Nokia debuts upgraded cognitive SON to drive zero-touch 5G


Nokia has launched its upgraded cognitive Self-Organizing Network software to provide communication service providers with the promise of zero-touch network automation for 5G and increased operational efficiencies.

Nokia cognitive SON removes the traditional operator console and replaces it with an objective driven dashboard, enabling real-time solution deployments and increased productivity. This dashboard allows operations stakeholders – from chief experience officers to market engineers – to easily decipher how their objectives are realized by SON.

In a proof of concept exercise with a leading North American operator, Nokia cognitive SON’s zero-touch automation increased operational efficiency by 80 percent.

Driven by Machine Learning (ML) concepts such as clustering, classification and reinforcement learning, Nokia cognitive SON orchestrates standard and adapted modules to automatically detect, categorize and solve network problems and leverage insights to further hone the solution itself – a key differentiator from competitor solutions. This results in a significant reduction of manual work and rigorous technical analysis that network operators would otherwise need to do.

Additionally, by overseeing the workflow from end-to-end and incorporating objectives into SON for the first time, Nokia cognitive SON optimizes activities with an operator’s end goals.

Through cognitive functionalities, the software upgrades automatically without the need for the operator to manually trigger the request, and offers programmability with a Software Development Kit and open APIs to further increase speed and flexibility.

Nokia cognitive SON has a vendor-agnostic network slice management function to automate the radio slice life cycle and resource optimization. Leveraging ML and automation capabilities, Nokia cognitive SON will be able to optimize each slice separately to ensure better network availability and quality.

Stéphane Téral, Chief Analyst of LightCounting Market Research, said: “This launch moves to fulfill Nokia’s vision of accomplishing “true” network self-configuration, self-organization, and self-healing. Nokia cognitive SON understands the state of a network and is fully equipped, through machine learning and automation, to quickly address issues and to make the necessary changes with minimal human interaction. Such capabilities are needed now with the complexity of 5G networks”

Brian McCann, Chief Product Officer of Nokia Software, said: “This cognitive upgrade to our Nokia SON solution massively reduces the need for manual work and technical expertise when optimizing radio networks, allowing us to deliver our promise for a much more efficient and error-free process that will ultimately result in better network quality and reliability. It is a timely product and one that reinforces Nokia’s software innovation leadership.”

Additional Resources
Nokia SON webpage
Nokia SON brochure
Cognitive SON product video
Cognitive SON expert interview video

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