Nokia has upgraded its self-organizing networks (SON) application for communication service providers (CSPs) that want to implement zero-touch operations for 5G infrastructure, which uses machine learning (ML) to deliver network fixes and boost efficiency with automated error detection and correction.
And in a proof of concept test with a leading North American operator, Nokia Cognitive SON’s zero-touch automation increased operational efficiency by a massive 80 percent.
“This cognitive upgrade to our Nokia SON solution massively reduces the need for manual work and technical expertise when optimizing radio networks, allowing us to deliver our promise for a much more efficient and error-free process that will ultimately result in better network quality and reliability," said Brian McCann, chief product officer of Nokia Software. "It is a timely product and one that reinforces Nokia’s software innovation leadership.”
Using machine learning
Nokia Cognitive SON is a tool that enables CSPs to move beyond a traditional operator console, and replace it with a task-driven interface, which uses machine learning to deliver real-time fixes and increased productivity.
“This launch moves to fulfill Nokia’s vision of accomplishing “true” network self-configuration, self-organization, and self-healing,” said Stéphane Téral, chief analyst of LightCounting Market Research. “Nokia cognitive SON understands the state of a network and is fully equipped, through machine learning and automation, to quickly address issues and to make the necessary changes with minimal human interaction. Such capabilities are needed now with the complexity of 5G networks”
Cognitive SON uses machine learning features such as clustering, classification and reinforcement learning, to automatically detect, categorize and solve network problems. These automated fixes and upgrades enable a reduction in manual maintenance and configuration, and are critical in managing the increasingly complex network environment that 5G requires.
Cognitive SON offers programmability with a Software Development Kit and open APIs to further increase speed and flexibility, and it also boasts a “vendor-agnostic network slice management function”, which Nokia says will improve the network slice life-cycle, whilst improving resource optimisation.