Displaying items by tag: automation

Wednesday, 16 September 2020 10:07

Nokia’s global 5G network deployments go digital

Nokia has announced that it has digitalized 100 percent of its 5G network deployments around the world, bringing high-quality, agility and transparency to customers globally.


Through the use of digitalization, machine learning and automation, Nokia is simplifying the deployment of the network infrastructure, accelerating both time-to-market and return on the 5G investment (ROI) for operators.


Traditional network deployments rely on combinations of both paper-based and digital documentation that can often lead to errors and inefficiencies. With digital project orchestration and data inventories, Nokia is enabling network rollouts to be carried out swiftly and cost-effectively, matching the agility demands from customers and helping them to bring new services to market faster.


This is leading to reductions in site visits (30 percent), as well as improvements in installation quality (30 percent), back office transactions (30 percent) and cycle times (25 percent).


By completely digitalizing its 5G network deployments, Nokia is enabling a simpler, faster, more efficient and higher-quality delivery of services. Nokia’s industry-first digital deployment services have helped over 100 customers around the world1 by bringing transparency to every phase of a project.


The digital deployment offering enables CSPs to easily and comprehensively manage their assets by providing a digital database of network assets that can be used to remotely and virtually access sites, making it much easier to upgrade and expand their estate. Additionally, it makes deployments more sustainable as it minimizes the CO2 footprint by reducing truck rolls and eliminating paper, saving an estimated 1,500 trees a year.


Key digital deployment services include:  

  • Automated workflow orchestration to deploy the right crews, with the right equipment, at the right time and place
  • Site digital database for faster technology evolution and upgrades as sites can be accessed remotely and CSPs can get a 360 virtual view
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning-powered tools to identify defects in real-time through automated analysis.
  • Real-time project dashboards for greater transparency and project management effectiveness
  • Drone-led site visits to ensure site builds are completed ‘first time right’ with material inventory down to a one-inch accuracy


Nokia’s digital deployments are continuously evolving to take advantage of the power of AI-based innovations, to further improve efficiencies at scale. Intelligent defect recognition will use powerful machine learning-based algorithms to identify defects in real-time through automated analyses of pre/post implementation pictures or video content.


The system will also intelligently provide feedback on space availability to place specific equipment, without the need of a site visit.  


Sanjay Goel, President of Global Services, Nokia, said, “Today, many operators suffer from a fragmented way in how their next-gen 5G networks are designed, built and managed. The adoption of automation, AI and the digitalization of assets are vital steps in a CSP’s digital transformation journey to capture the full potential of 5G. We are extremely proud to be the first to have reached this milestone of 100 percent digital deployments so customers around the world can benefit from a faster, more sustainable and higher quality network deployment process.”


Chris Antlitz, Principal Analyst, TBR said, “Nokia’s ability to provide digitalized network deployment services spanning the full workflow of site development exemplifies the company’s commitment to and progress with its digital transformation journey. Nokia’s customers will greatly benefit from digital-related innovations in infrastructure deployment services as these will help improve quality and speed KPIs and lower TCO pertaining to rolling out 5G networks.”

Published in Telecom Vendors

Indranil das, Head of Digital Services, Ericsson Middle East and Africa has outlined a comprehensive 5-step framework that is specifically designed to enable communication service providers to prosper in the ‘digital economy’.

The future is digital, and digital service providers will lead the way. From enhancing the way you engage with your customers to automating operations, service providers reach new levels of programmability, access and agility – levels that digital natives call home.What does it mean to become a digital service provider?

Here is a 5-step framework that can help service providers prosper in the digital economy:

Step 1: Build your Cloud Infrastructure:

Cloud infrastructure is the foundation for 5G & IoT. The scale and performance requirements of 5G and IoT demand a different approach to digital infrastructure. Increase speed, efficiency, and agility in offering new services while reducing risk and shortening lead time while you transform the network.

With an open and pre-integrated NFVI solution which can be deployed both at central and distributed sites and organizations will be better prepared to manage all workloads.

Step 2: Quick Time to Market with VoLTE:

Whether you are a service provider with millions of customers or just thousands of users, you have your own cloud datacenter, or you want a full-stack solution for VoLTE services, there is an industrialized solution that will suit your requirements.

The same is true if you are an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) or mission-critical service provider looking for an easy way to get both mobile broadband and voice services over LTE and Wi-Fi ready in your network in one step. You can deploy VoLTE in weeks now allowing a quicker time to market.

