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The Evolution of PCRF to PCF and How CSPs can Maximize the 5G Opportunity

The Evolution of PCRF to PCF and How CSPs can Maximize the 5G Opportunity

October 21, 2021

Many operators and systems integrators are now overhauling their tech stacks to prepare for the 5G era. As a result, they need to take a fresh look at the policy control function (PCF) to make sure their networks are capable of performing at the highest level possible — which will enable them to unlock the most potential from 5G.

As organizations prepare for the 5G era, a widespread shift is taking place in the telecom industry: Communications service providers (CSPs) are increasingly replacing the Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF) with cloud native 5G PCF applications. 

What is PCRF?

As a core function of business support systems (BSS), PCRF is an important technology that enables CSPs to provide personalized services over LTE and ensure they’re able to monetize them accordingly. It determines policy rules and supports service flow detection and flow-based charging. At the same time, PCRF helps control services and align revenue with network resources. 

While PCRF works well with 4G LTE deployments, it requires legacy infrastructure. As a result, PCRF management is highly resource-intensive, subject to network downtime, and difficult to maintain and upgrade. This, in turn, prevents CSPs from maximizing profitability and delivering the best services possible to customers.

How PCRF is evolving 

As the telecommunications industry continues to move to 5G, most CSPs are looking to evolve their communications stack to be fully cloud native to improve speed and agility—and, as a result, deliver more value to their customers. By deploying a fully cloud native PCRF, organizations can quickly deploy new capabilities and prioritize traffic, enabling them to take advantage of real-time opportunities. 

This is where 5G PCF comes into play. 

Since it’s responsible for managing user resources and supporting policy frameworks that govern network behavior, the PCF is one of the most important network functions in the 5G core. Not only does PCF optimize network resources for the services being delivered, it also reduces network latency. What’s more, organizations can deploy 5G PCF from any location, and they can also benefit from multi-site redundancy.

Attend our webinar to learn how to optimize PCF for 5G  

When it boils down to it, 5G PCF is a direct extension of PCRF. It offers the same functionality — with far greater agility, and flexibility, making context aware policy decisions from a much wider set of inputs. This is a critical upgrade for any CSP that is serious about competing in the 5G arena— and particularly those that plan on winning.

Since PCF is a relatively new phenomenon, chances are you have at least a few questions about the most effective way to transition from PCRF to PCF. 

That’s perfectly okay, and we’re here to help. 

On Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 9:30 a.m. ET, experts from VoltDB and HPE are hosting a joint webinar that outlines everything you need to know about using PCF to make the most of 5G, including:

  • How and why PCRF is evolving into PCF
  • How CSPs are adapting their policy and charging functionality for new 5G use cases
  • Why acting on data in real time is critical for meeting quality of service (QoS) service-level agreements (SLAs) with 5G customers
  • The role ACID-compliant data platforms can play in PCF optimization
  • How VoltDB and HPE are working together to deliver a powerful PCF solution that enables CSPs to effectively bill, charge, and monetize subscriber engagements quickly and with precision
  • And more!

The webinar will feature Domenico Convertino, VP Product Management Telco & Media at HPE, and Dheeraj Remella, VoltDB Chief Product Officer.

Reserve your spot today.

Read our paper When the Changing Definition of Real-Time Breaks Your Existing Tech Stack to learn how the expectations of 5G are colliding with traditional software development and deployment

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