What's an Autonomous Network ?
Updated: Oct 29, 2018
While operators struggle to migrate out of On-prem world, leaving behind hardware refresh, it's worthwhile to review if Operators are on path for complete network re-haul or just attempting patchwork.
Service contracts and yearly network dimensioning for identifying network expansion is still a reality. Even though we have been talking about NFV/virtualization for over 5 years, we have a handful of operators that really have NFV in production. With 5G bus arriving at lightning speed, NFV is starting to sound like yesterday. NFV restructuring sounds like "Too much effort offering too little in cost saving or optimization".
However, 5G promises another new world. Cloud native, Service-Based Architecture with micro-services that delivers the magic of internet companies to Telecom Operators. A network that is built over Operator's private cloud - grows on demand, self-discovery of services, common core OAM services and even enables rolling auto SW upgrades with no human interference. The garden of Eden does have its serpent. For starters, most vendors will still want to extend manual subscriber categorizations (e.g plans, services etc) to 5G. 5G Billing plans would mean configuration and management of CHF (OCS), UDM (HSS), PCF (PCRF) and CRM.
Pre-configured Slicing for services is another area that might remain unchanged. Congestion control and dynamic network resources alignment would need integration with analytics, an area highly neglectedl. It's a better proposition that NFV but the question still remains - " is 5G enough? "
Your "YES" with all it's well intention may still need more consideration. We think anything less than an #AutonomousNetwork might be recipe for failure. What's an Autonomous network ?
An Autonomous network is analytics-driven Telecom infrastructure that aims to personalize user connectivity experience while safe guarding network health.
An Autonomous Network shall use analytic streams from both core and access to building network health report. The network engine shall be resource aware at all times. It shall use analytics inputs like predictive patterns, current resource capacities, and subscriber density to derive decision sets. Decision sets for each location, for every subscriber and for the overall network. Network engine shall use these decision sets to drive network policies. Network policies shall enforce offloading decisions, triggering resource rearrangement, subscriber grouping across slices based on usage patterns and enable premium services on access.
In following blogs, we shall discuss in depth about the Analytics streams, Network Engine, and Policy Actions. Follow the #AutonomousNetworks tag to read detailed stories on each node elements.