The core network acts as the brain of the telecom network, scheduling and managing resources throughout the entire network. In the 5G era, two fundamental changes have taken place on the core network. The first change is the evolution to cloud native. With the extensive applications of cloud native technologies represented by containers, microservices, and service meshes, the core network becomes fully dynamic. The second change is the convergence of the 2G to 5G range.
The control planes are centralized and forwarding planes distributed, with the legacy network architecture and the 5G Service-Based Architecture (SBA) converged. Although these two changes greatly improve the capabilities and flexibility of the 5G core network, they also increase the complexity of networking and O&M. The conventional manual O&M approach can no longer ensure secure and efficient network operations.
In terms of network planning and construction, long delivery periods for core network cloudification cannot meet the requirements for a rapid rollout of 5G services. Routine manual operations are prone to errors. Planning and construction pose high requirements on personnel skills.
In terms of maintenance, cloud networks are highly centralized and have strict requirements on reliability, but the complexity of 5G networks increases network risks. In the past two years, core network incidents frequently occurred globally, attracting wide attention from the industry.
In terms of operations, at the early stage of 5G/VoLTE deployment, an unsatisfied user experience causes complaints and a high churn rate, impeding user growth.
To meet the O&M challenges of the 5G cloud core network, Huawei launched the core network autonomous driving network (ADN) solution featuring Agile Delivery, High Reliability, and Optimized Experience. This solution introduces key technologies such as digital twin and intent-driven networking to evolve to the target 5.5G networks. It empowers operators with intelligent capabilities covering planning, construction, maintenance, optimization, and operations.
First, Agile Delivery. This solution aims to realize efficient, flexible, reliable network changes. It uses an intent-driven workflow engine and online operation platform, enabling the transformation to automatically-delivered cloud core networks. With this solution, network changes become automatic, agile, and reliable. It shortens the construction period and improves the operational experience.
Huawei launched the automatic hitless upgrade solution for core network VNFs. This solution bridges the gaps in the upgrade process and fully automates it, eliminating manual operation risks. It greatly improves the upgrade efficiency, and ensures zero service interruption during the upgrade by using A/B tests.
Second, High Reliability. This solution, based on cloud native capabilities, uses technologies such as online simulation, machine learning, and intelligent inference to identify potential risks, diagnose faults, and prevent incidents, thus realizing automatic and intelligent network maintenance. It transforms the O&M of the core network from passive handling to proactive prevention. It provides customers with highly stable networks which are visible, controllable, and manageable.
Huawei launched the smart signaling storm prevention and control solution and the intelligent DR assistance solution to address the two main causes for critical issues. With the surge model library covering 30 scenarios and the intelligent simulation algorithm, networks can be automatically evaluated online to identify their weaknesses and provide guidance for capacity expansion and parameter adjustment. The disaster recovery and signaling storm suppression processes are visible and controllable because the optimal network-level flow control parameters can be generated based on the HEBO algorithm.
Huawei also launched the intelligent fault diagnosis solution. It demarcates horizontal issues within five minutes and cross-layer issues within 15 minutes, greatly improving efficiency in handling work orders. This facilitates quick service recovery.
Third, Optimized Experience. This solution, based on online analysis, intelligent model inference, and an experience standard system, can predict poor-QoE problems in advance, and quickly detect and address experience issues. This turns passive complaint handling into proactive customer care, boosting experience monetization and promoting 5G/VoLTE user growth, which operators can then use to improve their service experience and gain a competitive edge.
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Therefore, in order to keep user complaints to a minimum in the initial stage of 5G/VoLTE deployment, the 5G/VoLTE user experience assurance solution was launched. This can predict complaints three hours beforehand and slash the number of complaints per 10,000 users in half.
Huawei Core Network ADN solution has been successfully used on the networks of many world-leading operators. MWC Barcelona 2023 runs from February 27 to March 2 in Barcelona, Spain. At the conference, Huawei will show more innovations on core network automation. Huawei will continue working with global operators and industry organizations to promote the core networks towards high-level intelligent networks and help operators achieve digital-intelligent transformation.