DTW23-Ignite: Leading global CSPs endorse TM Forum’s approach to autonomous networks
Thirty telecommunications companies including more than a dozen of the world’s largest communications service providers (CSPs) have signed TM Forum’s Autonomous Networks (AN) Manifesto to accelerate the widespread adoption of ANs. Their aim is to accelerate network transformation and monetization, improve customer experience, and reduce opex.
These are consistently the main drivers of automation, as shown in the graphic below from TM Forum’s recent Digital Transformation Tracker 7 (DTT 7) report. By signing the manifesto, companies are agreeing to adopt a common vision of ANs that relies on predictive analytics and AI to determine which network resources are used to fulfill a customer’s business goals, with all complexity hidden from the customer. The goal is to automate the entire service lifecycle, from ordering to fulfillment, activation, orchestration, management, assurance, optimization and billing so that CSPs can orchestrate Zero-X (zero-touch, zero-wait and zero-trouble) services end to end across domains at scale.
TM Forum’s latest AN research report finds that the CSPs endorsing TM Forum’s work on AN collectively contribute 45% of worldwide telecoms revenue. This increasing level of commitment to AN from an early majority of CSPs represents a major milestone.
The 30 signatories are Accenture, AIS, Amdocs, China Mobile, China Telecom, Chunghwa Telecom, Ericsson, Futurewei, Huawei, IBM, Inspur, Intraway, Iquall Networks, Makman Technology Consulting, Microsoft, MTN Group, Netcracker, Nokia, NTT, Orange, SAS, Telecom Argentina, Telefonica, Telenor, Telkomsel, TTG International, UBiqube, Verizon, Wipro and Zain.
These companies are rapidly accelerating the implementation and development of TM Forum’s AN architecture, which is aligned with the Open Digital Architecture (ODA). Key to their vision is using intent in ANs, closed-loop-control, Open APIs and self-healing domains to accelerate the adoption of network automation. The ODA is a component-based approach that defines standardized, interoperable software components organized into loosely coupled domains. These components expose business services through Open APIs, which are built on a common data model.
CSP signatories will also adopt the Autonomous Networks Levels Evaluation Methodology to assess current and future levels of network automation. The vendors have committed to building and marketing their products and capabilities in a manner consistent with the AN architecture, APIs and AN Levels.
Major CSPs around the world are already making significant progress on their AN journeys. For example:
Read these reports and TM Forum’s latest AN journey guide to learn more:
Leveling up: achieving level 3 autonomous networks and beyond https://inform.tmforum.org/research-and-analysis/reports/leveling-up-achieving-level-3-autonomous-networks-and-beyond
Autonomous Networks: Empowering digital transformation – evolving from Level 2/3 towards Level 4
Digital Transformation Tracker 7: cutting complexity with automation and AI
“We strongly believe the network operating model needs to change dramatically to support new, agile business opportunities and leverage the full capabilities of 5G SA, slicing, cloud, edge and network-as-a-service,” said Laurent Leboucher, Group CTO and Senior Vice President of Orange Innovation Networks, Orange. “We have started our journey to achieve level 4 autonomy on two key processes: deployment and fault monitoring and maintenance. It's an exciting journey for our team and partners to address the related challenges, reach the automation target and bring value for our customers.”
“Telefónica launched its Autonomous Network Journey (ANJ) in 2021. The goal is to strive for autonomy across the whole network and IT lifecycle, changing dramatically the current architecture, the way we manage data, the way we do things and the way we are organized,” said Enrique Blanco, Global CTIO, Telefónica. “It is a complete revamp of our ways of working but always keeping in the center our customers, security and sustainability. We fully embrace the common vision presented in the AN Manifesto to rapidly accelerate the implementation and development of TM Forum’s ODA-aligned AN architecture.”
To help members on their AN journeys, TM Forum has launched an end-to-end implementation toolkit for CSPs. It draws on operators’ best practices for deploying and managing AN operations, which are delivering impressive results. For example, China Mobile’s best practices are helping the company build the world’s largest private 5G network for CATL, a battery supplier headquartered in Fujian, China. The project has resulted in more than $14 million dollars in business growth for CATL. Similarly, MTN Group’s best practices for its all-optical AN have improved network reliability to 99.999% and reduced troubleshooting time from 8 hours to just 15 minutes.
To demonstrate its commitment to ANs, TM Forum is showcasing 19 AN Catalyst proofs of concept at DTW23 - Ignite in Copenhagen. More than 70 companies are participating in the projects, which act as an accelerator to complement the R&D efforts of the organizations involved.
Several “Moonshot” Catalysts are showing how automation can help CSPs reduce energy consumption and operating expenses while improving performance. For example, the Green and efficient radio access networks – championed by China Mobile, Orange, Telenor Group, Verizon and Vodafone Group – is focusing on the following objectives:
Read this report to learn more:
The sustainable telco: engineering networks for net zero:
To find out more about TM Forum’s AN Manifesto, Catalysts or AN Toolkit, visit the TM Forum Industry Showcase stand at DTW23 – Ignite, or visit this webpage.