Sunday, August 20, 2023

Nokia: CSPs look to AI

 New research commissioned by Nokia and conducted by Analysys Mason finds that 87 percent of communications service providers (CSPs) have started to implement AI into their network operations, either as proof of concepts or into production; with 57 percent saying they have deployed telco AI use cases to the point of production.

While CSP respondents said they believe AI will help improve network service quality, top-line growth, customer experience, and energy optimisation to meet their sustainability goals, it is also evident that major obstacles remain.

“CSPs are unable to access high-quality data sets (which will enable them to make more accurate decisions) because they are using legacy systems with proprietary interfaces. This will restrict how quickly they can integrate AI into their networks,” according to the research, which is based on responses from 84 CSPs surveyed globally. Almost 50 percent of Tier-1 CSPs ranked data collection as the most challenging stage of the telco AI use case development cycle.

Further, the research found that only six percent of CSPs surveyed believe they are at the most-advanced level of automation, or zero-touch automation, which relies on AI and machine learning (ML) algorithms to manage and improve network operations. The high-quality data issue is also impacting CSPs’ ability to retain AI talent.

The research said CSPs should evaluate their telco AI implementation strategies and develop a clear roadmap for AI implementation to overcome their data challenge and other impediments, such as an inability to scale AI use case deployments. The report can be found here.

Adaora Okeleke, Principal Analyst, at Analysys Mason said: “CSPs must transition to more-autonomous operations if they are to manage networks more efficiently and deliver on their main business priorities. But as this research demonstrates, accessing high-quality data remains a critical obstacle to deploying telco AI within their networks. They need to really examine their AI implementation strategies to work around this data quality issue.”

Nokia expands network-in-a-box program for BEAD

Nokia is expanding its ‘network-in-a-box’ program to provide essential network infrastructure products in a single bundle that operators and Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program participants need to quickly build or scale broadband networks. 

The pre-packaged solutions from Nokia are configurable to each individual network build and are available to ship directly through Nokia or its network of channel partners. BEAD participants focused on bridging the digital divide can also leverage Nokia’s network-in-a-box program. The program provides all of the recently announced U.S. manufactured fiber-optic broadband network electronics products and optical modules in a single solution.    

The network-in-a-box program includes Nokia’s IP routing, Fiber OLT, Fiber ONT, and Wi-Fi beacon products along with software and services that make it easy for operators of all sizes to build their fiber broadband networks. 

Nokia says its Network-in-a box makes it easy to build small greenfield fiber networks or cap existing GPON networks and grow to XGS and 25G-PON.

Sandy Motley, President, Fixed Networks at Nokia, said: “We’re excited to help operators and network builders get access to the tools they need simplify and accelerate broadband rollouts to help make high-speed broadband access a reality for all. The network-in-a-box program equips network builders with the necessary technology they need in a single solution to connect more homes, schools, businesses and communities that will ultimately help foster innovation and expand economies.”

Ericsson and Vodafone bring private 5G to Irish Rugby Football Union

The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) is adopting 5G Mobile Private Network (MPN) technology to increase the communication of performance data between coaches and players in preparation for the Rugby World Cup 2023

Ericsson and Vodafone have partnered to install the solution at the IRFU’s High Performance Centre, delivering advanced real-time video analysis to enable enhanced decision-making and deliver real time feedback to coaches, analysts and players.

Using this reliable connectivity, up to eight high-resolution video streams are captured by multiple cameras and a 5G connected drone and then analysed in real-time to collate data on team performance. 

IRFU Head of Analytics and Innovation, Vinny Hammond says: “So much of our roles revolve around moving large quantities of data so we can analyse performance to understand what is working and what is not. Vodafone’s 5G MPN stretches the boundaries of what we can do in terms of how quickly we can analyse multiple high-resolution cameras and drone footage which ultimately informs our strategic decision making.”

Australia’s Optus deploys Ericsson RedCap software on it 5G network

Optus, Ericsson and MediaTek have today announced Australia’s first over-the-air data-call using Ericsson’s pre-commercial Reduced Capability (RedCap) software on Optus’ 5G network.

The small device size, long battery life, and substantial throughput of RedCap devices would make it ideal with many mobile consumer applications such as wearables (eg. smartwatches), health monitors, augmented reality (AR) devices (eg glasses) as well as industrial applications such as video surveillance, and industrial sensors.    

For instance, Ericsson’s RedCap software can power the smart city of the future with applications in smart grids, environmental sensors, predictive maintenance, utility meters, etc. 

This milestone has been made possible through Ericsson’s advanced Reduced Capability (RedCap) software using any available 5G spectrum, with both time division duplex (TDD) and frequency division duplex (FDD), in low and mid frequency bands. With RedCap’s broader applicability, Optus can further innovate various use cases such as new applications for consumers, industries and enterprises.

For industrial applications, RedCap can also improve operational efficiencies with optimised cost structures for the robust industrial IoT, accelerating the industry 4.0 transformation with 5G private networks. Ericsson’s RedCap brings reliable wireless connectivity and seamless mobility to the devices used in industry and enterprise. It can connect more equipment with fewer cables, process monitoring sensors for deeper operational insight, smart surveillance cameras for personnel safety, and handheld and wearable devices for richer human-machine interaction. 

Lambo Kanagaratnam, Managing Director of Networks at Optus, said: “Optus is always pushing the boundaries on network technology to find ways to improve the experience of our customers. This trial is about catering for 5G for wearable devices, like watches, so customers can benefit from accessing the most up to date technology in their daily lives. With this Australian-first data call, we are paving the way for future 5G wearable devices.”    

Martin Wiktorin Head of Ericsson’s Global Customer Unit, Singtel, said: “We are pleased to be working with Optus and MediaTek to bring the benefits of Ericsson RedCap to Optus’ customers. With this advancement, Optus can offer enhanced 5G connectivity for everything from consumer wearables to industrial sensors in a way that is both cost and energy-efficient, unlocking a whole range of new use cases.”