Step 3: Boost revenue with digital BSS:

Digital business support systems are critical to uncovering new revenue streams. Customer experience is vital for a successful transformation to a digital business, and digital business support systems are in the center of this change.

Businesses cannot deliver an agile digital customer experience with the transformation of the ‘front-end’ experience alone – it needs to be a complete business transition – to put in place the end to end tools and processes to make real the goal of delivering a truly digital, simple, ‘one-click’ business.

Customers experience simplicity and ease in administering their accounts through the ability to find information online, compare offerings, make online purchases, and get fast and automated deliveries. This results in real, measurable business improvements from simplification including much faster time-to-market and better customer experience.

Step 4: Explore new revenue streams via network slicing:

The IoT era has the potential to transform industry and society, and with 5G on the horizon, countless new business models become a possibility. IoT services come with their own complex connectivity and performance-related challenges.

As such, operators must invest in technologies to meet efficiency and flexibility demands of these new services – making an alternative approach necessary in order to maximize revenue generation. That’s where network slicing comes in – providing the capability to enable new business models across a broad industry spectrum.

Network slicing is a powerful virtualization capability and one of the key capabilities that will enable flexibility. This solution allows operators to segment the network to support particular services and deploy multiple logical networks for different service types over one common infrastructure.

Step 5: Embrace cloud native design principles:

In the next few years all telecom applications will be cloud natively designed so as to increase efficiency and utilization of the cloud infrastructure. Benefits include increased speed of software upgrades and releases plus improved granularity, and enhanced automation through already embedded features in the NFVi layer (Cloud infrastructure for NFV).

Adapted software architecture makes much better use of cloud data center resources. In the case of 5G, the new ETSI standardized 5G Core functions will be cloud native and container based. This is expected to start during 2019.

Ericsson’s digital services blueprint will equip organizations with the tools needed for today’s technological landscape. By finding the right blueprint for their businesses, they can reach new heights of agility, access and automation.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Ericsson has launched a new Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based managed services offering for communications service providers – the Ericsson Operations Engine. The solution is an end-to-end managed services operating model that, through Artificial Intelligence, automation, and the power of data, reimagines network and IT operations, network design and optimization, and applications development and maintenance.

The Ericsson Operations Engine directly and proactively addresses service providers’ managed services complexity challenges as the industry moves to the reality of 5G and IoT.

The Ericsson Operations Engine has three building blocks: 

  • Service-centric business model based on business outcomes: Using AI, automation and data insights, the Ericsson Operations Engine addresses targeted business outcomes for service providers such as enhanced customer experience, revenue growth and efficiency.
  • End-to-end capabilities: delivering on business outcomes through AI-based design, planning and optimization, data-driven operations, dynamic deployment, applications development, and collaborative innovation.
  • Components: Best-in-class tools and processes that leverage data, AI and automation as well as expertise and investments in the service provider domain.

Peter Laurin, Senior Vice President, Head of Managed Services, Ericsson, said, “Networks are quickly becoming significantly more complex to operate as we introduce IoT and 5G at scale, and virtualize core networks, while aiming to enhance user experience at the same time. The Ericsson Operations Engine enables us to create sustainable differentiation for our managed services customers as it evolves operations from being network-centric to user experience-centric.  It fundamentally changes our way of operating networks from reactive to proactive, leveraging data, automation and artificial intelligence.”

Curtis Price, Program Vice President, Infrastructure Services, IDC, commented: “Managed services will play a significant role in the service providers transformation initiatives taking place worldwide. Nearly 65 percent of service providers indicate that managed services will be key in addressing their main operational concerns around customer satisfaction – improving customer experience is the number one factor that will influence service providers use of managed services – revenue growth and cost efficiency. It's also clear that advanced technologies like AI, automation and analytics represent the underlying pillars for supporting and enabling operational transformation through managed services partnerships.”

The Ericsson Operations Engine, as well as the latest trends and future of managed services, will be showcased by Ericsson at Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Spain.

MYCOM OSI, an independent provider of assurance, automation and analytics solutions to the world’s largest Communications Service Providers (CSPs), announced that telecom provider Three UK has selected MYCOM OSI to assure its next generation core network which deploys NFV (Network Functions Virtualization), SDN (Software Defined Networks) and will be part of the world’s first Telco Cloud.

“MYCOM OSI was the best fit for our strategy of delivering a quality and reliable network experience for all of our customers,” said Bryn Jones, Chief Technical Officer of Three UK.

