The road to intelligent autonomous networks
One of the most significant driving forces for future mobile service innovation and development is the automated operations capability of mobile networks based on AI.
At the second AI in Network workshop hosted recently during the GSMA Thrive virtual conference, Zhu Huimin, Director of Marketing Execution Dept of Huawei Wireless Network Product Line, said the entire industry needs to focus on mobile networks' typical O&M scenarios in the 5G era, focus on transcendence in three valuable directions: O&M efficiency, network performance, and service agility, and promote mobile network development toward a new automation stage.
Huawei asserts that global operators, equipment vendors, and third-party vendors have started to explore the application of AI technologies to mobile networks.
In 2019, GSMA's white paper AI in Network Use Cases released a series of AI application cases that are widely distributed in network planning, construction, maintenance, and optimisation phases.
This specifically includes network traffic prediction, automatic base station deployment, automatic fault locating, and on-demand experience optimisation.
Zhu said that the road to intelligent autonomous networks will most likely not be easy, and it requires continuous collaboration between all industry parties.
“Huawei therefore proposes the "1+3+N" industry strategy in the wireless field and hopes to collaborate with operators as well as industry partners to ensure the ecosystem prospers, and to enable the intelligent 5G era. Based on the unified analysis platform and intelligent base, the solution provides scenario-based interfaces for wireless domain autonomy in three scenarios: network deployment, optimal performance, and service provisioning. It provides interconnection with operators and third-party IT vendors to reshape operators' workflows as well as enable more diversified, prosperous O&M modes and business innovation.”
All industry parties need to collaborate to create a more prosperous upper-layer "N" (in the "1+3+N" industry strategy) as well as develop more cross-domain cooperation and business models. Openness is the key to incubating and enabling more innovative services, and scenario-based APIs need to be built to enable intent-based E2E intelligent autonomous networks.
These APIs can translate operators' intents into executable network scripts, negating the need for complex interaction and enabling traditional northbound data openness to evolve to intent-based network capability openness.
Huawei believes telecom operators, equipment vendors, as well as third-party vendors need to collaborate and reach consensus to set up unified standards for the evolution path as well as interfaces for intelligent autonomous networks.
"As the two most important technologies in modern human society, 5G and AI promote and collaborate with each other. The AI-based automated operations capability of mobile networks is one of the most significant driving forces for future mobile service innovation and development," commented Zhu. "AI technologies will empower 5G with new capabilities, inject new technological vitality into 5G networks, and bring unprecedented opportunities."
New value opportunity
Gan Bin, Chief Marketing Officer for Huawei’s Wireless Network Solutions, said 5G empowers AI to benefit various industries with on-demand cloud storage and computing, cloud-edge-device collaborative computing, and intelligent business digitalisation.
"While 4G has changed lives, 5G is set to change society. 5G has proven an indispensable enabler for business digitalisation and will greatly improve the operational efficiency across industries," noted Bin.
According to Huawei's GIV report, the contribution of the mobile industry to the world's economy is growing year by year. 5G is emerging as the major driving force, projected to produce a return 6.7 times that of non-ICT investment in the long run.
Many other industries are working actively to promote the integration of 5G, including electrical power, mining, port, oil and gas, manufacturing, and iron and steel.
"Everyone will benefit from the opportunities brought by 5G. We call for concerted efforts across the entire society to explore business and delivery models, policy support, innovative applications, and device diversification, so as to embrace a 5G integrated world," said Bin.
Peter Jarich, head of GSMA intelligence, said: “We look at research, what we’re seeing here is when we see 5G adoption, because we know 5G is where everyone’s attention it today. And the growth is beginning from last year to this year. And we look going forward, 5G adoption in 2025, it’s going to be incredible. In some of the developed markets we’re looking at China, north America and developed Asia. Around 50% connections being on 5G in 2025.”