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Why Automating a 5G Standalone Network is Crucial To CSP Success

Contributed by Augusto Barcia, Director of Telco Sales, EMEA, VMware by Broadcom.

The advent of 5G technology marks a transformative shift in telecommunications, promising not only faster speeds but also the ability to support new applications and business cases that were not feasible with previous generations. Among the two deployment models for 5G – Non-Standalone (NSA) and Standalone (SA) – the latter offers a purer, more capable version of 5G with an entirely new core network and the capability for features like network slicing and ultra-reliable low latency communications. To fully realize the potential of 5G SA, automation emerges not just as a benefit, but as a necessity. Here’s why automating a 5G Standalone network is so crucial.

Enhancing Network Efficiency and Reliability

One of the most compelling reasons to automate a 5G SA network is to enhance its efficiency and reliability. Traditional networks rely heavily on manual interventions for operations such as provisioning, maintenance, and optimization. This approach not only gives rise to human errors but also lacks scalability, leading to network downtime or suboptimal performance. Automation in 5G SA enables the network to dynamically allocate resources, adjust to traffic demands in real-time, and self-heal from failures, dramatically improving both efficiency and reliability.

The VMware by Broadcom team will be attending FutureNet MENA in Dubai – come and talk to us at Stand 7 about automating and optimizing your 5G network

Facilitating Advanced Features: Network Slicing and Edge Computing

5G SA introduces advanced features like network slicing, where a single physical network can be divided into multiple virtual networks, each tailored to specific needs such as IoT, high throughput applications, or ultra-reliable low latency communications. Managing these slices manually would be extremely complex and inefficient. Automation allows for the efficient creation, deployment, and management of these slices according to predefined policies and in response to real-time demands.

Similarly, integrating edge computing—which involves processing data closer to where it is generated rather than in a centralized data center—requires the network to handle vast amounts of data intelligently and efficiently. Automation in 5G SA ensures that computational resources are optimally allocated, reducing latency and bandwidth usage, which are critical for applications requiring immediate processing.

Accelerating Service Delivery and Time-to-Market

The business landscape is rapidly evolving, and the ability to quickly launch new services and adapt to market changes is a crucial competitive edge. Automating the provisioning and deployment processes in a 5G SA network reduces the time required to launch new services. Network capabilities can be scaled up or down based on demand without the need for manual configuration, allowing operators to respond swiftly to market opportunities and customer needs.

Reducing Operational Costs

Operating a high-performance network like 5G SA incurs significant costs, particularly if managed traditionally. Automation reduces the need for extensive manual labour, which minimizes the risk of costly errors. Automated systems can improve decision-making through data-driven insights and predictive analytics, both of which can help optimize resource utilization and reduce energy consumption.

Ensuring Security Across a Vast Network

With the expansion of network capabilities and access points in 5G SA, the potential for security vulnerabilities escalates. Automation enhances security by implementing consistent, predefined security policies across the network. Automated systems can also monitor network traffic in real-time, detect anomalies, and rapidly respond to threats, thus strengthening the network’s defences against cyber-attacks.

Enabling Continuous Optimization and Innovation

Network demands are not static; they change based on myriad factors like user behaviour and time of day. Since automated networks in 5G SA can continuously collect and analyse data on network performance and user engagement, these insights can help optimize the network in real-time. This continuous loop of feedback and optimization fosters constant improvement and innovation, ensuring the network always performs at its best.

Conclusion

Automating a 5G Standalone network is not just a strategic advantage—it is essential for harnessing the full capabilities of the network and ensuring it can meet the demands of modern applications and services. Automation maximizes efficiency, reduces operational costs, enhances security, and makes possible the rapid scaling and flexibility that 5G promises. As we move further into the 5G era, automation will be the linchpin in realizing the vast potential of this revolutionary technology, creating smarter, faster, and more reliable networks that will form the backbone of future digital infrastructure.