Telia Carrier Embraces Automation

Ray Le Maistre

NICE, France -- NGON & DCI Europe -- Automation is the buzzword du jour here in Nice this week, as it is at just about every other industry gathering these days (and with good reason), but as ever there's no shortage of ideas about what could be automated and not so many examples of what could actually be handed over to the machines.

But there's always the exception to the rule. Telia Carrier, for example, is on the cusp of being able to divert valuable staff resources to more useful tasks by automating a critical network performance management task, according to Mattias Fridström, who holds the eyebrow-raising job title of chief evangelist at the international fiber backbone operator.

Fridström says the operator has compared the results of a regular, manual performance assessment of optical wavelengths on its live production network between Hamburg and Prague against the results gained from using a software tool -- Coriant's Aware product -- on the same route.

(Coriant's Aware tool, launched last year, comprises two elements: The Optical Performance Engine (OPE) for service provisioning; and the Margin Processing Engine, which gathers performance monitoring data from the network.)

"The results matched -- the trial was very successful. For us, that means we can trust and use this tool, so we can now remove the manual calculations -- if we choose to do so," noted Fridström. "If we could automate fiber monitoring across Europe that would be a great benefit to us." Now the operator is in talks with Coriant about a potential deployment and the possible procurement models.

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Ultimately, this could lead to widespread real-time analysis of wavelengths and enable Telia Carrier to "utilize the network a lot better and use every path much better," but the main advantage right now would be "skipping the manual work and spending the time and effort of the team on something more useful," adds the executive.

And there's no shortage of important tasks the staff could be doing: Fridström says the operator has a great deal of information and data about its services and network that, if analysed by the team, could lead to better business and network planning, but right now they just don't have the time to deep dive into what the stats mean for the company.

For Telia, this is just the start of a move towards greater operational efficiency, based around the shift away from manual work, accessing trend analysis that can help with planning and optimization, and extract the greatest possible use the maximum available spectrum, added the Swede, who is sporting a massive smile today following Sweden's progression in the World Cup.

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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