PRESS RELEASE: During the Huawei Global Analyst Summit 2023, Zhao Zhenlong, Vice President of Huawei’s Wireless Network MAE Product Line, attended the IntelligentRAN roundtable, where he delivered a keynote speech titled “IntelligentRAN: Harnessing New Technologies to Enable Emerging Applications and Providing New Capabilities to Create New Business Opportunities.” In his speech, Mr. Zhao highlighted that IntelligentRAN has gained widespread recognition in the industry, but that there still needs to be further research and exploration into key technologies — such as intelligent air interfaces, digital twins, and intent-driven systems — to overcome challenges posed by emerging wireless applications and scenarios. He also mentioned that IntelligentRAN enables networks to support a wider variety of innovative applications through open APIs, and that Huawei is actively collaborating with global operators and industry partners to create an open and cooperative ecosystem that promotes 5G commercial prosperity.

IntelligentRAN has gained widespread recognition in the industry

Network intelligence and automation have become a major focal point in the industry, with operators making significant progress towards incorporating them into their core strategies.

For instance, 3GPP released autonomous network (AN) level standards in Release 17. And starting in Release 18, they are conducting research and collaborations on wireless network intelligence indicators, intent interfaces, and slice service experience assurance.

Emerging applications require new key IntelligentRAN technologies to be developed

Since the release of IntelligentRAN, Huawei has achieved significant progress in its commercial deployment through collaborations with over 30 operators across China, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East. To accommodate the emergence of new applications and scenarios such as massive MIMO extremely large-scale antenna array (ELAA), key event assurance, and intelligent capability coordination, Huawei believes that IntelligentRAN requires the following key technologies:

Intelligent air interface: Introducing intelligent channel evaluation and prediction capabilities enables IntelligentRAN to perform precise beam management and real-time trace in ELAA scenarios, thereby improving air interface performance. Enhanced intelligent receivers are more effective at reducing scenario-level interference and noise, as well as improving network coverage. Additionally, intelligent integrated channel design enables channel reconstruction across multiple domains and enhances interference resistance, which helps increase network capacity.

Digital twin: Virtual grid coverage prediction enables simulation models to self-evolve dynamically, and online iteration improves prediction accuracy. Digital twin-based network optimization eliminates the need for optimization iteration, resulting in “zero” service interruption and shorter optimization periods. Moreover, multi-method parallel optimization and multi-objective integration are supported, quickening customization response.

Intent-driven: Intelligent orchestration of user expectations into real-time network O&M intents can be achieved through easy interaction between users and networks. Intelligent orchestration and awareness enable the system to perform self-optimization based on user intents and formulate and adjust policies, as well as cooperate with intent conflict management to improve network performance, user experience, and energy efficiency.

IntelligentRAN embraces openness and continuous practice innovation

CAMARA, an open-source project initiated by GSMA and Linux Foundation at MWC 2022, utilizes an open-source framework to achieve globally standardized Open Gateway APIs. Huawei’s IntelligentRAN is compatible with the CAMARA architecture and seeks to leverage intelligent technologies to develop differentiated wireless network capabilities for operators. In the wireless field, Huawei has incubated the first set of high-value use cases through network APIs, such as the QoD-based slice service experience assurance API and network status awareness API.

QoD-based slice service assurance API: Emerging services such as cloud gaming, uplink live streaming, and self-driving are highly demanding of network quality, delay, and reliability. IntelligentRAN allows for SLA-based differentiated resource allocation, second-level SLA visualization, minute-level fault diagnosis, and dynamic RB adjustment for upper-layer applications over network APIs, ensuring optimal slice service experience.

Network status awareness API: IntelligentRAN can obtain the real-time cell congestion status and predict cell coverage. This enables upper-layer applications, such as TikTok and YouTube, to promptly detect the network resource status through network APIs and adjust video bit rate and resolution accordingly. This prevents jerky video, improving user experience.

As he drew to a close, Mr. Zhao urged for close cooperation throughout the industry in areas such as architecture, standards, and industrial ecosystem to expedite the advancement of intelligent industry. He called on industry partners to accelerate the deployment of IntelligentRAN applications, develop more innovative applications, define open intent interfaces, and build an open and collaborative ecosystem to jointly move towards the intelligent world in 2030.