Telecommunications operators and suppliers are embracing automation in a big way, in order to compete with cloud service providers like Amazon and Google, which operate on much shorter cycles and serve more clients with fewer people, according to leading data and analytics company GlobalData.
Ron Westfall, Technology Analyst at GlobalData, says: “Telco network production is limited only by two things – the speed of light and the humans operating the network. Telcos that want to keep up with the pace of change have learned quickly that sending out human engineers to provision broadband services to business customers is what makes the service provisioning long, error-prone, and costly.
“The outcome of the currently ongoing process should leave operators with much more flexible networks and users with the capability to pick and choose from many more services. Most of the services will be provided through self-service portals, or even offered proactively, with networks sensing customer needs, such as the need for more bandwidth when streaming multiple HD video feeds at home or using a VR headset. Service parameters will change to accommodate user needs.”
The idea of self-driving, automated networks is not new to the likes of Google and Amazon. Now, network automation is coming of age and moving into telecoms, which operate in much more complex environments than cloud service providers.
Westfall says: “The challenge of automating complex telco networks is considerable and in a lot of cases needs bleeding edge technology. Today’s network automation therefore teems with buzzwords like AI, big data, analytics, and machine learning.
“However, the ambitions of large telcos that need to deploy new technologies quickly – and keep up the pace of change to stay relevant – leave only one logical way out: remove the complexity out of sight, and make networks work faster and more efficiently with less human intrusion.”