As telecommunications companies embrace 5G and the new technology is rolled out across networks globally, organizations will be seeking to automate processes to make their services faster and more efficient. To do this, telcos must implement artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions – as these are the only way that automation can reach the levels required for the realization of 5G’s full potential while keeping costs down and bringing innovative new products and services to the market.
Automated cross-vendor self-healing and auto-scaling
It will be crucial for communications service providers to avoid becoming locked in to any individual vendor as they update their networks for 5G. At the moment, telcos are looking at solutions that enable network self-healing and auto-scaling, both of which are functions of virtual network function products available from various suppliers. However, while any given VNF product should bring the desired self-healing and auto-scaling capabilities straight out of the box,
The orchestrator still needs to be able to do its job across VNF vendor boundaries. Otherwise, CSPs will be limited by individual vendors’ capabilities.
The concept of cross-vendor VNF self-healing and auto-scaling is to alleviate that limitation
The “intelligent” AI-driven orchestrator and machine learning techniques are there to help operators choose VNFs that are best suited for customer service – at design time and at runtime. That should also free the creativity of service designers, who will no longer need to undertake tedious work verifying which VNF is the best. Having such capabilities, CSPs can also boost competition between VNF vendors and avoid vendor lock-in, where one vendor might want to force the idea that they provide the only implementation for a given type of VNF.
CSPs should be able to choose from many different VNF vendors, but at the same time avoid being overwhelmed by the burden of having too many options to choose from. Making vendors stick to the standards defined for VNFs is as important as smooth on-boarding of VNFs in the context of the ability to create services provided by different vendors.
For telcos, then, AI-driven orchestration backed by machine learning techniques are key. With these in place, operators are free to take advantage of all that cross-vendor VNF self-healing and auto-scaling have to offer.