Three UK is deploying the world’s first fully integrated cloud native core network that will enable massive scalability, elasticity, and better reliability, so as to provide the highest quality and service experience possible for Three’s customers, as demand for VoLTE, high definition video and other digital services continue to grow. In addition, it will provide improved agility to rapidly respond to customers’ dynamic service demands while preparing for IoT and 5G.

MYCOM OSI’s Experience Assurance and Analytics™ (EAA) product suite will be deployed to monitor Three UK’s all-new Telco Cloud which is based on the ETSI NFV MANO framework, incorporates open-source technologies, such as Red Hat® OpenStack Platform, and spans several new state-of-the-art datacentres architected for full geo-redundant high-availability.

EAA will assure both new virtualized and existing physical networks, and provide closed-loop assurance-driven orchestration based on end-to-end network and service quality. Three UK selected MYCOM OSI’s Experience Assurance and Analytics™ (EAA) after a detailed investigation of the market and ranked MYCOM OSI’s capabilities and roadmap as the best solution to meet their requirements.

The MYCOM OSI Experience Assurance and Analytics™ solution provides Three UK with:

  • Single, integrated assurance suite that manages end-to-end network and service quality across all hybrid (virtual and physical) Telco (3G/4G RAN, Backhaul/transmission, Core, Messaging) and IT (Cloud/Datacenter/Application) network domains
  • Proactive and real-time surveillance with automated bottom-up service impact and top-down root cause analyses
  • Dynamic on-boarding and lifecycle management through catalog-driven service modeling with automated discovery, monitoring, visualization, alerting and analysis for virtual and physical infrastructure components
  • Closed-loop assurance, with policy- and analytics-driven auto-recovery and self-healing support integrating to Orchestration engines (Service and Domain), Inventory/Configuration Management and IT Service Management
  • Ecosystem and framework-agnostic interoperability to NFV, SDN, virtualization and Telco Cloud vendors and open source technologies through industry standard open APIs (such as TMF Open APIs)
  • Cloud-native and self-orchestrated assurance suite that is based on micro-services architecture principles, containerization, big data storage, elastic auto-scaling and agile DevOps development / deployment

 “We are excited and privileged to be selected by Three UK for the world’s foremost network virtualization project. While others are debating various approaches and standards, Three has designed a leading architecture, selected leading partners and is now leading its peer group in deploying Telco Cloud,” commented MYCOM OSI President and CTO, Mounir Ladki. 
“MYCOM OSI’s Assurance suite will enable Three to deliver market-leading customer experience, agility, scale and reliability whilst embracing exciting new opportunities with digital services, IoT and 5G,” Ladki added.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Shenzhen-based telecom vendor ZTE recently launched its Artificial Intelligence (AI) Solution to help operators build next-generation highly-intelligent and cost-effective automated AI networks. From platform, services, network and chip aspects, the solution fully elaborates on future-oriented AI end-to-end architecture, applications, as well as typical scenarios.

With a unified AI platform, ZTE's AI Solution can provide diversified applications, for cloud service, intelligent network, as well as chip and terminal.

AI-based cloud service application can provide voice and video services which are based on face recognition, human and vehicle identification, speech recognition and Natural Language Processing (NLP) technologies.

AI-based intelligent network application, which is based on precision algorithms, can provide intelligent network operation & maintenance (O&M) solution, intelligent network optimization solution, as well as intelligent network operation solution and more.

In chip and intelligent terminal perspective, the solution can provide self-research AI chip, self-research robot module, and self-research intelligent terminals such as smart phone and smart home terminals.

Complemented with high computing power, precision algorithm and data analytics capability, AI technology will lead to the evolution of highly intelligent autonomous, automatic, self-optimizing and self-healing networks.

At this stage, operators and vendors are still proactively exploring and seeking more efficient, stable and accurate AI algorithms and solutions to reduce the operation labor cost and effectively improve operating income.

Presently, ZTE has taken the lead in collaboration with a number of leading global and domestic operators. Through joint R&D design, joint field tests, actual network data acquisition, training and optimization, algorithm and solution iteration as well as commercialization processes have been expedited.

In addition, this helps operators introduce new technologies and build next generation intelligent network more conveniently amidst the ongoing advancement of AI technologies.

Published in Telecom Vendors

 Ericsson has endured a difficult number of years in the telecommunications market, but newly-appointed CTO Erik Ekudden has expressed his optimism moving forward – vowing that the Swedish vendor will focus on key trends they’ve identified such as ‘automation’. The CTO disclosed that the key trends were identified following intense discussions with Ericsson’s customers and its leadership team since his appointment on July 1st.

