Network operations and automation: What’s the latest?

Network automation is critical for the increasing amount of services and use cases that are to come with 5G. But what’s the current status of network automation among large operators today? What are their objectives and how are they overcoming the challenges of this vital part of digital transformation? MIT Tech Review’s new study, out today, reveals all.

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The telecommunications industry is going through a huge digital transformation. As service providers try to meet customer demand and their increasing expectations, technologies such as Network Functions Virtualization  and cloud are becoming an integral part of their operations, while emerging technologies Artificial intelligence (AI), virtual and augmented reality (AR/VR) are also crucial if they’re to offer customers the ultra-low latency services realized by 5G. Within this emergence of automation, it’s hard to know what’s actually happening on the ground and where operators currently stand. What do they think of this transition? What are the benefits and how high are the hurdles?

What do the operators say? 

Well, MIT Tech Review has today published a new report into just this. The global technology magazine conducted reviews with operators on their network modernization experiences and their plans to automate network operations. It included interviews with senior technology executives from global companies like T-Mobile USA, Vodafone, Swisscom and Telstra.

So what did they say? You can find the full study below, but here are two of my favorite highlights from the report:

Face up to disruption –Structural changes are necessary to gain the benefits of automation. Eventually, legacy systems will only add complexity and cost to network operators. After all, as Gary Traver, Architecture Executive at Telstra, says in the report, “It makes no sense at all to automate legacy”.

People challenges are far tougher than the technology ones ­­­– Operators are making structural changes to capitalize on automation. These often involve merging or redistributing responsibilities across network and IT teams. However, retraining existing staff and trying to instill DevOps principles are by far the toughest challenges.

Find out what the big industry players are up to and how they’re facing today’s increasing network demands.

Download full MIT report


See also MIT press release 

Read more about Ericsson network automation

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