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Smart 5G service and software solutions for smart operations

Successfully unlocking a new experience for consumers and new business models for telcos requires a platform + intelligence approach.

By Zheng Ruguo, Chief Marketing Officer, Global Technical Services, Huawei
Zheng Ruguo

The emergence of new services, networks, and technologies coupled with increasing network and service complexity poses new challenges for the planning, construction, maintenance, optimization, and operation of 5G networks. 

Expectations are high

End users have higher expectations, making 5G service quality assurance difficult. The best-effort service model is no longer viable. Instead, clear and differentiated SLA guarantees are required. To help operators overcome new 5G challenges and achieve smart operations in the 5G era, Huawei Service and Software has launched a series of 5G service and software solutions based on platform + intelligence 


Recontructing networks with intelligence

To improve investment efficiency and provide differentiated experiences for new services, the planning and construction of 5G networks demands precision from the outset. With Huawei's CWR@Digital solution, operators can digitally transform their network operations. CWR@Digital provides a digital operations’ sandbox for big data analysis by the OSS and BSS, enabling carriers to digitalize the entire network construction process, including insights, planning, and construction. Network planning provides the following benefits:

  • First, intelligent insights increase the proportion of high-value users per carrier site. AI and big data analysis in the intelligent insights process accelerates the identification of high-value areas from months to weeks or days, with 75 to 85 percent accuracy. CWR@Digital can even provide real-time geographical insights at the grid, cell, site, or building level, helping operators make precision investments.
  • Next, precise planning enhances network coverage. Huawei's SmartCare® E-Planning model includes indoor-outdoor coordination simulation planning and serves as the springboard for the industry’s first network construction standard for 5G service experience. SmartCare® E-Planning enables resource collaboration on-site construction and network quality optimization.
  • For large-scale 5G deployment, Huawei's 5G digital integration solution enables a site digital twin and Huawei's 3D network construction standard, T-BIM, which slashes site TTM by 30 percent.
  • For building indoor networks, Huawei helps operators formulate the best evolutionary path for 5G, using AI predictions of data traffic growth and user experience. The solution provides optimum indoor point location design and route planning, with Huawei's Choose modelling algorithm reducing construction costs. To increase the value of indoor networks, Huawei adopts a 2C/2B dual-network collaborative network construction model instead of a purely 2C service-oriented network model.

Huawei's Integrated Service Delivery Platform (ISDP) is a digital delivery platform that allows operators, equipment vendors, and partners to transfer information and instructions during project implementation. It achieves process-driven operations, data openness, IT-based operations, progress visualization, and quality management, improving the efficiency and quality of 5G network deployment and achieving agile network construction.

5G B.E.S.T. Network boosts experience

Although carriers have built 5G sites to solve coverage issues, wide coverage does not necessarily equal a good network experience. For example, Massive MIMO requires the 3D simulation and optimization of more than 10,000 parameters, making 5G optimization significantly more complex than 4G. The Huawei DISCOVERY network optimization platform summarizes and consolidates over 100 network optimization rules, 50+ AI models, and the network optimization experience of more than 6,000 projects. The capabilities of DISCOVERY are more than a year ahead of the industry average.

Huawei has launched 5G B.E.S.T. Network, a solution that leverages DISCOVERY to provide intelligent network optimization sub-solutions. These include commercial rollout assurance, ultimate speed assurance, and network latency optimization. The commercial rollout assurance solution accurately identifies various issues with 5G, such as poor coverage and blind spots, helping operators reduce subscriber complaints in the initial stages of commercial use. The speed assurance solution adopts the industry's first CSI optimization and RANK UP technology for device-pipe-core collaboration to tap the potential of the network and further improve 5G speeds. The network latency optimization solution speeds up the delimitation of latency problems from weeks to days, and Huawei's unique patent Super FEC reduces cell-edge latency by up to 20 percent.

Huawei's 5G B.E.S.T. Network solution has helped operators top the tables in European P3 5G speed tests, rank first in IHS Markit tests of speed and latency in South Korea, and deliver competitor-beating 5G networks in China and the Middle East.

5G SOC: Three new features

The 5G era has delivered new commercial opportunities for operators thanks to new digital services, differentiated experience requirements, multi-dimensional monetization models, and new 2B scenarios. Typical 5G digital services, such as cloud VR, AR, and gaming, require more from networks. Cloud VR, for example, demands end-to-end perceived latency of under 70 ms.

