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How to adapt autonomous network services to align with customer needs in real time

The Intent-driven closed-loop autonomous services towards next-generation networks Catalyst has built an open-source platform to help CSPs perceive changes in customer requirements automatically in real time, update network services in minutes and ensure satisfaction of SLAs

Ryan Andrew
25 Jan 2024
How to adapt autonomous network services to align with customer needs in real time

How to adapt autonomous network services to align with customer needs in real time

Commercial context

As 5G’s deployment continues to expand and densify worldwide, the ever-increasing range of applications which it supports only add to the complexity of network operations and management. Provision of most network services by CSPs to vertical industries for this growing range of scenarios is based on business templates – a format which is often too rigid to support complex SLA requirements, or enable real-time dynamic configuration updates in line with changing customer needs. This inevitably leads to inefficiencies and complexities for CSPs which can result in poor customer experience and churn, with corresponding loss in revenues.

The commercial reality is that service configuration based on manual or semi-automated methods is no longer viable for CSPs working with vertical industries due to the complexity and scale of the services offered – old approaches lack the agility needed to respond to new customer requirements, and require far too heavy a reliance on human resources. SLA management in particular is now too complex for legacy techniques, due to the new diversity of CSP offerings – the present result is difficulty and human error in managing customized arrangements, delays in processing and customer notifications, and lack of data integration.

Technical questions facing CSPs now include how they can automatically configure failover between different WAN links, and optimize traffic based on the priorities identified; how to fully automate creation of cloud leased-line services; how to perform intent definition and fulfilment, by offering automatic bandwidth adjustments; and how to achieve closed-loop control of network slices for intent assurance. Intelligent, algorithmic, and autonomous decision-making is required here – so CSPs can meet the growing challenges while avoiding unsustainable rises in OpEx or diminished customer experience.

The solution

The Intent-driven closed-loop autonomous services towards next-generation networks Catalyst has therefore devised an open-source platform to help CSPs perceive changes in customer requirements automatically in real time, enabling them to update network services in minutes and produce accurate SLA parameters with minimal human intervention. This takes the form of an environment for closed-loop autonomous network operations based on intent-driven technology inputs, to support business services in multiple scenarios such as end-to-end slicing and cloud-leased lines.

The solution enables CSPs to refine intents, perceive network states, and autonomously generate

more suitable network configuration policies – while using those intents to automatically validate, deploy, configure and optimize the network’s autonomy in the process. CSPs can therefor automatically solve abnormal events to ensure the reliability of functions relying on

holographic sensing and closed-loop control. This yields considerable improvements in the timeliness of monitoring, reporting, notification generation and data integration in network operations – and the increased agility CSPs need to handle scalable services based on complex SLAs while reducing human errors and cost.

Wider value

The innovations achieved can help improve the performance and reliability of network services in a wide range of areas, as well as equipping CSPs with the tools they need to adapt rapidly to the ever-changing 5G network landscape, helping them and their partners maintain competitive edge. The project participants say the solution can deliver increased serviceability to vertical partners by 80%, and improved ability of CSPs to meet SLAs with those partners of a striking 90%. “Upon achieving the goal of this Catalyst, we can bring higher levels of flexibility and responsiveness to our service provisioning and configuration,” explains Pasan Nishantha, General Manager (SI & OP) at Sri Lanka Telecom. “In addition, fully automated and autonomous SLA management can reduce the risk of breaching service level agreements, increasing our customers' satisfaction and increasing our earning from the value we create for our customers.”

Catalysts space