Ekudden believes that Ericsson is well-placed to deliver on some of the technology trends which have been established. However, he did concede that it must develop new skills and capabilities in conjunction with other key industry players in order to be in a position to capitalize on the remainder.

One of the key trends identified is providing an adaptable technology base by combining software and hardware. According to the executive Ericsson’s experience and nous ensures that it can improve the efficiency of networks and ultimately ‘lower costs’.

Other keys trends identified by Ericsson which were disclosed by Ekudden include the need to establish an advanced machine intelligence system - he claimed that the ecosystem for machine learning and AI platforms were maturing and that the Swedish telecommunications colossus was enhancing its operations in relation to the development of such network platforms.

However, it was in the area of ‘automation’ and IoT  which represents a great opportunity for Ericsson to assist its customer base in their ‘automation journey’ by offering better infrastructure and ultimately delivering an interaction between operations and networks which is much more intuitive and smooth.

Ekudden said, “Automation is a big theme among our customers. Ericsson is taking a leading role here, and we’ve got great experience in managed services and broader optimization capabilities. In addition to this, end-to-end security in IoT systems is crucial, and our goal is to establish what we call “hardware routes of trust” in every IoT device.”

However, the newly-appointed CTO stressed the importance of security and said it was imperative that it is considered when developing every new IoT device. He added, “It’s an architectural question, and it’s also about designing every node at a certain security level. This is something we take as a very important part of the products that we build on the network side.”

Published in Telecom Vendors

One of the greatest threats to jobs around the world is automation - smart factories of the future. Germany’s ‘Industry 4.0’ initiative promotes the computerization of traditional industries such as manufacturing, as do many government initiatives around the world. While some praise the idea of “intelligent manufacturing”, tech leaders have spoken out in support of a universal basic income (UBI) to avoid technology companies being perceived as job destroyers.

In 1962, the first industrial robot made its debut as ‘Unimate’ which came online at General Motors in New Jersey. Since then, the manufacturing industry has changed drastically. In the 1990s, production robots were lined up in factories piecing together products across assembly lines in a painfully repetitive process. Now, the manufacturing industry is going through the first stages of adopting artificially intelligent robots that can make production decisions in real time.

How does real time artificial intelligence work in manufacturing? The technology enables sensors to spot defects in production. When a defect is detected, the data is fed to a computer system in the cloud, which can then immediately remove the defective part of equipment from the production line and order a replacement. This efficient real time problem solving can save manufacturers billions of dollars in repairs and recalls.

Jeff Immelt, chairman and chief executive of General Electric (GE), says manufacturing and industrial companies “need to become digital to survive.” Immelt believes the manufacturing industry must “turn information into insights and into outcomes.”

The advantages of smart manufacturing are clear: it enables industrial product companies, for instance, to keep their inventories as lean as possible to reduce costs and keep stock on-hand for when needed. Germany’s Industry 4.0 initiative defines smart factories as being characterized by adaptability, resource efficiency, and making great use of wireless connections, sensors and big data.

5G, expected to be commercially deployed by 2020, will play a major role in connecting production line robotics by providing high-performance mobile services, says Ericsson’s recent report ‘The 5G Business Potential’. The manufacturing industry, it says, shows a strong market potential for ICT players.

The use of 5G in smart factories could offer “extensive benefits to manufacturing processes,” the report adds. “Connected cameras and sensing devices can, for example, provide feedback to control centers enabling skilled staff to control and steer manufacturing remotely, resulting in increased productivity and flexibility.”

Industry digitalization investments are growing, according to the report, generating revenue for ICT players worth an estimated US$3.3 trillion by 2026. In a nutshell, the manufacturing industry is entering a new digital intelligent era. Smart manufacturing aims to take advantage of advanced information and manufacturing technologies to enable flexibility in physical processes to address a dynamic and global market.

There will need to be increased workforce training for such flexibility and use of the technology rather than specific tasks as is customary in traditional manufacturing, according to experts. Many fear that smart manufacturing will become so advanced that the need for humans in the workforce will diminish.

“There is going to be a backlash when it comes to jobs,” said Sayantan Ghosal, an economics professor at the University of Glasgow speaking to CNBC, who has written about how unemployment could rise once AI is rampant in the workplace. Ghosal has spoken out in support of a universal basic income to support people who are affected by the digitization of industries such as manufacturing.

The pace of development of artificial intelligence software has “surprised” even top executives such as Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google. The rapid growth of automated services and “intelligent manufacturing” has led many leading figures in the technology community like Brin to support the idea of a UBI.

