PARTNER CONTENT: A new round of scientific, technological and industrial innovation is sweeping the world. The digital economy has become a vital engine for sustainable economic growth. As a key enabling technology and infrastructure in the digital economy era, 5G networks provides ultra-high bandwidth, ultra-low latency and massive connections, which will help pave the path to the Internet of Everything and lay the foundation for the digital transformation of the global economy and society.

5G will accelerate operators’ transformation from the pipe economy to the platform economy, not only connecting people but connecting almost everything. It will help operators cope with the ever-changing business environment and promote the expansion of a digital society. The introduction of new 5G technology architecture and service diversity bring about two challenges to the network’s operations and maintenance (O&M):

  • 5G services on 5G come with different QoS requirements and differentiated service assurance, which places new requirements on O&M tools, processes and capabilities, as well as new challenges to traditional O&M modes. The introduction of new architectures and technologies greatly increases the difficulty of 5G network O&M.
  • The co-existence of 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G multi-mode network elements has caused a structural dilemma in the telecoms industry: namely increasing opex due to growing network scale. This subsequently poses challenges to O&M efficiency and operators’ overall costs.

5G network O&M faces complex structural problems and challenges, which cannot be addressed by traditional O&M methods. The telecoms industry is in urgent need of automated intelligent network O&M. In the face of this, and after years of innovation and research, Huawei launched the Intelligent 5G Operation Solution. Featuring all-online capabilities, full automation and intelligence, the solution aims to promote 5G intelligent O&M which helps operators handle new challenges in network O&M.

Based on the unified O&M capability of Huawei’s intelligent O&M platform, the solution provides centralised monitoring, fault root cause analysis, performance data analysis, automatic O&M and closed-loop control to effectively address operators’ challenges, improve fault handling efficiency and reduce O&M costs. In the early stages of 5G network O&M, the Intelligent 5G Operation Solution focuses on the construction of basic 5G network assurance capabilities, implements basic network visualisation, supports fault demarcation and quickly implements fault self-diagnosis. With increasing the number of service models and fault data, the risk prediction and prevention capabilities of the solution will be enhanced to gradually achieve highly autonomous networks.

Intelligent 5G Operation Solution

In terms of fault diagnosis, the Intelligent 5G Operation Solution supports automatic demarcation and locating of typical 5G network faults. The solution implements automated service assurance and builds an intelligent 5G fault management mode by introducing AI training to improve a network’s self-healing capability.

Making use of the vendor’s intelligent O&M platform, the solution monitors 5G service data in real time and establishes a fault prediction model for 5G devices running on the network. It can identify service risks and faults in advance, improve network risk prediction and prevention capabilities, and shorten the fault recovery duration.

The 5G Intelligent Operation Solution implements end-to-end visualisation of network slice monitoring and detects SLA deterioration of network slices in minutes. Based on the AI-trained prediction model and Huawei’s experience in handling typical B2B service SLA problems, the intelligent solution can automatically diagnose slice SLA problems.

In 2019, Huawei and China Unicom benchmarked the industry’s best practices, applied AI technology into the industry and was the first to deploy an intelligent 5G O&M platform in Guangdong province. After six months, the operator’s 5G networks are now capable of quick fault identification, demarcation and recovery. With the help of Huawei, the operator has improved both 5G network quality and O&M efficiency. In the future, the two parties will continue to cooperate in building intelligent O&M capabilities with the vision of an automated 5G network.

With the increasing spread of commercial 5G networks and the use of AI in network operations, the solution enhanced the capacity of our intelligent operation solution AUTIN (an operations consulting and software-as-a-service offering) which will continue to help operators improve operation quality and efficiency and achieve 5G service innovation and success. Huawei is ready to cooperate with global operators to actively invest in 5G innovation. Together, we can achieve autonomous networks and build a fully connected, intelligent world.

by Fred Zhao, Director of Assurance & Managed Services, Huawei