How Will AI Change the Way You Manage Wireless Networks?

By Jeremy Ladner 7 min read

It’s what we all want. Smarter, more efficient Network Management is a goal shared by small Communications Service Providers (CSPs), Private Network Owners (PNOs), and 5G Operators of every size. As we all race to deploy millions of new cell sites to meet the densification demands of 5G, we recognize the unavoidable truth – We need better network management tools, and we need them now!

In our search for suitable solutions one thing is becoming increasingly clear, the patchwork of multiple proprietary management systems introduced by Open Multi-Vendor Networks isn’t going to cut it. We need a unified, intelligent, SDN-enabled network planning, monitoring, management, and maintenance solution that will deliver seamless cross-vendor visibility and control.  

The Sevenfold Cell Site Increase

The number of global cell sites is expected to jump from where it currently sits at around 1 million to nearly 7 million by the end of 2027. That will require an enormous amount of carefully orchestrated planning and deployment, along with increased network monitoring, management, and maintenance. As Networks expand sevenfold, so too will the number of alerts, and alarms they generate. Already understaffed Network Operating Centers (NOCs) will be on the front lines, facing a flood of incoming data that threatens to drown and down networks.

Sue Marek, contributing editor for Fierce Wireless put it simply “wireless operators are reducing head counts so that they can cut costs. But on the other hand, they are desperately trying to hire in areas where they lack expertise… finding qualified workers is an issue for every part of the wireless industry.” Properly utilized Intelligent Network Management Systems with AI-powered automation capabilities can help existing staff better bear the burden of an ever-expanding workload.

In addition, easy-to-implement predefined configuration files provided by Intelligent Network Management Systems like Ceragon Insight can drastically reduce the cost and complexity associated with deployment while easing the onboarding process for new hires.

It All Starts with A Good Plan

Getting nearly seven million cell sites up and operational over the next few years will require a lot of new network element configuration. AI-powered advanced Network Planning and Provisioning software would go a long way in aiding operators to meet their challenging network growth targets. The ability to pull from a library of pre-configured settings for common network applications will drastically reduce the time required to set up each element. That shortens Time to Market (TTM), helps eliminate human error, and ultimately eases the onboarding process for the new staff out in the field. Multiply that increased efficiency across dozens or even hundreds of cell sites and the time and cost savings for network operators quickly add up.

Connectivity Service Providers (CSPs) looking for a quantitative business advantage will undoubtedly employ Intelligent Network Management Systems like Ceragon Insight to expedite and automate elements of the deployment and configuration process. Ceragon Insight not only provides comprehensive libraries of files containing common configurations, but it also allows you to create, save, and share your own custom configuration files enabling junior onsite technicians to easily access and benefit from the hard-won wisdom of their more experienced coworkers.

So Much More Than Monitoring

We’re now at a point where simply monitoring network health is not enough. If all your Network Management System does is look for ‘health’ issues and report problems, it will quickly become more of a hindrance than a help. The enormity of coming network operations will require intelligent tools. Tools that can use real-time proactive analysis to predict potential network issues before they occur and then autonomously provide preventative solutions.

Taking it a step further, AI-powered Intelligent NMS will not only help prevent most network problems before they pop up, they’ll spot the unavoidable issues as soon as they occur and provide solutions for implementation immediately. Just imagine the effect that will have on network stability, user experience, and reduced OPEX.

The true potential of Intelligent Network Management goes far beyond preventative problem-solving and solution identification and implementation. AI-powered NMS like Ceragon Insight can be set up to recognize when network traffic drops below a certain threshold and radios are not needed. It can then automatically shut those radios down until demand for capacity resumes saving you enormous amounts of energy and drastically reducing OPEX, all while helping to meet your organization’s sustainability goals.

The ability to self-define and automate network use cases will allow operators to monitor every status, define any threshold, and create any operating policies according to their evolving network needs – the potential is enormous.

The Total Package

There are several wireless Network Management Solutions available today. However, most are still incapable of dealing with the visibility and control issues created by Open Multi-Vendor Networks, and even fewer provide any significant predictive or preventative intelligence potential.

Ceragon Insight Intelligent Network Management System is in a league of its own when it comes to multi-vendor visibility and control thanks to its SDN-enabled communication capabilities. Elevating the solution further still is its unique AI-powered predictive and preventive potential. Operators no longer need to wait for network issues to occur, the NMS continuously adjusts and optimizes for the highest level of operational efficiency.

Pairing Ceragon Insight’s cloud-based AI capabilities with its user-defined automation tools will open near-limitless possibilities for reduced energy consumption, increased operational efficiency, and next-level network experiences.

Savvy Network Operators tasked with deploying, monitoring, managing, and maintaining the millions of new sites 5G densification demands will be looking to leverage the massive potential AI promises to provide. AI-Powered Intelligent Network Management Systems like Ceragon Insight will likely play a key role in helping operators meet a multitude of network challenges while opening an enormous potential for further business growth.

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