How AIOps and ITPA Can Help Telecom Companies Manage the Challenges of 5G

Contributed by Amer Alsharkawi, Regional Sales Director META & APAC regions, Resolve Systems.

How Telcos Can Rein in 5G Challenges with AIOPS and IT Process Automation 


As 5G technology advances in power and sophistication, telcos are encountering a new span of challenges. 5G network complexity, coupled with a spiraling volume of data traffic, raises barriers for telco companies seeking to smoothly manage their networks and sustain consistent quality of service (QoS). But a solution is now easily within reach. Artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps) technology, combined with IT process automation (ITPA), can come together to streamline telco network operations, minimize downtime, and dramatically boost network efficiency overall. 


Solving the Impact of 5G Network Management   


The rapid—even explosive—progress of 5G brings on several management challenges. Network complexity tops the list. That’s because along with 5G advantages and enhanced value comes a denser infrastructure and multiple additional components—overshadowing previous generations. What are the consequences of this additional baggage? A dramatic spike in alerts, upsurges in data, and frustrating complexity in incident management. 


Additionally, as 5G data traffic takes off, speeds rise and latency falls. This makes for an exciting, positive environment for users—now able to consume and generate data at unprecedented rates. However, for telecos, the impact of this increased traffic is a concurrent scramble to keep pace and avoid congestion and network downtime, particularly during peak usage.   


The User Challenge: Maintaining QoS at the Pace of 5G  


Finally, telco companies must face the most unrelenting demand of all, Quality of Service. This influences business outcomes and 5G ROI. In a complex, dynamic environment, users and applications exert pressure on the network as never before, and QoS issues can damage the bottom line. The urgency of maintaining QoS in a 5G world is critical for supporting customer satisfaction and preventing churn. That vital consistency and quality demand proactive monitoring and blazing fast incident response. Enter AIOps and ITPA.  


A Real-World Telco Company Confronts Intense 5G Challenges   


To illustrate the beneficial impact of AIOps and ITPA in 5G telco, let’s explore a real-world scenario. Imagine a telco has recently launched its 5G network in a major metropolitan area and is now confronting the expected challenges: mounting network complexity, soaring data traffic, threatening congestion, and consumer expectations for seamless QoS. 


Challenge 1: Beating Back Mounting Complexity 


To overcome complexity, this telco wisely chose to implement AIOps, putting the power of artificial intelligence into identifying patterns and anomalies in its network alerts. With its speed and intelligence, AIOps can instantly analyze data from multiple sources, including network logs, performance metrics, and user experience data. This critical information enables the IT team to detect issues proactively—before they take their toll on the network. AIOps also prioritizes incidents based on their severity, helping the team gain valuable time and visibility.   


Challenge 2: Untangling Data Traffic Congestion 


Moving into action to address the threat of data traffic congestion, the telco company now calls upon ITPA to automate routine network optimization tasks—saving time and streamlining management of the mounting data traffic. ITPA reads and identifies patterns in data traffic and adjusts network resources accordingly. With resources deployed optimally, network resources take the shortest, smartest routes to peak performance, smoothing and calming the risk of congestion and downtime. 


Challenge 3: Assuring Network QoS 


Putting AIOps and ITPA to work collaboratively on their common goal of maintaining network QoS, the telco company can now proactively and transparently solve potential issues before the user is even aware of a problem. AIOps and ITPA avert QoS issues by monitoring network performance, applying AI intelligence to preemptively safeguard QoS. AIOps is able to analyze user experience data and identify potential anomalies in network performance, enabling the IT team to resolve issues before they impact customers. 


Teamwork Merges the Talents of AIOps and ITPA to Optimize IT Ops 


By combining the unique capabilities of AIOps and ITPA, telco companies improve their network operations, tackling the challenges of 5G head-on. AIOps enables the telco to identify and prioritize incidents, proactively monitor network performance, and analyze data to identify abnormal patterns and deviations. This accelerates incident resolution and improves network efficiency drastically. 


ITPA, for its part, automates routine network optimization tasks—necessary but burdensome—tying down IT staff and affecting not only efficiency but the employee experience. With ITPA, the IT team can bring its talents to bear on more complex and potentially consequential, higher-level issues. This intelligent use of both human and technology resources minimizes the risk of errors and maintains consistency in the complex environment by taking over and handling incident response before it affects the environment and, therefore, customer satisfaction, employee loyalty, and the bottom line.   


Applying AIOPs and ITPA to Their Full Potential  


To fully leverage and combine the unique capabilities of AIOps and ITPA, telco companies should implement these best practices: 


Deploy a unified solution: An integrated AIOps and ITPA solution offers the value, accuracy, and convenience to manage network alerts and incidents. AIOps and ITPA deployed together reduces the need for multiple tools and enforces standardization and interoperability across the incident response process. 


Identify key use cases: AIOps and ITPA have proven to be ideal for specific use cases, and it’s smart to identify those and be ready to implement them. These include proactive network monitoring, incident response automation, and network optimization. By identifying these key use cases, a telco can prioritize and direct the proper human and technology resources to the most critical issues, applying AIOps and ITPA where they can deliver the highest benefits.   


Focus on data quality: AIOps and ITPA can only contribute accuracy and effectiveness when they can access optimized data to analyze. To ensure the best outcomes, telco companies should prioritize delivering quality data by means of data cleaning, data normalization, and data enrichment. 


Embrace change management: Implementing AIOps and ITPA successfully in a 5G environment requires an insightful shift in mindset and processes. Decision-makers should examine and prioritize change management to ensure that personnel and teams are trained and knowledgeable on the new tools and processes demanded by 5G transition, as well as fully invested in the effort.   


Ethically audit and validate algorithms: AIOps algorithms are notoriously vulnerable to absorbing bias reflected in the data used to train them. To ensure accuracy and ethical use of AI, and to avoid potentially harmful influences or actions, telco leadership should examine, audit, and validate AIOps algorithms to the highest standards on an ongoing basis. 


Close the Loop with AIOps and iTPA 


AIOps and ITPA are essential resources for managing the numerous and detailed challenges of 5G network management. Telco companies should rely on AIOps to proactively monitor network performance, prioritize incidents, and analyze data. Concurrently, they should turn to ITPA to automate routine network optimization tasks. By combining the respective capabilities of these two key technologies in the 5G landscape, telco companies can ensure that their network operations are seamlessly efficient, and that they benefit individual users and the organization. By following best practices, telcos can fully leverage the capabilities of AIOps and ITPA to ensure optimal management of 5G challenges, providing consistent QoS and a high-quality customer experience. 


To learn more about how our Silver Sponsor, Resolve Systems, solves network complexity for Telco companies, request a demo or visit us on March 20th in Dubai at both #4 at FutureNet MENA.  


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Contributed by Sam Keys-Toyer, Head of Business and Portfolio Development, Managed Services Networks, Ericsson. The... Read more
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