Comprehensive 5G network automation assures service performance for millions of users: people, devices, slices.
Communication service providers are adopting cloud deployment of their core networks as they begin to offer new 5G services. This is resulting in unprecedented opportunities to increase revenue, reduce costs, and speed new services to market – through 5G network automation.
As network implementations move to software modules hosted on cloud, 5G core automation coupled with AI becomes a critical component of network design and operations. Silos of isolated automation scripts driving network element EMSs are giving way to fully connected automation systems, that deliver a network that adapts to business requirements.
Nokia’s comprehensive portfolio of products offer automation at all stages – as part of our CI/CD automation services, exposed through software APIs, and provided intrinsically by the cloud infrastructure. We support new breakthrough CSP best practices for modular roll-outs; small projects that have clear business returns and then cascading toward larger scale 5G automation driven by business needs.
What are the benefits of 5G network automation?
The game has changed. Practically speaking, 5G technology requires communication service providers to adopt cloud technology with automation frameworks. Automation has been in use for decades in telecom networks, but typically only for isolated operational cost reductions. With the introduction of 5G, the nature of automation changes.
5G is different from its predecessors because it includes technology advancements that rely completely on network automation. It has capabilities such as massive machine to machine communications that vastly increase the number of endpoints to manage. It includes SLA delivery models that require automation because the number of variables is beyond human capability to manage. And it supports network slicing, where automation becomes key in managing common resources for which many slices may contend. 5G core automation reflects the evolution of the 5G core to take advantage of web-scale automation techniques, especially from Kubernetes live cycle management.
But regardless of whether the network is 5G, 4G, or 3G, the benefits are clear.
Reduce costs with zero-touch lifecycle management and much finer control of network functions
Profit from self-optimizing networks with elastic scaling that grows and shrinks based on workload
Accelerate service launches with intelligent network workflows and CI/CD automation that extends through operations
Gain service agility by rapidly deploying new services and industry vertical use cases
Discover stability with continuous proactive testing, fault finding, and self-healing networks
Reduce outages with automated configuration, reducing the human error
Nokia’s 5G Core Automation Infographic
What is 5G network automation?
Executive Brief: 5G core automation
5G presents many opportunities that cannot be achieved without extensive network automation. Going beyond what Communications Service Providers (CSPs) have achieved to date requires the industry to adopt the web-scale cloud approach to software architecture and deployment. This is the next big technology change facing CSPs.
Accordingly, Nokia has invested in redesigning its network products, including its own 4G and 5G core networks, to create robust network functions that unlock the full potential of 5G through network automation.
On-Demand Webinar: The telecom paradigm shift needed for 5G automation
5G deployment presents enormous opportunities but taking advantage of them requires software automation techniques like those used by hyperscaler cloud providers. This is a major paradigm shift for the telecom industry, and one that presents the next big technology change.
In this webinar, Analysys Mason’s Caroline Chappell, Nokia’s CNS CTO Jitin Bhandari, and development expert Nutan Behki discuss the topic and explore some of the deep questions that service providers will ask about navigating this change and creating real business value.
5G network automation use cases
There are many use cases that demonstrate the value of 5G Core network automation to the communication service providers. These range from CI/CD to network slice creation and validation. Nearly every aspect of operations can benefit from some form of automation.
Click at right to explore five important use cases where automation provides value to the operator. We explain a problem to be solved, how automation addresses it, and what the benefits to the CSP are.
Automation in the 5G Core and deployment on any cloud
Previously, mobile core and telco cloud were automated only for the sake of reducing costs, using an network element (telco) approach. This created disconnected islands of automation – essentially scripts that manipulated the element management systems.
With the introduction of the 5G architecture and webscale cloud techniques, the automation equation changes, allowing for exposure of automation elements to each other via APIs, and therefore the creation of closed-loops with feedback to create an automation framework. AI/ML can be used to achieve further benefits, such as automated avoidance of predicted faults.
CI/CD automation with DevOps and Nokia’s DelOps
Unlike Webscale’s and IT’s relatively narrow environments, CSPs have a much broader environment in which to apply CI/CD, such as multiple domains, third-party software, and variation in cloud platforms. DelOps is Nokia’s unique approach to realizing benefits of DevOps-style iterative software development and delivery, but in a manger that is specific to the telecommunications environment. DelOps is DevOps reimagined by Nokia to deal with the complexity of the CSP’s environment. It focuses on what makes CI/CD different for CSPs, which is the delivery and operational stages — thus DelOps. It is open for use with CI/CD frameworks coming from Nokia, the CSP’s own developed framework, or third-party frameworks.
Read our white paper on innovating and executing with a simplified 5G core, and find out why Nokia’s 5G core is done right, done now, and made real.
5G security for cloud-native networks
The move to cloud infrastructure for 5G networks changes how network security, data protection, and privacy should be addressed. Due to 5G architecture complexity as well as specialized protocols and interfaces used in the communications industry, protecting against security threats is well beyond the capabilities of traditional IT security vendors.
Nokia takes the security built into our products seriously. Our cloud-native 5G Core is designed for privacy and security, with layered protection based on defense-in-depth design and zero-trust principles and tested against 5G-specific use cases. CSPs get full control to secure their 5G services, thanks to the pervasive and automated security management built into our design practices, 5G core software, and dedicated security solutions.
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