ETSI's Networked Intelligence Group Starts to Get Real

James Crawshaw

ETSI's Experiential Networked Intelligence (ENI) Industry Specification Group (ISG) has just released a flurry of documents related to its rather curious remit, which spans policy control, service deployment, resource management, monitoring, analysis and prediction. (See ETSI's Experiential Networked Intelligence Group Releases Docs .)

Curious because of the unusual word "experiential," by which it means "observe and learn from the experience an operator has in managing the network to improve its understanding of the operator experience, over time." Or what we might normally call continuous improvement, as exemplified by the Japanese concept of kaizen that arose in the 1980s.

Having originally published a rather vague white paper in October 2017, ENI has followed up with some very detailed use cases in the areas of infrastructure management (maintenance and planning), network operations (run-time stuff), service orchestration and management (order to activation, SLA management, etc.), and assurance (monitoring and prediction). Examples include VoLTE optimization, network slicing for IoT security and SD-WAN management.

It has also published a requirements document covering service and network aspects (service orchestration and management, network planning and deployment, network optimization, resilience and reliability, security and privacy), functional aspects (data collection and analysis, policy management, data learning, interworking), and other aspects (performance, operational, regulatory, policy). This rather dry document will inform the system architecture specification that is due to be published next year.

Dr. John Strassner of Huawei Technologies has written the Context-Aware Policy Management Gap Analysis that draws on the work he is also doing for the MEF's Policy-Driven Orchestration (PDO) initiative, although "it is likely that ENI will need additional RPs [interface Reference Points]." In terms of the gap analysis, the MEF's PDO fully meets all of ENI's requirements, except the use of AI to construct policies -- however, "this is not hard to do because the MEF PDO information model uses software patterns," says Strassner. The IETF's Simplified Use of Policy Abstractions (SUPA) fully or partially meets most of ENI's requirements, whereas the TM Forum's SID satisfies hardly any.

The ENI ISG's Proof of Concepts Framework document is of little interest in itself: However, the PoCs that must adhere to this blueprint will be critical to the success of ENI in the real world, in our view. The first PoC will be championed by China Telecom, which was a major contributor to the original white paper -- five of the 26 contributing authors were from the Chinese operator -- as well as the new use case and requirements documents.

We understand that other PoCs are in the pipeline. We wouldn't be surprised to see Verizon champion a future PoC; it is already planning to contribute a use case and some new requirements to the next version of the ISG's documents, and the rapporteur of the pending architecture spec is a Verizon representative.

ENI seems like an interesting initiative and the new use case document has provided some real-world tangibility to what previously seemed somewhat ethereal. The key will be getting other operators besides China Telecom actively involved: Telefónica, TIM (Telecom Italia) and Vodafone are all members of the group, but have not yet put their name to the specifications or announced a PoC.

It will also be key to get more vendor participation outside of Huawei, which contributed almost half of the authors of the original white paper and the new use case and requirements documents. Intel and Samsung have been involved in the ISG: It's time for some of the other industry heavyweights to lend a hand.

— James Crawshaw, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Lightning
6/22/2018 | 6:02:11 AM
Great writeup, James, and good to see this initiative growing. ESTI ENI may not have had a high profile launch, but the range of vendors and operators involved mean this is definitely one to watch. 
More Blogs from Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
The use of artificial intelligence by telcos is currently limited, but the Acumos AI Project looks set to make machine learning applications more easily created and readily available.
Cable is moving in on the wireless market, with many exciting opportunities opening up across the board, including in WiFi, mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) and 5G.
On July 27, Nick Read will become Vodafone Group CEO designate before assuming the role of Group CEO on October 1. What can we expect from the operator's current CFO once he's in the hot seat?
More than half the communications services providers surveyed for this report expect to have 5G backhaul ready by 2020, even though they still do not know which vendors they plan to use for this step.
Mobile operators may find that all their investments in VoLTE and RCS are for naught as OTT providers win and they are left monetizing the data pipe.
Featured Video
From The Founder
John Chambers is still as passionate about business and innovation as he ever was at Cisco, finds Steve Saunders.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
September 12, 2018, Los Angeles, CA
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 6, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 7-8, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Telecom Jargonosaurus Part 1: Repeat Offenders
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/13/2018
Broadcom Buys CA – Huh?
Mitch Wagner, Executive Editor, Light Reading, 7/11/2018
Verizon Taps Malady as Acting CTO
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 7/12/2018
FCC's Rosenworcel: US 'Falling Behind' on 5G
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/13/2018
Netflix Is Growing, but Don't Ask by How Much
Phil Harvey, US News Editor, 7/16/2018
Animals with Phones
Casual Tuesday Takes On New Meaning Click Here
When you forget your pants.
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed