Ericsson RAN unveils transport automaton network controller

Written by Ainnie Allen

Ericsson has launched an intelligent, cloud-native transport controller that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to analyse and automate microwave, IP and optical networks, thus maximising mobile transport network efficiency.

The comms tech provider said most network issues are still solved manually, resulting in significant operational costs, and bringing the risk of human errors and potential security concerns. Simultaneously, it noted that the increase in data traffic and user expectations for high-speed, low-latency connectivity calls for the deployment of new sites and hardware that must be monitored and managed alongside legacy equipment.

The Ericsson Transport Automation Controller is designed to help instantly pinpoint degradations and capacity utilisation issues, and provide insights on how to optimise the overall network performance. Further on, it reduces human errors and troubleshooting, thanks to AI-driven automation.

Additionally, it is said to be able reduce transport network complexity and boost operational and energy efficiency while optimising performance. This is done by providing real-time network observability and data analysis, allowing understanding into why certain issues occur and what trends and performance anomalies happen in the network, enabling proactive network control such as preventive maintenance.

Ericsson said the controller can be deployed in hours and easily scaled as needed to fit any network size, resulting in lower total cost of ownership and higher flexibility. It’s also easy to use and manage thanks to its intuitive web-based user interface.

Key characteristics of the product are AI-driven insights; flexibility and scalability; endorsing standardisation; and openness. AI-driven intelligence and insights offer advanced analytics based on real-time transport network monitoring and frequent data collection, provided by leveraging AI/ML models developed using 5G Transport.

The product offers a single pane of glass for transport network observability, enabling automation and control via a web-based interface with customisable dashboards and configuration wizards.

The scalable, cloud-native product is intended for deployment on customer premises, with the ability to easily scale from small to large networks.

Assessing the launch of the product, Grant Lenahan, partner and principal analyst at Appledore Research, said: “Ericsson’s expertise in radio, backhaul, microwave and analytics provide a solid platform for the Transport Automation Controller. The combination of automatic configuration, pathfinding and other advanced functionality, along with AIOps [artificial intelligence for IT operations), help drive intelligent transport automation for consumer and enterprise use cases.”

“Ericsson Transport Automation Controller is our latest cloud-native AI software that allows our customers to see, understand and automate their microwave, IP and optical networks easily and cost-efficiently,” added Jari Augustin, Ericsson head of product line transport automation.

“It builds upon nearly 50 years of experience in microwave technology, with more than a decade of extensive research in artificial intelligence and machine learning for transport networks. This new product is a unique combination of an analytics tool and a software-defined network controller, leading the way towards a self-optimising and self-healing transport network.”

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Ainnie Allen

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