Nokia launches Intelligent RAN Operations to manage 5G with machine learning

Solution goes beyond automation with machine learning to help mobile operators keep costs down with superior 5G network management, and reduces base station energy consumption by up to 15%, says Nokia

As 5G networks become more diffuse, operator infrastructures are getting more complex and to address this issue, Nokia has launched its new Intelligent RAN Operations, designed to manage the increasing complexity of 5G networks through machine learning.

Nokia said that, to date, 5G networks have ushered in a host of new use cases as well as products and services that are reliant on ultra-low latency and resiliency. They also support a vast range of applications with widely varying service requirements. Yet Nokia warned that in this complex environment, operating cost-effective radio networks using manual intensive tools, or even just automation, was no longer possible.

“As mobile networks have evolved from 2G through 5G, they have become much more performant and sophisticated,” said James Crawshaw, principal analyst at research firm Omdia. “Management and configuration tools have largely kept pace with this evolution – until now.

“To optimise operational, capital and energy efficiency in the 5G era requires a paradigm shift. Manual configuration of the thousands of parameters available in network nodes, a ten-fold increase on 4G, is no longer feasible. Operators need automated solutions that leverage artificial intelligence to augment and relieve human intelligence, which can then be brought to bear on the manifold RAN operational challenges that computers are not yet able to solve.”

Nokia Intelligent RAN Operations is designed to support Nokia’s commitment to sustainability and combating climate change, said the company. The framework and its underlying products are specifically designed to enable mobile operators to boost 5G network quality, efficiency and the subscriber experience while reducing operational costs, energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

Nokia has set sustainability goals to reduce its environmental impact and help its customers do the same. The company has committed to reducing its emissions by 50% across both its operations and products in use by 2030. Nokia’s technology is designed to be energy efficient, contributing towards the climate and environmental targets of mobile operators.

The new system implements a number of machine learning functionalities that are intended to help operators manage network density and complexity. It enables the automation of routine network management tasks, with a greater ability to detect, categorise and solve network issues in real time. This would save time and eliminate human error, said Nokia.

The company also said operators trailing the solution on a live network have seen an operational efficiency gain of up to 80% with zero-touch optimisation, and 70% fewer issues to resolve, reducing team workloads and helping to ensure consistent network quality. The technology also includes intelligent energy-saving features that reduce base station power consumption by up to 15%, enabling more sustainable operating practices.

“Nokia’s Intelligent RAN Operations helps operators deliver 5G services to their customers in the most efficient and effective way possible,” said Mark Atkinson, SVP, radio access networks PLM at Nokia. “Through intelligent machine learning, it boosts network performance, quality and the subscriber experience while reducing power consumption and operational costs.

“Nokia continually supports its global customer base with innovative products and solutions that help them to be more sustainable and deliver better services.”

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