Moving forward to open automated RAN with automated optimization

How can ML technology help boost RAN optimization to new levels? Understanding the importance of automation is critical in enabling more agile, cloud-based network services.

Yiannis Tsakos, Product Marketing Manager

Amdocs Networks

09 Jan 2023

Moving forward to open automated RAN with automated optimization

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The commercialization of O-RAN architecture creates endless efficiencies in allocating resources, and service delivery to optimized responses for customizable end-user needs. Agility comes at a cost for CSPs, making the tech selection key in the shift to automation.

As CSPs press ahead with their efforts to commercialize Open RAN architecture, they’re increasingly understanding why RAN automation for network planning, provisioning, and management is so important. The reason is that it enables the creation of a more agile, cloud-based network to enable new 5G services and optimize the RAN. Importantly, with this agility also comes cost and energy efficiencies, brought through the ability to allocate resources exactly where needed, improving service delivery and enabling faster responses, driven by end-user needs.

But if RIC (RAN Intelligent Controller) already enables CSPs to make changes and automate processes 24/7 in an automated way, what’s so special about next-generation “C-SON” (Centralized Self-Organizing Network)? The answer lies in its ability to enable new 5G use cases, thereby taking RAN optimization to an entirely new level, boosted by its ability to more highly leverage ML (machine learning) technologies. In turn, this provides the real-time control and RAN automation CSPs need, while leveraging an open framework and platform.

Amdocs Open RAN Automation

According to the specifications published by the O-RAN Alliance, RIC architecture consists of two key components: the near-real-time (RT) RIC with xApps and the non-real-time (RT) RIC with rApps within Service Management and Orchestration (SMO). Unlike C-SON, Near-Real-Time RIC is open for CSPs to implement any application from multiple sources on any RAN.

Amdocs Open RAN Automation includes system integration services (e.g., validating vendor combinations), deployment services (e.g., network planning and design) and SMO, including the non-RT RIC. Additionally, we’re developing several xApps supported by near-RT RIC responsible for controlling and optimizing RAN functions and resources.

The figure below shows how we’re evolving Amdocs Intelligent Networking Suite – our OSS platform – to address the SMO framework and O-RAN Alliance interfaces. Amdocs Open RAN Automation leverages the analytics and closed-loop optimization technology from our proven Amdocs Network Optimization Suite by actix, adding new software capabilities to automate disaggregated virtualized RAN (vRAN) elements. In addition, it uses ML to take actions, while O-RAN input feeds train the ML engine. Meanwhile, ML data inferences are used to tweak the Remote Radio Head (RRH) and continually optimize the vRAN configuration.

Open RAN infographic

Software automation mapping with Amdocs Intelligent Networking Suite & Amdocs Open RAN Automation

The solution’s foundational components can be found in extensive radio measurement analytics capabilities within Amdocs Network Optimization Suite by actix, which includes layer 3 (L3) measurements of customer calls and data sessions, and gathers both user equipment (UE) and cell-oriented service quality data to improve decision-making.

Amdocs Open RAN Automation also incorporates the near-real-time control loop, made possible by its O-RAN architecture and traditional non-real-time monitoring, which it then uses to perform advanced radio resource management (RRM), such as beam optimization.

We’re also leading the way in developing key Open RAN initiatives and standards. As part of this effort, we’ve established a powerful ecosystem of partners including the O-RAN Alliance, Open Networking Foundation (SD-RAN), ONAP and Telecom Infra Project. With our work together, Amdocs today has considerable influence (in shaping definitions, specifications, and capability statements) and reach (in the ability to deliver them) over the following of their evolution in four key areas:

  1. Building our systems integration skills enables CSPs and enterprises to leverage Open RAN disaggregated solutions
  2. Building on our software assets, together with our radio planning, SON and radio site management expertise, we’re leaders in providing analytics and control for both non-RT and near-RT RIC
  3. Leveraging and packaging these open-source solutions, we’re expanding our role in supporting open-source Open RAN.
  4. According to Gartner, our vast experience with Open Source has enabled us to take an industry leadership role in OSS and orchestration.

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