Autonomous Telecom Networks
Transitioning to an Autonomous, Visualized Telecom Network for Increased Customer Satisfaction and Operational Efficiency
Remaining a pure-play communication services provider (CSP) is no longer viable for telecom operators like you, as over-the-top vendors and other new-age competitors increasingly eat into your market share and profits. You simply have to morph into providers or facilitators of various digital services in an era of instant gratification.
For you to reach the promised land, transforming your existing networks will be crucial. And, by transforming them, I mean automating your physical infrastructure, and migrating from a largely hardware-driven network to one centred around software and data. Let me explain why this is imperative.
With the forthcoming rollout of 5G and the rapid adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) and associated “smart” devices, demands on your network, as well as its complexity, will grow manifold. According to various estimates, the number of sensor-embedded devices would likely cross the 50 billion mark by 2020, while 5G launch could impact up to 1.1 billion devices by 2025. In order to address the resulting surge in network demand–in terms of access and broadband connectivity–you must build a next-generation network for being able to deliver consistent, high-quality services.
Such a next-generation infrastructure needs to be autonomous, sans any human intervention, failing which you would struggle to manage the ever-growing network complexity–thereby compromising the Quality of Service (QoS) and customer experience (CX).
Building the autonomous network…
So how do we define the end state, i.e. the autonomous telecom network? Put simply, an autonomous network is a cloud-based, virtualized communications infrastructure that can be orchestrated smoothly without requiring human involvement. The typical network state currently is an environment of multiple expensive and difficult-to-manage discrete network elements, with each operating in silos. For you to transition from the present mode of operations to an autonomous mode, automation of the underlying business processes, applications and services will be essential.
The good news is that various disruptive technologies are now available for you to harness, and institutionalize an autonomous network. Adopting two technologies in particular, network function virtualization (NFV) and software defined networking (SDN), can significantly help you to overhaul your network into a cost-efficient, scalable and responsive setup.
SDN can empower you to programmatically manage different applications used for monitoring and optimizing the network, besides orchestrating various application programmable interfaces (APIs) that consume network resources. As a result, you can ensure simplified connectivity to virtualized networks for activating and managing services, thus paving the way for dynamic service delivery.
With NFV, you can boost profitability by automating workflows for reduced capital and operating expenditure, delivering differentiated value-added services, and monetizing network assets better.
…for better business outcomes
Transitioning to an autonomously managed, virtualized, cloud-based network will yield a wide range of business benefits, including enhanced operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. For starters, installing a multi-layer cloud setup, underpinned by NFV and SDN, will let you proactively manage network and load variations, and respond to downtime immediately. Secondly, you will be able to increase network flexibility and scalability through virtualization and segregation of the control and data planes in networking equipment.
Thirdly, end-to-end multi-application lifecycle management and single network service orchestration will be possible with a smooth integration of NFV and SDN, thereby helping to reduce the time to market and onboard services faster.
Of course, migrating to an autonomous network won’t be easy. You will have to automate various management functions across your current complex IT environment, apart from automating the updates of those workflows. On top of that, you will need to harness machine intelligence for orchestrating intelligent scripting, in order to make sure these processes become more efficient over time.
Network automation can be a potential game-changer for you, in terms of enabling to you cut costs aggressively, shorten turnaround times for product launches, and transform service assurance. As OTT operators and other rivals continue to take away your revenues and profits, you must urgently leverage this potent arsenal in your weapon–your network–for competitive advantage.
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