AI and automation drive the evolution to open networks

A realistic assessment of AI, ML and GenAI in telecoms

Phew! We are finally out of the initial 5G frenzy and not yet into the 6G one, so we can focus on the broader transformation towards open and autonomous networks—networks that are also virtualized, multi-vendor, digitalized and software-based. It is a long-term process, but also one that may have a deeper impact on how we run networks than a new radio access technology and one that requires more operational changes than technological ones.

Wow! The network evolution towards openness carries an inevitable increase in complexity. This is where AI and automation come in; we need them to manage complexity and benefit from the flexibility and choice that complexity offers. AI is finally coming of age and becoming an essential tool to enable automation and the eventual move to autonomous networks, and, in turn, the transition to open networks. We have all the fundamental ingredients for the transformation, but there is still much work ahead.

Argh! There is undeniably hype about AI and, even more, about GenAI. Much of it is driven by the curiosity for technologies that are new and not well understood but can elicit equally unrealistic expectations and fears. Hype is not entirely bad: it forces us to pay attention to technologies that, for some time, have been left in the background. But we need to inject some more grounded understanding of what AI and automation can do in telecoms, what benefits it brings, and how to protect us from the risks it carries.

Hmm… There is still much that we need to learn about the role of AI—including ML and GenAI as part of AI—and to dispel the too rosy or too gloomy projections that still dominate the debate. A growing body of R&D, trials and deployments are taking us down from hype to reality. In this report, we present the work and perspectives of those who have been working on AI, automation, operations and open networks, and discuss the contribution of AI and automation to open networks based on what we are learning in this journey.

The report includes conversations with Mavenir, Fujitsu, Intel, VIAVI and NETSCOUT, plus a bonus one with Azita Arvani and Paul Patras. 

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Conversations included in the report

AI everywhere, from the edge to the cloud

A conversation with Cristina Rodriguez, VP Network & Edge Group and GM Wireless Access Network Division, Intel

How AI, ML and GenAI can increase network efficiency today

A conversation with Blake Hlavaty, Director of Global Network Software Offers at Fujitsu

The decomposable AI landscape

A conversation with Per Kangru, Business Development & Strategy CSO, and Takai Eddine Kennouche, AI/Data Modeling Architect, CTO Office at VIAVI Solutions

Rethinking AIOPs – It’s all about the data

A conversation with Rick Fulwiler, Chief Solutions Architect, at NETSCOUT

The future network is open and autonomous

A conversation with Brandon Larson, SVP, GM, Cloud, AI & IMS at Mavenir

Will AI change how humans operate in telecoms?

A conversation with Azita Arvani, formerly at Rakuten Symphony, Paul Patras at Net AI and the University of Edinburgh

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Humans in AI

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