Nokia to launch cloud-native 5G network operations software

Aiming to address operators’ challenges as 5G networks add new layers of technical complexity, Nokia announces automated and scalable management suite

Ahead of MWC 2020, Nokia has announced plans to unveil a suite of supplier-agnostic network management tools designed to provide communication service providers (CSPs) with automated and scalable software for managing 5G networks.

Explaining the rationale for the new Nokia Network Operations Master suite, the company said that as 5G networks add new layers of technical complexity, CSPs will require an intelligent management system to deal with the rapidly increasing number of physical and virtual network events that will place heavy workloads on network operation centres.

Indeed, it is almost inevitable that 5G networks will require significantly more operations automation than past networks, in order to achieve promised levels of efficiency and new service support.  

But until now, said Nokia, network management systems used for 2G/3G/4G networks have been largely manually driven. They have also been incapable of scaling up to the needs of network evolution to cloud at scale and 5G, and managing the volume of network slices, offering parts of network capacity tailored to different subscriber and application needs, it said.

The Nokia Network Operations Master offers tools for troubleshooting, administration, software management and configuration management. Built on the company’s cloud-native Common Software Foundation, it is claimed to be able to deliver scalability, built-in resiliency and zero-downtime upgrades, and deliver applications that are hardware- and supplier-agnostic, and easy to deploy, integrate, use and enhance.

With a software-driven approach, said Nokia, Network Operations Master allows machine learning techniques and customisable operations to be automated and simplified, while retaining existing operations functionalities. It is said to be capable of automating actions in milliseconds in response to a wide variety of network events, significantly reducing workloads of repetitive actions and allowing CSP operation centres to concentrate on the most critical network events.

“With 5G forcing traditional functions, like revenue management and customer care, to the cloud and helping drive software deeper into the network, CSPs need a modern approach to performing network operations that is automated, more efficient and scalable,” said Ron Haberman, chief technology officer at Nokia Software. “The Nokia Network Operations Master delivers these capabilities and allows our customers to perform lifecycle operations with ease, efficiency and confidence.”

Read more about 5G operations equipment

The launch of the software and services solution follows a huge win for Nokia in the 5G equipment arena with Orange France. The telco’s partnership with Nokia is focused on the west and south-east France, where Nokia already supplies 2G, 3G and 4G on the mobile radio access network (RAN).

Among the deliverables, Nokia will supply single RAN technology, automation tools, network management systems and associated professional services. It will initially support Orange’s 5G commercial launch by enabling the roll-out of its SRAN network to 5G through software upgrades, streamlining the initial steps to build 5G.

It will also introduce 5G New Radio (5G NR)-based AirScale hardware, and software for the new 5G frequency bands.

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