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.