Introducing open interfaces into communications networks is a critical step on the road to automation, AT&T's Chris Rice has told Light Reading's sister site, UBB2020.
In an interview with the site's editor, Alison Diana, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s senior vice president, network architecture and design, said: "As we move down an automation path, as we move down a machine-learning path to drive more automation, [having open interfaces on network elements] is really a necessary first step -- these open interfaces that cannot be skipped over or overlooked. I don't know that people understand the significance of that."
Rice explains that having open interfaces is essential for accessing and being able to collect the data necessary for automation processes and that automation, ultimately, is the route to lowering operating costs and enabling the introduction of machine learning capabilities.
To read the full interview with Rice, see AT&T's Rice: Open Source Paves Way to Automation.
AT&T is not alone in striving to achieve automation: A recent survey found process automation to be the key digital transformation goal amongst major operators, though getting there will be a long and tough process, according to senior Tier 1 operator executives (including Rice) who discussed the topic during a panel at the recent BCE event in Austin. (See Process Automation Tops Carriers' Goals for NFV and Beyond MANO: The Long Walk to Network Automation.)
Rice also talked directly with Light Reading at this year's BCE: Check out his interview with Editor-in-Chief Craig Matsumoto below:
— Ray Le Maistre, , International Group Editor, Light Reading