Start the Journey to L4 Autonomous Networks for Success in the 5.5G era


    Jun 19, 2023

    Network operations have grown in complexity as wireless technologies have evolved from 2G to 5G and new, diverse service requirements have emerged, like AR/VR, drones, and smart factories.

    To manage this complexity, network automation is a must.

    In 2019, TM Forum joined industry partners together to promote Autonomous Networks (AN) as an effective way to achieve network automation. The underlying architecture of ANs involves single-domain autonomy and cross-domain collaboration and is divided into six levels — L0 to L5 — based on AN maturity.

    AN architecture encapsulates the complexity we’re now seeing into a coherent architecture. With the ability to make decisions on its own terms within the single-domain autonomy, network complexity is reduced and the operations process simplified.

    In the 5.5G era, we expect a tenfold increase in reliability, connectivity, and experience. But operational complexity will also increase by a factor of 10 compared with 4G and 5G. As it is not viable to increase the related workforce by 10 times, AN Level 4, where machines make decisions autonomously in certain cases, can achieve the required operating efficiency to counterbalance the growth in complexity.

    The benefits of AN

    “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.”


    Kevin McDonnell, Senior Director of Huawei Ireland Research Center (at FutureNet World)

    More partners have joined the AN collaboration drive, and some leading operators have released their strategy goal of reaching L4 by 2025.

    McDonnell says there are three key points the industry needs to be clear about, and these are how to:

    • Unleash network potential
    • Standardize network API
    • Generate more value

    Single-domain autonomy unleashes network potential

    Thanks to their expertise and capabilities, network vendors have advantages in solving the classic problems in network domains by leveraging their powerful capabilities in Element Management Systems (EMS).

    Under its 8+1 intelligent series, Huawei’s Autonomous Driving Network (ADN) solution can deliver network end-to-end automation for operators.

    8 intelligent X includes solutions such as IntelligentRAN for specified network domains and IntelligentServiceEngine for the domain collaboration. Huawei’s ADN solution has achieved a great success in different markets such as our cloud optical solution, where Huawei is hitting L3.5 and cloud networks at L3.2.

    Industry collaboration for standardizing network APIs

    Facilitating E2E network automation is an important aspect that we need to embrace. Some projects, such as CAMARA from GSMA and Linux Foundation, are attempting to define service APIs at a higher level to create an overall network-as-a-service (NaaS) offering. To do this, lower-level network APIs, the interface for the resource layer in TM Forum’s AN architecture, should be defined in a standard way. This means not just for NaaS, but also for the end-to-end automation of network operations. That is why all industry players, including network and OSS vendors, and operators, should collaborate on standardizing network APIs.

    Driving value with the Huawei ADN Solution

    Huawei’s ADN solution can deliver value in several areas:

    • Network monetization
    • NaaS capabilities for zero-wait service provisioning
    • Customer experience through proactive QoE optimization to deliver a full-lifecycle, ultimate experience
    • Resource efficiency improvements through energy saving practices, like ‘zero bits, zero watts’.
    • Employee efficiency improvements through automatic fault management that achieves 0 potential risk, 1 fault 1 ticket, fault location within 3 minutes, and ticket dispatch within 5 minutes.

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

    Starting the journey now can prepare for the arrival of the 5.5G era in the next two years.

    Learn more about the Huawei Autonomous Driving Network (ADN) solution.

    Disclaimer: Any views and/or opinions expressed in this post by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Huawei Technologies.


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