Carriers start project to automate network management

Three of the world’s biggest carriers have started a project with 13 software and hardware vendors to find ways to automate network management.

China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica are the three carriers involved in the project, designed to analyse and evaluate the current challenges associated with network and service management (NSM).

“Automation is the future of network management,” said Kim Kyllesbech Larsen, SVP for technology economics and transformation at Deutsche Telekom. “As an industry, it is essential that we come together to find a solution to the issues that are hindering the automation of operations and network and service management functionalities.”

The project, called Zero Touch NSM, starts this month and is due to run until June.

According to Deutsche Telekom, the industry must enhance NSM network automation in order to unleash the benefits of virtualisation and software defined technologies, while increasing the efficiency of network operations.

Developments in edge computing, low latency networks, artificial intelligence and machine learning offer additional benefits that can only be realised with NSM automation. And the coming introduction of 5G further raises the stakes, the company added.

“The evolution of network and control technology will enable more flexibility in service creation, capacity and change management as well as more efficient network operations. This also adds more complexity to networks, particularly in the area of NSM. To offset this complexity, our industry needs to ensure all NSM functions are based on open standardised solutions,” said Arash Ashouriha, Deutsche Telekom’s SVP for group OSS strategy and architecture.

The software and hardware vendors involved in the project are Amdocs, Ciena, Dell EMC, Ericsson, HPE, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Infosim, NEC’s Netcracker, Nokia, Orchestral Networks and Viavi Solutions.

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