HomeAutomation/AIService assurance foundational data: shaping the networks of tomorrow

    Service assurance foundational data: shaping the networks of tomorrow


    Partner content: Accessing foundational data about the network is critical for operators’ informed decision-making

    Foundational data for mobile networks, in this case for this story, is from service assurance probing systems for troubleshooting, customer experience, drilling down to ladder diagrams of data flows, and even user plane packet data. To enable these types of use cases, one must capture and understand the foundation of the mobile networks.

    Let’s dive into how this data empowers three crucial personas: the network operations engineer, the director of network operations, and the roaming manager. They each need to trust the data they use when making decisions. This trust turns into a reliance on the foundational data to assure network integrity, deliver superior performance and an excellent user experience.

    Network operations engineer

    Trusting foundational network data is essential to network operations engineers, who play a critical role in maintaining network health. They often find themselves at the forefront of network troubleshooting, swiftly diagnosing and addressing issues. Consider a scenario where a sudden surge in dropped calls occurs.

    Armed with detailed data from service assurance probing, the network operations engineer can pinpoint the root cause with all the relevant elements to decide what happened, to whom, when, and why. They depend on this data to do their job, to report findings accurately to superiors and enable informed decision-making at higher levels.

    Director of network operations

    A director of network operations steers the network’s strategic direction. The decisions impact everything from resource allocation to infrastructure investments, tooling and future technologies. She has a big problem if she cannot identify or rectify a problem using the tools at hand. Picture a situation where quality becomes a recurring challenge with the move to 4G or 5G for voice services, when 3G is being phased out and customers are using devices with differing capabilities.

    Detailed insights are needed to illuminate the extent and patterns of data flows and their problems across the network, and to enable data-driven decisions. This data is the compass for optimising network performance, addressing pain points and ensuring seamless user experiences.

    The roaming manager

    In roaming operations, where users seamlessly switch between networks across borders, foundational data is critical. The roaming manager has a technical focus and oversees this intricate ecosystem. Imagine a scenario where users experience disruptions when transitioning between networks. Only by relying on detailed data flows and signalling records from service assurance probing can the roaming manager swiftly detect and resolve issues.

    Reporting on what is happening, to whom, and where is again vital for the roaming director to help his superiors understand what is happening, but also to help focus the limited resources of his team to target the most impactful issues. This data-driven approach ensures uninterrupted global connectivity, enhancing the user experience and network reliability.

    It’s not about AI – but it is

    This story doesn’t end with the roles we’ve explored. It extends far beyond, envisioning a future where AI becomes an integral part of the telecommunications ecosystem. This is not just about AI – but also it is. As we move towards cloud-native architectures, 5G, and the ever-expanding Internet of Things (IoT), foundational data, coupled with advanced AI and machine learning algorithms, takes on a transformative role.

    Imagine a scenario where the foundational data, paired with advanced AI and machine learning algorithms, works harmoniously, like an army of additional personas within the organisation. These AI-driven entities, equivalent to imagining hundreds of highly skilled experts, tirelessly monitor, optimise, and secure the network in real time. They identify and resolve issues before impacting users, fine-tune network parameters for optimal performance, and predict future requirements.

    With the vision of this powerful synergy between foundational data and AI, the telecommunications business can shift its focus away from some of the hard grafts of network management and troubleshooting and instead concentrate on delivering exceptional customer experiences and innovative services.

    It’s a transformation that allows organisations to redirect their resources toward what truly matters: understanding customers’ needs and aspirations and crafting services that exceed expectations. In this not-to-distant future, the network becomes not just a reliable infrastructure but a strategic asset that drives business growth and innovation.

    What’s missing without this data

    A critical challenge emerges in the quest to implement automation systems and usher in the era of autonomous networks. Some algorithms are tuned for network element automation only; the missing link often lies in the absence of comprehensive visibility.

    While efficient at handling network functions, these algorithms may remain oblivious to other dimensions that truly matter – the number of VIPs relying on the network at that time, the dynamic behaviour of IoT devices, the nuanced intricacies of network slices and myriad other dimensions.

    This blind spot introduces risk to every proposed automation, potentially impacting user experiences and critical operations. True automation can only thrive when paired with the detailed insights derived from service assurance probing, allowing networks to adapt and do so with precision, ensuring a seamless experience while mitigating risks and uncertainties.

    Combining this data-driven visibility and advanced AI propels us toward a future where networks not only self-optimise but also understand, cater to, and enhance every facet of the user experience.

    In conclusion

    The power of foundational data goes beyond individuals and roles; it extends to shaping the networks of tomorrow. This data-driven future is not just about AI; it’s about creating networks with reliable infrastructure and strategic assets that drive business growth, innovation and the seamless connectivity of a digitally connected world.

    The stage is set for a future where networks are not just smart but brilliantly intelligent, thanks to the foundational data that empowers them.

    About the author

    Matthew Twomey is Head of Marketing at Anritsu Service Assurance and a seasoned professional in this field, with over 25 years’ experience in the industry. He has a diverse background, having worked for companies such as Ericsson, Arantech, Tekcomms, The Now Factory, IBM and Mobileum, where he held various roles. They ranged from business consultant, to product management, product marketing and marketing. With a wealth of knowledge and experience in the telecom industry, he is passionate about understanding customers’ needs while driving success and growth.

    About Anritsu Service Assurance is a division of Anritsu A/S and specialises in providing state-of-the-art network service assurance solutions. The division is committed to developing innovative technologies that empower businesses to enhance network performance, streamline service delivery, and deliver unrivalled customer experiences.