Carrier ICT convergence transformation has become an inevitable trend in the 5G and Cloud era, as Tolulope Williams, senior manager of transmission core planning at MTN Nigeria explains.
In the 5G and cloud era, real-time online and cloud-based life becomes a normal situation. The value of networks is expanded unprecedentedly as people become more dependent on them. Online office and cloud life are becoming more and more common. At the same time, as our network behaviors generate more and more traffic, the pressure on networks to carry data is increasing, and the network structure becomes increasingly complex. Therefore, carriers' ICT convergence transformation has become an inevitable trend.
At the Better World Summit held by Huawei recently, Tolulope Williams, senior manager of transmission core planning at MTN Nigeria, gave a presentation entitled "Intelligent IP Networks Enables Best Customer Experience". In this he shared the experience of MTN, Africa's largest telecom operator, in constructing intelligent IP networks during ICT transformation.
New Network Requirements Drive Carriers' ICT Transformation
In the mobile Internet era, with the development of network technologies and various applications, user requirements are increasing and network values are gradually unleashed. However, due to the limitation of the business model, the profit growth of carriers' traditional services is slowing down. On the other hand, the boundary between IT and CT is gradually blurred. As an Internet industry developed based on communications networks, it is continuously squeezed by innovative business models and price advantages, which poses great challenges to carriers' development.
However, traditional silo CT, IT, and enterprise services cannot meet customers' unified requirements. CT and IT need to be integrated to provide one-stop ICT services. Global carriers, including MTN, are also actively pursuing digital transformation to provide customers with more agile, flexible, and better services.
To meet future network service requirements, MTN launched the Oxygen strategy, which focuses on fast TTM, optimal customer experience, and low-cost operation. The flexible network architecture and on-demand bandwidth allocation shorten the time to market (TTM) from several months to several days, improving service quality, reducing costs, and reducing customer complaints.
Service Optimization and Challenges for IP Network Development
In the 5G era, networks are more important to enable industries. More devices will access the network in fields such as healthcare, education, transportation, entertainment, and industrial production. In addition, with the development of technologies such as VR/AR, cloud services, big data, and artificial intelligence, IP traffic will increase at a faster rate.
In addition, emerging new services and increasingly complex network structures pose higher requirements on bandwidth, latency, and reliability. Carriers need to provide customers with more agile, flexible, and high-quality network services.
As the largest telecom operator in Africa and the Middle East, MTN is also actively introducing new services, such as cloud private lines, to meet customers' increasing network requirements. At the same time, the development of Nigeria's IP network still faces three great challenges.
As Tolulope Williams mentioned in his speech, "Traffic and network scale increase rapidly." He pointed out that Nigeria's network is evolving towards LTE maturity and early 5G. Thousands of base stations are deployed each year, and mobile networks carry home broadband services, as a result, data traffic doubles every year.
In addition, the impact of emergencies on the network is increasing. Frequent disconnections or even site faults lead to a sharp increase in network traffic. How to quickly recover services with limited investment and reduce the impact on user experience is a huge challenge.
Finally, "the demand for user experience is also increasing." The epidemic has led to the popularity of home office, online conferencing, online education and e-commerce, which imposes a requirement for the network to be always online.
MTN Nigeria is the largest telecom operator in Nigeria, occupying about 50% of the market share and serving more than 71 million subscribers. To meet new requirements and challenges, MTN continuously upgrades new technologies and automation levels to improve user experience.
Intelligent IP Networks Enable Better Customer Experience
Tolulope Williams shared MTN's experience in agile network operation in Nigeria. Network automation covers the entire life cycle from planning, configuration, and maintenance. During network planning, use the what-if analysis function to simulate the impact of activation of new services, links, and nodes to ensure that new service deployment does not affect existing services. Agile service provisioning ensures service SLA and simplifies service provisioning. The network optimization function relieves network congestion within minutes and provides optimal user experience.
According to Tolulope Williams, fiber cuts occur frequently and link congestion occurs frequently in Nigeria. MTN introduces the intelligent IP network optimization function of Huawei NCE to implement real-time network traffic monitoring. When link congestion occurs, you only need to perform optimization with one click. This shortens network congestion relief from hours to minutes.
With the continuous improvement of network operation and optimization, Nigeria's traditional networks are evolving towards digital, automated, and intelligent networks, providing better user experience for its customers.
Nigeria is Africa's largest economy and most populous country, with good population and economic growth. As 5G network construction continues to advance in the future, MTN is believed to be able to use smarter networks to provide better services for users.
Network is the product of modern science and technology, but in turn, the development of network greatly promotes the progress of modern society. Undoubtedly, as networks become more and more intelligent, they will play an increasingly important role in the development of society in the future.