ETSI: AI Will Minimize Network Over-Engineering

Sarah Thomas
8/30/2017
50%
50%

Network operators are looking at artificial intelligence first and foremost to help minimize the resources used in their networks, according to ETSI's Ray Forbes. However, use cases like automation are still a few years out.

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd 's Forbes is the Convener of European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) 's Industry Specification Group (ISG) on Experiential Network Intelligence (ENI), which launched with a kick-off meeting in April. The group, made up primarily of vendors but also Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and China Telecom Corp. Ltd. (NYSE: CHA), was set up to define a Context Aware System using AI based on the "observe-orient-decide-act" control model. More simply, it's crafting how to apply AI to software-based network management. (See OrbTV: ETSI Goes Sci-Fi With AI or the video below for more.)

Networks are becoming hard for humans to understand at a glance, Forbes says, and a lot of cost is deployed by the network operators who are over-engineering their networks and running network services at their least efficient times. He estimates that networks are about 50% over-engineered today, and AI can bring them down to only about 10%. That's why priority number one for operators is to apply AI to use their equipment more efficiently. (See The Automation Taboo: Let's Talk About Jobs.)

"It's making resource management less human dependent in terms of knowledge of how they can do that," Forbes adds. "You want to have a business analyst who just performs data models; you don’t want to have a lot of pre-thinking and management analysts that analyze what to do."

These are the goals he's hearing from ENI members Verizon and China Telecom. Forbes says ETSI is also in the process of talking to others like NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM), Orange (NYSE: FTE) and Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) about joining, but hasn't gotten firm commitments yet.


For more on automation, visit the dedicated automation content channel here on Light Reading.


It's still the early days for most telcos to even be doing AI at all, so using AI to automate their networks is even further out on their roadmaps. For ETSI, Europe's standard organization, its goal is to develop use cases and requirements for AI this year, model them next year and then tackle testing and automation a year or two after that, Forbes says.

"We don’t want to jump in the deep end," Forbes adds. "Taking inspiration from things like the AlphaGo model -- it spent awhile learning. It lost games quite well at first, but it took 18 months to master it. You need to design a model and spend a bit of time teaching the model how to do things."

Forbes called moving to "fully AI-based autonomics" -- whether everywhere in the network or in a few places -- a "pipe dream," but one that ETSI's ENI working group is taking a step towards. He adds, "The ultimate aim is to improve the user experience and simplicity to have intent-based network indications in line with customer demand for new revenue."

— Sarah Thomas, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Director, Women in Comms

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
ClientTe35162
50%
50%
ClientTe35162,
User Rank: Light Beer
8/30/2017 | 4:46:18 PM
Re: Engineering
Although it can be over-zealous software developers, I'd say the biggest over engineering issues come from network planners.
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/30/2017 | 11:33:19 AM
Engineering
I would definitely say that I've seen a lot of over-engineering in technology. Sometimes it just has to do with developers wanting to add lots of components or features. But if AI can reduce complexity, that would be great. A lot of code could be simplified. 
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
December 5-7, 2017, The Intercontinental Prague
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
SmartNICs aren't just about achieving scale. They also have a major impact in reducing CAPEX and OPEX requirements.
Hot Topics
Eurobites: Telefónica Reckons Plastic Is Fantastic for FTTH
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 11/15/2017
Juniper's New Contrail VP Hails From Google
Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading, 11/15/2017
AT&T's Lurie Leaps to Synchronoss as New CEO
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/17/2017
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
The Mobile Broadband Road Ahead
By Kevin Taylor, for Huawei
All Partner Perspectives