At the World Government Summit held in Dubai this year, Tesla chief executive Elon Musk said a UBI would be necessary. “There is a pretty good chance we end up with a universal basic income, or something like that, due to automation,” he said. Echoing Musk’s prediction, Marc Beioff, chief executive of Salesforce, has warned that AI could create “digital refugees”.

The technology industry is becoming more aware of its role in driving automation and job displacement, according to experts, and technology companies do not want to be the punching bag for workers who are made redundant because of technology advancement. But it is still unclear how a basic universal income could work.

There have been suggestions that every government could pay its citizens a monthly sum to get by. However, this could backfire because it would only provide a bare minimum for living, and workers would still try to seek out higher standards of living by working. Another potential avenue for a UBI is through a sovereign wealth fund, where governments would take an equity stake in all of the major publicly listed companies in the country and pay citizens money from the investments.

Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, has floated the idea of a “robot tax” as a way for governments to generate more income for displaced workers in the future. In an interview with Quartz, Gates said, “If a human worker does $50,000 of work in a factory, that income is taxed. If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think we’d tax the robot at a similar level.”

Faced with the potential job losses automation could bring, governments are finding themselves at a tricky crossroad. On one hand, alarm bells have been sounded, warning of the potential layoffs the role of robotics could cause. But on the other hand, automation has been a major driver of efficiency in manufacturing and other complex industries.

Information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States shows that manufacturing jobs increased in the country between 1994 and 2000. After that period, manufacturing jobs spiraled downwards – a loss of five million jobs in the intervening years. However, productivity during that period increased.

IDC’s ‘FutureScape: Worldwide Robotics 2017 Predictions’ report says almost one-third of robotic deployments will be smarter by 2018, capable of collaborating with other robots and working safely alongside humans. What’s more, the report predicts that by 2019, governments around the world will have drafted or implemented specific legislation for robotics and safety, security and privacy. However, the World Economic Forum predicts that automation will result in the net loss of over five million jobs across developed countries by 2020. Another study, conducted by the International Labor Organization, states that as many as 173 million workers across Southeast Asia are at risk of job displacement by robots, which are predicted to become prominent in the manufacturing of clothing.

Now that the evolution of technology is advancing at a faster rate than it ever has, governments, companies and experts are left to weigh the benefits of automation (efficiency, increased profits) against the disadvantages (mass job losses). Should jobs be sacrificed for the efficiency that technology can bring?  

Published in Reports

A Canadian robo-adviser start-up has received a significant investment in a bid to boost its chances of successfully penetrating the already saturated U.S. market. Wealthsimple announced the investment of $20 million from Power Financial Corp and formally launched its operations in the US.

The robo-adviser market is dominated by large investments firms, and it was established that in order for the Wealthsimple to become a success, it required a large investment – which was provided by fellow Canadian company Power Financial Corporation. Its decision to enter the US market means it will be the first foreign entity to do.

Robo-advisers, that give automated financial advice, is an online wealth management service that provides automated, algorithm-based portfolio management advice without the use of human financial planners.

Industry analysts have been pessimistic in their assessment of Wealthsimple’s chances of being successful – pointing to the presence of established firms like Charles Schwab and Vanguard as an indicator of the challenges in the sector.

However, founder and CEO of Wealthsimple, Mike Katchen declared that it was too soon to set targets in the US market, and was confident the decision to upscale would prove to be successful.

"People are absolutely right, this business is absolutely about scale, when Vanguard or Schwab launch a product, that's not a question people have, but we are confident.”

Katchen added that Power Financial's long-term backing gives it an edge. Power and its subsidiaries have put in a total of C$50 million in Wealthsimple since first investing in the start-up back in 2015.

Wealthsimple disclosed that close to 20,000 customers in Canada have signed up since its launch a little over two years ago, investing more than C$750 million in exchange traded funds. It expects to cross the C$1 billion threshold soon.

A robo-advisory expert and senior analyst for research firm Celent, feels that the Canadian start-up will have to reduce fees in order to establish itself in the industry. William Trout said: “The U.S. is such a competitive market and Wealthsimple will have to drop fees in order to get any play.”

Ii has also emerged that Wealthsimple owns a London office – and is planning to open in 2017 – but a spokeswoman for the company said that the project in relation to the UK was an ‘exploratory’ one- while Trout added that the UK robo-advisory industry was also saturated.

Wealthsimple, which offers a socially responsible investment option, said real advisers can also provide financial planning advice to clients. It also has a platform for financial advisers in Canada, but said it has no immediate plans to launch the service in the United States.

Published in Finance