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Exponential potential: enabling networks that sense, think, and act

Exponential potential: enabling networks that sense, think, and act

The power of digitalization is a “tale as old as time”, with its transformative power under scrutiny for decades now.  Nokia has been at the forefront of harnessing the exponential potential of networks and we also have a clear vision of how to create technology that helps the world act together. Just recently, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, we showcased to the world the importance of networks that sense, think and act. Now this all sounds great, but why is it necessary? 

We live in a world that is increasingly becoming more complex. While lives may be getting longer, healthier and richer, the world is facing fundamental challenges: Productivity is stalling, pressure on the planet is increasing and access to opportunity remains stubbornly unequal. Digitalization is central to the solution. This is where Nokia’s expertise can help.


We as humans perceive the world around us via various sensations that allow us to navigate safely. We touch, see, hear, smell and taste to understand our surroundings, and our senses inform our instincts and decision making. If you think about it, this analogy can also be applied to the telecoms industry: we collect, store and curate huge variety and volume of telemetry data to “sense” what is happening in the network.  The networks themselves are increasingly fragmented, with network functions becoming disaggregated and distributed widely across multiple cloud environments (private, public, hybrid).  Traditional security monitoring and service assurance approaches are no longer sufficient - more advanced techniques, such as observability are now required to “make sense” of the network and provide contextual awareness of the services that are running over it.


As humans once we have realized our surroundings, we begin to figure out how to make our lives better – for example to make sure that we are warm or have enough food to eat.  Again, there is a parallel with telecoms, and in our industry we have already passed the point where humans alone can understand the full complexity of the network.  AI and machine learning are now essential ingredients in the cognitive process, providing unique insights and next best recommendations for engineering, care, operations and business teams.  Ultimately AI is enabling CSPs to find new ways to optimize cost, maximize resource usage, and boost customer experience.  The telecoms industry is also struggling to adapt to the changing requirements of enterprise customers, who have high expectations on CSP responsiveness and the performance of network services.  Business intent is a mechanism that will enable CSPs to better understand this external demand from enterprises, and is something that Nokia and others are actively working on. 


So, we sense what is around us and can react and think. But this is simply not enough, right? If, for example, you realize you are cold, just thinking of a pair of gloves would not solve the matter!  The same goes for telecoms where, for instance, knowing that one part of the network is congested is of limited value, even if you know the underlying reasons for that.  What is required is closed-loop automation to promptly turn insight into action: perhaps by optimizing the radio network to balance traffic — or instantiating a new network function to increase user plane capacity.  Low latency and ultra-reliable enterprise use cases such as autonomous factory robots will also demand a new approach, something that Telefonica and Nokia demonstrated in Barcelona


At Nokia we believe in the exponential potential of networks to help transform and digitalize our world.  But ultimately to realize that potential, we need to create networks that can sense, think, and act. 

Hamdy  Farid

About Hamdy Farid

Hamdy Farid is the Senior Vice President of Nokia’s Business Applications unit and loves to talk with CSPs and Enterprises about how they can unlock the value of their network investments through secure, intelligent automation. Born in Egypt, Hamdy graduated in computer engineering from Alexandria University, before moving to Canada to tap into the early 2000s tech boom. Today, Hamdy lives in Ottawa with his wife and two teenage children in a trilingual English-Arabic-French home. When he is not shopping on Amazon, he enjoys cooking and motorbike racing.

Connect with Hamdy on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter

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