As the dawn of a new digital era touches the horizon, MNOs are scrambling to automate the myriad elements that are incorporated into the multifaceted 5G network. The complexities of the new technology require new approaches that cannot be realized by legacy networks. As a result, many operators are delaying full 5G deployment until automation catches up with the nascent technology. The components that are crucial to the 5G network deployment read like a technical manual for a space station. Minutia such as small cells, picocells, mini-macro base stations, complex antenna arrays – they all need to be in place before the promise of 5G can be a reality.
The Orchestrator as a Data Coordinator
Traditionally, Orchestration choreographs interactions between different services in Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). A blog published in Medium describes Orchestration as a traffic cop for networked data. “If three services needed to be called in a particular order, the orchestrator makes a call to each one, waiting for a response before calling the next.” the blog explains, adding “(Automation) removes the blocking, or waiting, that happens with orchestration (request/response) type processing.” Essentially, the Orchestrator becomes Automator.
The Role of Network Virtualization ( NFV) and Software-defined Networks (SDN) in 5G
Legacy killers are enabling the next generation of mobile networks. Network Function Virtualization and Software Defined Networking technologies have become two of the key technologies to bring 5G networks to fruition. They have become game-changers in the way network services are transitioning methods of deployment and operations. In order for networks to assimilate a deluge of data, it will be necessary for MNOs to replace the digital equivalent of two-lane roads with superhighways. Networks are no longer simply serving the human population. Instead, they have morphed into service providers for cars, sensors, consumer electronic items, energy meters, and burgeoning services are being constantly added vis-à-vis the IoT.
Efficient deployment of 5G through automation needs to be addressed before it can be available for public consumption. Automation is the enabler that allows MNOs to more easily deploy resources as demand dictates. Adaptive network policies will be needed in order to optimize the customer experience. RCR Wireless News paints an accurate description of how the customer experience will play out. “When 100,000 fans are streaming live HD video from the Super Bowl, communication service providers (CSPs) need to ensure that network capacity in the area of the stadium expands and is robust enough to ensure a perfectly smooth experience for everyone.”
This challenge can only be achieved with machine learning through AI. Manual solutions no longer fit the paradigm. Only an AI-based solution can manage what’s required in an automated system. AI-based systems have the muscle to constantly sweep equipment that encompasses the myriad components of a 5G network and examine performance parameters in real-time. “If something is not performing as it should, or appears to be headed in that direction (i.e., a piece of equipment cannot handle X amount of connections when Y conditions prevail), the AI system will be able to determine that in advance, and activate the systems that can correct/repair the problem.” The RCR Wireless News article goes on to explain. This is no task for a viable manual solution.
Reinforcing a Positive Customer Experience
Mobile networks need to continue their progress toward a ubiquitous 5G network. To succeed in that effort there’s no doubt it will require OSS automation solutions. AI, machine learning, and natural language processing technologies, combined with real-time dynamic orchestration capabilities (automation) will allow operators to automate more processes and tasks than ever before, significantly reducing operating costs while improving service quality and customer experience.
Intraway’s Symphonica Cloud-Native No-Code Service Activation and Orchestration Platform
Intraway’s flagship product, Symphonica, is a no-code, cloud-native, telco-grade orchestration and service activation platform for the automation of the entire services lifecycle across multiple networks and technology domains. Symphonica allows you to integrate your BSS to any network access technology with a few clicks, and easily design custom automated provisioning workflows with no coding required. Symphonica is a multi-tenant, software-as-as-service (SaaS) offering that runs on AWS cloud. It is designed to allow CSPs to automate service lifecycle management with fewer technical and financial resources than traditional platforms.