Start the journey to AN level 4 for the success in 5.5G era


As the network evolved to multiple technologies, including 2G to 3G, 4G and even 5G, and more services needs to be delivered through the network because of the diversified requirements, for example, AR/VR, drone, smart factory, the network operation has become more complicated.

To manage this complexity, network automation seems to be a must. In 2019, TM Forum jointed the industry partners to promote the Autonomous Networks (AN) as an effective way for network automation, which is featured as the architecture of “single-domain autonomy and cross-domain collaboration” and divided to six levels, from L0- L5, based on the maturity of AN.

AN architecture will encapsulate the complexity into a coherent architecture, providing a solution to this problem. With the ability to make decisions on its own terms within the single-domain autonomy, the network complexity will be reduced and operation process will be simplified.

Additionally, in 5.5G era, with the 10 times benefits of reliability, connectivity and experience etc., the operational complexity will be up to 10 times compared with the 4G and 5G. Since the manpower cannot be increased by 10 times, the AN Level 4, where the machine will make the decisions by itself in certain cases, is the essential way to achieve the required operation efficiency for counterbalancing the growth in complexity.

“By implementing AN, you can increase your efficiency and reduce your operating costs, resulting in a better bottom line. Additionally, AN can provide an enhanced customer experience that can help retain your customers, giving you a competitive advantage in the long run.” said Kevin McDonnell, Senior Director of Huawei Ireland Research Center, in his presentation in FutureNet World.

More partners joined AN collaboration and some leading operators have released their strategy goal of reaching L4 by 2025. “Heading for AN Level4, three key points that industry needs to be clear about: how to unleash the network potential, standardize the network API and generate more values” stated Kevin McDonnel.

Single-domain autonomy unleashes potential of networks

Thanks to the expertise and capabilities in the network, network vendors have advantages to solve the classic problems in the network domains by leveraging their powerful capabilities in EMS, which will definitely unlock the potential of networks. Huawei is committed to develop Autonomous Driving Network (ADN) solution, which called 8+1 intelligent series, to deliver network end-to-end automation for operators. The 8 intelligent X, such as IntelligentRAN, are developed for specified network domains, and IntelligentServiceEngine for the domain collaboration. Huawei ADN solution has achieved a great success in different markets, such as the cloud optical solution, where Huawei is hitting level 3.5 and cloud network level 3.2.

Industry collaboration for standardizing network APIs

Facilitating network automation in an end-to-end way is one important aspect that we need to embrace. Some projects, such as CAMARA from GSMA and Linux Foundation, are trying to define the service APIs at a higher level to create an overall network-as-a-service (NaaS) offering. To do this, the network APIs at lower level, the interface of resource layer in TM Forum AN architecture, should be defined in a standard way, which is not only for the NaaS, but also very critical for the end-to-end automation of network operation. Hence, all industry players, including network and OSS vendors, operators, should collaborate on standardization of network APIs.

Creating more values with Huawei ADN Solution

Huawei believes ADN solution will deliver values in four areas: network manetization -NaaS capabilities enable zero-wait service provisioning, customer experience – proactive QoE optimization deliver full-lifecycle ultimate experience, Resource efficiency improvement- energy saving practices “0 Bit, 0 Watt” on networks, Employee efficiency improvement- automatic fault management achieve ” 0 potential risk, 1 fault 1 ticket, fault locating within 3 minutes, and ticket dispatching within 5 minutes ” with high reliability.

AN L4 cannot be achieved immediately by purchasing one or more systems. Network devices must have sufficient intelligent awareness units to prepare for upgrade in advance. Single-domain EMS and cross-domain OSS need to collaborate to streamline process automation, and long-term intelligent components are required.

Let’s start the journey from now, and prepare for the upcoming of 5.5G era in next two years.

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