Ericsson is launching its Intelligent Automation Platform, a service management and orchestration product that enables any mobile network to be intelligently automated. Building on existing offerings, including cloud-native dual-mode 5G Core and the Cloud RAN portfolio, the company is adding the Ericsson Intelligent Automation Platform and a suite of rApps as a natural next step to build the networks of the future.
The solution facilitates AI and automation, which improves network performance, operational efficiency, and customer experience to help create smarter networks. The cloud-native solution will work across new and existing 4G and 5G radio access networks (RAN) and will support diverse vendors and RAN technologies, including purpose-built and Open RAN.
This will create greater choice for communications service providers (CSPs) as they evolve their networks. Ericsson’s investment in this platform is reflective of the company’s contributions to the industry development of Open RAN technologies. Ericsson Intelligent Automation Platform automates the radio access network using AI and radio network applications (rApps) with different functionalities. In a similar way to an operating system that automates operations, resources and identifies improvements to be made across the network, Ericsson Intelligent Automation Platform includes a non-real-time RAN intelligent controller (Non-RT-RIC) that operates rApps.
The platform supports ecosystem innovation by enabling software developers to build products through a software-development toolkit (SDK). A suite of Ericsson rApps with field-proven capabilities will be made available on the platform across four domains: efficient automated deployment; network healing; network evolution; and network optimization. The suite will continue to grow in collaboration with customers.
Jan Karlsson, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Area Digital Services, Ericsson, says: “We embrace the principle of openness and the evolution to open network architectures. Building upon our Cloud RAN offering, we are taking another major step towards building the network for the digital future with the launch of Ericsson Intelligent Automation Platform, which fundamentally enables smarter mobile networks. We look forward to providing our customers with an open platform that enables operational efficiency, enhances customer experience, and drives service innovation. I am happy to hear the reactions from our customers already being positive towards our new product and we look forward to future development and innovation.”
Neil McRae, MD Architecture & Strategy, BT Group Chief Architect, says: “At BT we connect for good and continuously innovate to provide the best services for our customers. As we expand and modernize building more reliable networks in more places, managing network complexity via automation is critical to ensure our customers best quality of experience. I’m pleased to see that Ericsson is launching the Intelligent Automation Platform for automating networks, based on the O-RAN Alliance Service Management and Orchestration (SMO) concept. Ericsson’s vision to extend that SMO concept to support both Open RAN and existing 4G and 5G networks, using a single operational pane-of-glass is an innovative approach.”
Toshikazu Yokai, Executive Officer, Chief Director of Mobile Technology, KDDI, says: “KDDI recognizes the importance of Service Management and Orchestration (SMO) and automation to achieve optimal network operations across multi-vendor, purpose-built RAN and Open RAN environments. SMO combined with an open software-development toolkit (SDK) has the potential to drive application (rApps) innovation and diversity, unleashing CSP, telecommunications vendor, and third-party software provider innovation to optimize network performance, improve operational efficiency and drive superior customer experiences. KDDI expects SMO and the Non-Real-Time RAN Intelligent Controller (Non-RT-RIC) to fine-tune RAN behavior and to assure SLAs dynamically based on slice-specific service requirements. KDDI looks forward to collaborating with Ericsson to explore the potential of these solutions.”
Sue Rudd, Director Networks and Service Platforms, Strategy Analytics, says: “Ericsson Intelligent Automation Platform brings scalability, performance, and operations simplicity to the increasingly complex environment of mobile networks, including purpose-built and Open RAN. Ericsson’s long-demonstrated expertise in radio networking and end-to-end network slicing, in parallel with its active participation in the O-RAN Alliance and leadership in ONAP network automation, has enabled it to create this powerful platform to assist customers to maximize their ROI through smart delivery of high-quality services to their end-customers. Ericsson’s proven record of multi-vendor service orchestration and open operations automation makes it an excellent partner for rApps developers and systems integrators who can leverage this unique toolkit and development environment.”