Ericsson has launched its Network Data Analytics Function (NWDAF) solution, based on smarter data-driven networks that learn and improve. Ericsson’s NWDAF enables service providers to improve customer experience by using the data generated by the network to flag and fix problems, thus improving service quality.
For 5G, automation is a continuous endeavor ranging from automating specific simple and complex tasks to supporting zero-touch autonomous networking, which requires the application of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and reasoning. NWDAF achieves this by getting the right data at the right cost to feed into the AI/ML models.
NWDAF enhances network operability by providing insight that helps the service provider identify and solve network problems on different levels as well as input for taking valued business decisions. One example is automated closed loops (data retrieval, analytics processing, insights generation and action enforcement) on different network and application levels.
Ericsson’s NWDAF can drive up to 45 percent reduction in OPEX and CAPEX compared with typical third-party NWDAF implementation with event exposure. Smart data acquisition allows more efficient integration and testing, simpler orchestration and optimal footprint.
Neil McRae, MD Architecture & Strategy, BT Group Chief Architect says: “At BT we connect for good and our customers increasing reliance on the network requires us to think differently. With Ericsson we are working on cloud native solutions for 5G Core architecture to support multiple generations of technologies and we see the need for greater automation and analytics to manage complex networks and ensuring the best quality experience for our customers. I’m pleased to see that Ericsson is launching NWDAF building upon Ericsson’s built-in software probes and Expert Analytics (EEA), a natural next step development to enhance closed loop automation and service assurance that could benefit BT’s Customer Network Experience (CNE) platform.”
Monica Zethzon, Head of Solution Area Packet Core, Ericsson, says: “Everything 5G, especially 5G Core networks, must be automated. Automation will improve operational efficiency, reduce time to market for new services and is required to handle the magnitude of tailor-made services that will be introduced with 5G. With the launch of NWDAF we build the automated closed loop and assurance, enabled by AI and machine learning, to leverage data-driven operation based on network data.”
James Crawshaw, Principal Analyst, Telco IT & Operations, Omdia, says: “Ericsson’s NWDAF adds intelligence to the 5G core, bringing new insights that enable automation and optimization. With this solution, Ericsson shows its technology leadership in 5G Core.”
NWDAF is a reusable set of microservices integrated into Ericsson’s cloud-native dual-mode 5G Core and in Ericsson Expert Analytics . Flexible deployment scenarios and model portability enable the NWDAF to be located both centrally and as a built-in NWDAF in the 5G Core products. NWDAF is based on 3GPP Release 17, defining a distributed network analytics architecture where inference and training, and data repository are separated.