Master the invisible with Ericsson Transport Automation Controller
When world-famous Swedish professor Hans Rosling was asked which invention had changed the world the most, his answer was not the maritime chronometer, or the internal combustion engine, or indeed the Internet – it was the humble washing machine.
In a TED talk that has since been seen by over three million people, Rosling expounded on how the washing machine made laundry – previously considered hard, arduous work - simpler and easier by automating the task, freeing us up to do other things.
Not only that; once we have started the washing machine, we no longer have to think about or even understand what is happening – we can just trust the process, safe in the knowledge that the machine will do its job.
In short, the machine has mastered the task and effectively made it invisible.
What does this have to do with transport networks?
The answer is – more than you would think.
The more we can master the invisible in our networks, the faster we can identify and fix capacity and performance issues, the happier end users, and the more time and resources left to focus on other things that bring additional value to our customers. And that’s where the Ericsson Transport Automation Controller – an intelligent, cloud-native, transport controller - comes in.
Why we need to automate the control of transport networks
The demands on the modern transport network have reached new heights, presenting significant challenges with data volumes and traffic increasing all the time, networks getting more and more complex, and deployments getting massive. Moreover, the transport network is expected to seamlessly handle multiple mobile and transport technologies and vendors while offering superior user experience and being ready to adapt to ever-evolving requirements.
The challenges faced by communications service providers (CSPs) can be summarized as reducing complexity and boosting efficiency, reducing costs with existing network resources, and optimizing capacity and network performance.
Solving these challenges manually is nearly impossible, and here’s where automation plays a crucial role in helping service providers optimize network operations and maximize efficiency and performance.
Embracing artificial intelligence in transport automation
Today, most of the network challenges are invisible to service providers, and being able to see how the network performs, and understand what happens and where or why certain issues occur becomes a key to delivering superior network performance and user experience. Thus, applying AI to automation helps service providers to focus on fixing issues quickly and efficiently, instead of spending time on troubleshooting – enabling them to manage the transport network proactively.
Built upon Ericsson’s 50 years of experience in microwave technology, with more than a decade of extensive research in applying and training AI and ML algorithms in transport networks, Ericsson Transport Automation Controller uniquely combines an analytics tool and an SDN controller for microwave, IP, and optical networks into one unified, AI-powered solution.
The transport controller operates by executing three primary functions:
- Observing – providing real-time visibility, data collection, and monitoring of the transport network via an intuitive web-based user interface with interactive maps and configurable dashboards
- Analyzing – identifying network problems and preventing potential disruption and downtime before they impact users with AI/ML predictive analytics
- Acting – keeping transport network running smoothly and efficiently with intelligent automation for intent-driven problem resolution and resource optimization.
In addition, Ericsson Transport Automation Controller is built on open standards and protocols to ensure interoperability and ease of use regardless of vendor. It can be easily integrated with both Ericsson and third-party components, such as OSS/BSS applications via open interfaces - creating a healthy and flexible ecosystem.
The benefits of AI-powered transport automation
Ericsson Transport Automation Controller empowers communications service providers to take data-driven actions in their mobile transport networks when and where needed, bringing numerous benefits that can be summarized by:
- Reducing complexity and maximizing efficiency – both operationally by reducing manual work through SDN automation and saving time in fixing issues with near real-time root cause analysis, and from an energy perspective increasing efficiency through AI-driven traffic prediction and fully-automated optimization
- Optimizing network performance by maximizing the capacity of the network, and eliminating issues before they even occur
- Reducing cost for better visibility and removing the need for returning fully functional network equipment due to inaccurate root cause identification.
Making sure the invisible stays that way
Most end users are blissfully unaware of what is happening in the network, and they prefer it that way. Any time they notice the network, it’s usually because it underperforms and fails their expectations.
Ericsson Transport Automation Controller ensures that the network performs at its best, enabling service providers to future-proof their investment, offer a superior end-user experience and master the invisible!
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