Mobile_Broadband_TechnologiesNetworks Service Platforms

Networks & Service Platforms

Autonomous Networking for 5G Cloud Core Operations – Moving to the Adoption Phase

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Report Summary:

Since the early days of Software Defined Networking (SDN) and core network virtualization, Communications Service Providers (CSPs) have been slowly moving towards Automated Network Operations with the ultimate goal of delivering proactive problem preemption, Zero Touch Management and Autonomous Networking (AN).

In 2022/23 the need for major network operations cost savings, pressure for massively scalable 5G operations, and requirements of new cloud native services, are all driving CSPs to finally adopt a high degree of automation for their core network operations. Recent success with intelligent automation for routine network operations has established the foundation and put CSPs on the path to AN.

Key drivers for automation and AN include the increased complexity and scale of the 5G network which can increase the risk of outages. Hosting in the Public Cloud may sometimes reduce core network reliability and availability and AN and ML/AI can now play an important role in catching Cloud anomalies quickly and helping to mitigate the risk of service outages.

 In this report we review current and imminent use cases for Autonomous Networking with a focus on 5G Core Operations.

We conclude that In these uncertain times CSPs need to guarantee highly reliable network operations today and then adopt use cases that simplify network operations as they reduce operating expenses. In parallel automated operations and AN can facilitate Cloud transformation requirements for CSPs in 2023.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

I. Introduction

II. The Path to Telco Cloud Core Operations Automation and Autonomous Networking (AN)

  • Cloud Transformation brings new Requirements for CSP Operations

III. Four Scenarios that are defining AN Evolution

IV. Current AN adoption of Scenarios 1 and 2 in 2022/2023

Scenario 1. AN for Planning and Construction

  • Workbench: Automated Upgrade Collaboration Across Platforms
  • Self-Healing Network Optimization

Scenario 2. AN Maintenance for Higher Performance, More Reliable Network Operations at Lower Cost

  • Cross Domain Connectivity, Monitoring and Assurance
  • End to End Reliability and Intelligent Disaster Recovery
  • Anomaly Detection, Problem Identification and Pro-active Fault Pre-Emption using ML/AI
  • Automated Routine Operations, Administration and Management (OA&M)
  • One-screen, Whole Network, Real Time Visualization

V.            Emerging Use Cases – Scenarios 3 and 4 for Autonomous 5G Core Operations and Management (O&M) in 2023/2024

Scenario 3. AN Categories

  • Automated Routine Operations, Administration and Management (OA&M)
  • Network driven Service Optimization to maximize Customer Experience

Scenario 4. Business Operations

  • Automated Vertical Industry Network Service Config. and Operation
  • Automation of Vertical Industry Network Slicing

VI.          TM Forum’s Autonomous Network (AN) Maturity Model for Operators

  • Toughest Challenges on the Path to AN – Transitions to Level 4 and 5

VII.         Key Drivers and KPIs for Successful Core Network Operations

VIII.        Network Operations Budget for Automation of O&M – Are CSPs spending enough?

IX.           Benefits  increase investing in AN

X.            Key Business Drivers should soon accelerate CSP adoption of Autonomous Networking

XI.           Serious challenges could delay adoption of Autonomous Networking for Core Operations

  • Rewards for Network Operations personnel are Key to Motivate New Skills as O&M Anchors 5G Revenue Generation
  • Challenges that are slowing AN deployment

XII.         Conclusion – Recommendations and AN Roadmap

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