Huawei’s Zhu Huimin Calls for Autonomous Network Collaboration at MWC21
Jun 30, 2021
29 JUN 2021
PRESS RELEASE: At the Autonomous Network Forum of Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2021, Zhu Huimin, Vice President of Marketing for Huawei’s Wireless Network Product Line, delivered a keynote speech titled “Autonomous Networks, Bringing Intelligence to All Connections”. In her speech, she noted that intelligence and automation have become important basic capabilities in the 5G era. In addition to the traditional ToC domain, the ToH and 5GtoB domains have seen intelligent and automated network capabilities being strengthened in their large-scale commercial use phase, leading to the construction of E2E intelligent and simplified O&M. This enables operators to realize true 5G business value. The industry agrees that intelligent autonomous networks will be implemented hierarchically. The continuous evolution of wireless network generations every ten years introduces exciting new business opportunities for operators, while also promoting the development of O&M modes due to the rapid growth of network OPEX and O&M complexity. O&M has evolved from the manual operations of the 2G and 3G eras to the self-organizing network (SON)-based operations of certain wireless network scenarios during the 4G era. Now, as we enter the 5G era, the mobile communications industry combines intelligence and automation to propose Autonomous Networks for network O&M. This advanced technology can overcome the challenges presented by the co-existence of multiple RATs and growing service complexity. According to Zhu Huimin, current network deployment progress already demonstrates that hierarchical implementation of autonomous networks has become an industry consensus, and has gradually developed into a core operator strategy. According to a 2021 report from TMF Autonomous Networks, more than 80% of the 42 operators independently interviewed believe that they will deploy a large-scale fully intelligent autonomous network within the next 10 years. Intelligent autonomous networks are gradually becoming a reality. Huawei’s iMaster MAE introduces intelligence and automation capabilities to the network planning, construction, maintenance, optimization, and operation workflows of wireless networks based on the three-layer architecture of site intelligence, network intelligence, and cloud intelligence. This enables operators to achieve efficient deployment, optimal performance, and agile services for their 5G networks. To date, iMaster MAE has been deployed on more than 180 networks worldwide. In China, this solution has helped operators automatically deploy 250,000 sites based on manual experience, while in South Korea certain poor-signal areas have seen throughput improved by 30% through the use of 5G intelligent coverage optimization. Globally, PowerStar helps operators reduce over 10 million kWh of electricity consumption every year. According to Zhu Huimin, in addition to the extensive use cases regarding ToC network deployment and performance optimization, the Huawei Wireless Network Product Line has also introduced innovative intelligence and automation capabilities in the ToH and ToB fields. WTTx Suite assists operator T in Indonesia with zero-touch CPE allocation. The impact of network and service intelligence and automation on service provisioning is not limited to technical and network counters. During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, WTTx Suite, a Huawei-developed automatic wireless broadband service provisioning tool, helped Operator T significantly simplify the wireless broadband application process for both hospitals and households. With WTTx Suite, users need only to enter their address in a mobile app to perform one-stop selection, payment, and precise service provisioning of wireless broadband services. At no point during the process are they required to visit the customer service center. Similar to a network performance translator, WTTx Suite can automatically generate a grid-level service provisioning map based on live network data with an accuracy of more than 90%. The autonomous service provisioning and simplified installation process enables operators in Indonesia to precisely provision services without face-to-face contact with both hospital and household users during pandemic. WTTx Suite is currently available on more than 70 networks worldwide. 5GtoB Suite helps operators build highly reliable 5G industry networks. In addition to WTTx Suite which focuses on 5G FWA services, Huawei released 5GtoB Suite at the end of 2020 — the industry’s first autonomous network management platform for networks and terminals. This platform provides intelligent and precise planning and proactive device-network O&M capabilities. In the network planning phase, 5GtoB Suite implements precise and intelligent mapping between service SLAs and wireless network resources. Meanwhile, in the network maintenance phase, it supports AI-based fast, accurate fault locating and fault prediction and prevention so that operators can quickly respond to the troubleshooting requests of industry users. These advanced features greatly contribute to the 5GtoB business success of operators and industry users by enabling them to build highly reliable 5GtoB industry networks. To date, 5GtoB Suite has cooperated with a number of operators in China to carry out innovation pilots in industries such as steel, manufacturing, port, coal mine, and electric power. Intent-driven openness and collaboration power wireless network evolution from single-domain autonomy to cross-domain collaboration. Although many practices and use cases have emerged regarding intelligent autonomous networks, surveys and reports from various industry parties show that industry innovation and use cases are still concentrated on single-domain autonomy. Zhu Huimin pointed out that to achieve higher-level cross-domain intelligent autonomous networks, intent-driven networks must be adopted, and intent-driven openness and collaboration are required to implement cross-domain collaboration. Much like the realization of autonomous networks, network capabilities will be opened gradually, and the content to be opened will vary according to intelligent autonomous network phases. The openness of existing basic capabilities will gradually evolve to intent-driven openness. The requirement for cross-domain collaboration and openness are natural especially for 5GtoB networks, which feature diversified service requirements and high reliability requirements. On a 5GtoB network, service intents must be automatically converted into network intents, which are required to automatically match single-domain network resources in order to improve the O&M efficiency. Finally, Zhu Huimin explained that while a lot of progress has been made in the incubation of industrial standards and use cases, acceleration is still required for intelligent autonomous networks in terms of concept unification, grading standards & evaluation systems, and intent-driven open interface standards, and industry parties must work together to incubate more collaboration use cases.