Good momentum news for Ericsson Managed Services and Artificial Intelligence from China as Ericsson partners with China Unicom to develop and deploy AI-based managed services solutions to improve network quality and consumer experiences for the operator.

The companies will establish a joint mobile network AI lab to conduct comprehensive research on AI applications for network design and optimization services during the next two years. Resulting innovations will be deployed in China Unicom’s network. The agreement was signed by China Unicom and Ericsson officials in the city of Wuhan, Hubei, China, on April 18.

Working in close collaboration with China Unicom at the Hubei based lab, Ericsson has already successfully integrated the first online deployment for AI-based cell issue classification that is used in daily operations to help improve customer performance. Together with the Ericsson VoLTE E2E (Voice over LTE end-to-end) intelligent optimization solution, this is driving innovation forward for a key partner.

Wang Rui, deputy general manager of operation and maintenance department of China Unicom Group, says: "China Unicom and Ericsson are long-term strategic partners. This joint lab for mobile network artificial intelligence, is an important attempt in the field of AI. It is of great significance to China Unicom Operations and Maintenance Department, Hubei Unicom and Ericsson. Together we aim to explore the development of AI applications for network services and apply these on a large scale throughout our network in China.”

Juan Manuel Melero, Head of Network Design and Optimization, Ericsson, says: “Our collaboration with China Unicom for our first AI innovation lab for network design and optimization services will both enhance AI-based use cases around smart design and intelligent optimization capabilities, and allow for new use cases based on the operator’s needs. It will also enable China Unicom to continue improving network performance and user experience”.

A part of Ericsson’s managed services offering, Ericsson’s Network Design and Optimization solutions blend existing knowledge from multiple complex network consolidation engagements with new-generation machine-learning-enabled technology to maximize customers’ subscribers experiences while minimizing the total cost of ownership.

The AI lab is in line with China Unicom’s intelligent transformation of network operation and maintenance strategy and supports the operator’s efforts to promote research algorithms and innovation.