Today, telecommunications form an integral part of the lives of millions of people around the world; a situation which is expected to continue and become even more undeniable in the future. Accordingly, together with the upcoming needs for Smart Cities and Internet-of-Things (IoT), the anticipated challenges of the future are so tremendous that there is a vastly increased need for a new next generation network with even further enhanced capabilities.
1) DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION – THE NEXT TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTION
All Industries (verticals) are moving towards the “Digital Transformation”:
Consequently, that Digital Transformation leads to the next technological revolution. In our analysis, we see that this technological revolution is driven by three main stages - as illustrated in Figure 1:
Many Telecommunications Operators are already charting their way towards this Digital Transformation.
“As explained by our CEO, organizations are required to work on three fronts in order to ensure sustainable Digital Transformation (DT); 1) (D)SP (Digitizing services provided by the firm), 2) (DS)P (providing digitized services to other firms), 3) both to be supported by an NGN infrastructure,” said Saleem AlBlooshi. du’s Chief Infrastructure Officer. “du’s recent announcement of Restructuring its organization towards the above vision is driven by these three fronts. Similarly, the Infrastructure Strategy is also being aligned to deliver such NGN Infrastructure at an optimized cost, fast-to-market and with the best -in-class quality”.
2) THE NEXT GENERATION NETWORK
In our view, we see that the next generation network is a combination of three crucial components:
For many use cases, Latency will be of utmost importance and hosting the apps on the traditional cloud computing centers will not be an option. Instead, processing will have to be done “at the edge.” Edge computing, in turn, will create new value for locations scattered around the network that can do the processing, and mobile operators have some advantages (real estate, power sources, high bandwidth connectivity, low-latency networks, incentives to grow a role in edge computing and applications requiring edge computing) that could be leveraged to create a role in the new business.
Artificial Intelligence capabilities when added on top of the above two NGN Components, will basically evolve the concept of “autonomic network management” towards “cognitive network management”. In the “autonomic network management”, the concept of “the selves” was introduced, in which network management is expressed through a mixture of the approaches including: self-awareness, self-configuration, self-optimization, self-healing and self-protection. With the advancements of the infrastructure technology for accommodating the next generation of networks, the next level of network management has to incorporate the flexible manipulation of network resources and leverage it with the number of users, the network traffic, the SLAs, and the demanded system performance. And this would basically introduce the “cognitive network management”.
From Data Analytics perspective, Artificial Intelligence Computing techniques will also have a huge role in the future next generation network. We as Operators have access to a collection of data sets (i.e., these data can be highly dimensional, heterogeneous, complex, unstructured and unpredictable) that are so large and complex that the traditional data processing and analysis approaches cannot be employed due to their limited processing space and processing time. Artificial Intelligence will add new Computational techniques and approaches that will play a very crucial role in the big data analysis. It enables the analytics agent to computationally process and analyze the historical and real-time data, and eventually finds out and explain the underlying patterns, correlations, as well as to intensely understand the specific tasks. The computational analysis tools and methodologies convert the Operator’s massive amount of raw data (unprocessed, structured/unstructured) into meaningful data/information.
Digital Transformation is a must. Organizations are required to work on three fronts in order to ensure sustainable Digital Transformation (DT); 1) (D)SP (Digitizing services provided by the firm), 2) (DS)P (providing digitized services to other firms), 3) both to be supported by an NGN infrastructure. That Digital Transformation leads to the next technological revolution, which requires radically new network architecture from the Telecom Operators. These needs range from super speeds, to super capacity to very low latency. All of this leads to what we call the Next Generation Network.
In our view, we see that the next generation network is a combination of three crucial elements:
We believe that the next generation network with all its three components will have the potential of transforming the economy and society.