Utilizing the customer experience management of more than 160 networks around the world, Huawei's SOC solution helps operators forge the best service experience with three new features: differentiated-experience monetization models such as MBB business class; new service experience management, for example, cloud VR/X, HD video, and live streaming backhaul; and SLA guarantees for new 2B scenarios, like smart port and smart campus. 

Huawei's SOC solution boasts the world's first 5G new service experience standard, which can help operators quickly build new service experience models. The solution's industry-leading experience analysis capabilities deliver a service identification accuracy of 90 percent. The next-gen performance management platform reduces unit energy consumption by 40 percent and boosts service performance by 1.5 times.

AUTIN: Smart O&M with human-machine collaboration 

O&M complexity service requests have skyrocketed, given that multiple wireless generations now coexist on operator networks, the number of people-to-things connections has doubled, and new services are constantly emerging. Moreover, faults are more difficult to solve, operations personnel are in short supply, and the cost of operations is soaring. Operations transformation is sorely overdue and carriers must transform their existing operations model and evolve to automated and intelligent O&M.

Huawei is the first in the industry to propose AIOps – an intelligent operations model based on human-machine collaboration that will help carriers evolve from manual O&M to automated and intelligent O&M. The aim of shifting to this new model doesn’t do away with the existing O&M system or existing O&M tools. Instead, it adds an O&M knowledge platform that hosts O&M knowledge and models and incorporates O&M processes, operations steps, and actual O&M requirements. This kind of platform will help carriers shift away from a human-based O&M model towards a human-machine collaboration model, domain by domain and stage by stage.

The first step is skills transformation. O&M personnel must become data analysts, network strategy engineers, and application orchestration engineers. Their expertise and experience will be converted into O&M assets and incorporated into OWS, an intelligent operations platform. OWS can then leverage these assets to implement intelligent O&M.

Thanks to this human-machine collaboration model, Huawei's 5G intelligent O&M solution disrupts the linear growth relationship between O&M resources and hardware, utilizing automation to reduce human errors and improving O&M efficiency. It also harnesses AI to predict and prevent network and service faults, improving O&M quality, thus ensuring ultra-reliable 5G networks.

Through joint innovation in 5G O&M, China Unicom and Huawei implemented automatic generation and fault visualization on cross-domain network topology, intelligent fault detection, cross-network/cross-domain intelligent fault diagnosis, and staff training.

World's first billing solution for 5G SA networks

Operators want to achieve strong 5G ROI but face a host of challenges with business models and ecosystems. For example, 5G services require a unified billing system that covers individuals, households, and enterprises, and provides multi-dimensional monetization capabilities. An agile and open billing system is also necessary so that partners can quickly roll out services.

Huawei’s Convergent Billing System (CBS) R20 is the world's first billing solution that supports 5G SA networks. Enabling operators to accelerate the monetization of new 5G services, the CBS R20 has already been deployed on STC Kuwait's network with a leased line package offered to enterprises with guaranteed SLAs.

It boasts industry-leading advantages in monetization capabilities, industry standards, and system architecture. First, CBS R20 supports the flexible combination of more than 1,000 charging factors and dimensions and over 100 common 5G service packages, all of which are deployable in minutes. Second, the solution aligns with service-based architecture and interfaces defined by 3GPP, enabling smooth upgrades from existing charging systems for operators. It also supports both 5G NSA and 5G SA networks.

The CBS R20 enables operators to generate extra revenue from partners' services by opening more than 300 APIs. It fully supports containerization and virtualization, which can significantly lower OPEX through unified and automated operations. The solution can, for example, carry out automated capacity expansion according to system capacity without manual intervention. Online upgrades allow operators to test new functions on the live network, shortening project times from four to six months to a month or less.

Training 5G digital talent

For operators, succeeding in 5G depends on having teams who grasp key technologies like 5G, AI, and cloud, and who understand the needs of industry customers. Huawei's 5G training and certification solution features content developed by Huawei, operators, and the industry. It adopts a range of training models, including integrated online-offline, hands-on, and action-based, to improve teaching efficiency.

The certification solution boasts three major capability systems: 5G consulting, 5G training, and 5G certification. These help operators quickly put in place specialist staff capabilities in service scenarios such as 5G network deployment, agile operations, and service operations.

Since 2017, Huawei Service has adopted AI in its production and operation processes, serving carriers in the areas of planning, construction, maintenance, optimization, and operations. Harnessing machine learning and human-led machine intelligence approaches, Huawei will continue to optimize its platform for E2E 5G services and software solutions, empowering operators to develop high-quality and efficient services, better solve customer problems, and maximize the commercial value of 5G.