SoftBank Bringing Self-Learning Tools to Sprint

SoftBank has had its "Top Gun" team of engineers in place at Sprint for a few months and is now focused on employing automatic detection and self-learning tools to help expedite the carrier's network turnaround.

Former SoftBank Corp. executive and recently appointed technical chief operating officer, Junichi Miyakawa, recalled in a Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) blog post this week that when SoftBank's network was also struggling three years ago, the carrier started a Top Gun initiative for engineers to "put their utmost effort in improving performance," an effort that ultimately turned things around for the carrier. (See SoftBank Man Joins Sprint as Technical COO.)

Sprint is in a similar position and has a real need… a need for speed (get it?), so Softbank has brought SoftBank's Top-Gun team to Sprint as well. (See More Executive Shake-Ups at Sprint .)

Read more about Sprint's ongoing network transformation on the 4G LTE channel here on Light Reading.

One thing that helped SoftBank was developing operations tools to reduce the number of failures in the network and minimize the impact of those that do happen. Miyakawa said that his team will be bringing the automated detection and self-learning functionality the Top Gun team developed at SoftBank to Sprint. (See OSS Changes Vital to Sprint's Network Vision .)

"The most important thing is to detect failures immediately and act quickly," he wrote in the blog post.

The technical COO says his top priorities for Sprint are now completing its 800MHz buildout and continuing to optimize the network and densify it through building out more LTE sites. The carrier is rumored to be adding 9,000 more cell sites around the US to bolster both its CDMA and LTE networks. (See Report: Sprint to Add 9,000 New Sites for LTE, Sprint Sacrifices Clearwire WiMax in iDEN Demise and Sprint Turns Up 16 More 2.5GHz Markets.)

"In the long-term, we need to evolve to have a more reliable and effective network using innovative technology such as Cloud/Virtualization," he said.

— Sarah Thomas, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editorial Operations Director, Light Reading

Bill Van 3/8/2015 | 9:59:24 PM
Re: SDN & SON at Sprint You are really good at what you do, must say

.  I will respond when  I can contrubute....Good work in the mean time. 
danielcawrey 3/8/2015 | 1:16:58 PM
Re: SDN & SON at Sprint I think it's super important that Sprint doesn't jsut remain a company with conduits of information. They have to evolve into a sophistcated services provider, and it seems clear to me that SoftBank is helping them to strive towards that. 
Joe Stanganelli 3/7/2015 | 11:56:11 PM
Cloud and Virtualization I read recently that at the DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals this June, the robots will be taking advantage of cloud technologies over a VPN.

So I think the assessment here is spot on; if cloud and virtualization is good enough for DARPA, it's good enough for major enterprises.  ;)
sarahthomas1011 3/6/2015 | 10:46:42 AM
SDN & SON at Sprint Miyakawa didn't elaborate on what the self-learning and automation tools entail, but they sound like parts of a broader SDN and self-organizing network (SON) strategy. Making the network as automated and adaptive as possible important to responding to outages and other points of failure. I'll reach out to Sprint for more updates on what it's implementing and with what vendors.
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