While TeliaSonera has been the first to plunge into the commercial LTE market, concerns have been raised that other operators will not follow unless there is agreement on standard interfaces within OSS frameworks.
According to Martin Creaner, CTO of the TM Forum, the LTE vendors had about six to nine months to agree on new OSS standards that supported better interoperability. "We've been focused on getting the vendors to implement one interface," said Creaner, who emphasises that "it's in everyone's interest" to move toward better standardisation, noting that there is "little incentive to stay proprietary."
This kind of sentiment has been fuelling work at the LTE/SAE Trial Initiative which was establish a more common and collaborative environment within the LTE universe. Members of this group, formed two years ago, include Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia.
Creaner believes if these interfaces are standardised, operators will be better able to offer differentiated services which are looked at as a way to break free from the common perception that they go to market as a loosely federated herd. "It's a classic window of opportunity," he said.
For more on this story:
OSS/BSS to trip up 4G revolution?
IMS: Can it reliably deliver Voice over LTE (VoLTE)?
The guts of wireless: OSS/BSS market on the brink of change
4G World Preview: Reality check - apps and back office are a priority