduction and bringing innovation by generating 100+ ideas
  • For leading tier-1 Japanese carrier, HCLTech validated open-source based WiFi-6 access point and cloud controller and did nationwide deployment of same. The product was launched quickly with a 60% cost reduction as more than half cases were automated in the preproduction stage
  • For leading tier-1 European OEM, HCLTech did deployment and integration, product customization, function/system testing, maintenance/L3 support in various product lines which includes – vEPC, IMS, CRM, and UDM for more than 15+ CSPs providing 25% quicker launch to services.
  • For leading tier-1 US-based networking OEM, HCLTech did system integration of vEPC for its 15+ CSPs. HCLTech expertise in cloud workload onboarding, validation, and integration let to 30% quick rollout.


CSPs seek to modernize and turn their networks into digital enterprises. Hence, OEM partnership with system integrators has become more important than ever. The partnership can bring differentiated 5G network solutions across the value chain of CSPs. HCLTech investments in joint partner solutions, and multi-vendor partner ecosystem, and new 5G network use cases compliments OEMs portfolio. HCLTech’s innovative business models such as shared risk and pay-as-you-grow can help OEMs with scale.

HCLTech investments in joint partner solutions, multi-vendor partner ecosystem, new 5G use cases, IPs and accelerators can complement OEMs portfolio.

Get HCLTech Insights and Updates delivered to your inbox