Bill Tang, President of Global Technical Service, Huawei
The commercial use of 5G is accelerating around the world. The Internet of Everything is drastically increasing the number of connections, and new applications such as cloud-based VR and AR place higher requirements on end-to-end networks.
5G, with its high bandwidth, low latency and wide coverage, makes it possible for operators to provide a wider range of services and solutions for users. With the continuous improvement of networks, the extent of new applications is limited only by our imagination. Network planning, construction, maintenance, optimisation and operations need to evolve intelligently to support new services, applications and user experiences. AI needed to be introduced to increase the accuracy of user experience-based network planning to make it more agile, and to quickly and more intelligently resolve user experience problems.
Huawei Services always aims to improve the way it serves customers and solve their problems. In 2016, Huawei started to apply AI to business processes and technical work involved in serving its customers.
The company has integrated more than 30 years of telecoms industry experience into machine intelligence and machine learning models on its platforms, and overseen its continuous evolution. This technology enables us to provide higher quality, more efficient services and more powerful capabilities to help us find solutions for our customers. After three years of successful practices, Huawei Services has accumulated a set of man-machine collaboration methods for designing and implementing service solutions and has built a digital platform of knowledge and models, as well as a training and certification system for new talent.
Huawei will continue to work with operators and partners to achieve agile, intelligent and smart services evolution with AI in the 5G era.
Agile network construction
AI is applied to each phase of 5G network construction to make network planning more accurate and the rollout more efficient. Multiple data points from areas covering the 5G business, users and the evolution of existing technology are used with machine learning and iterative computing to quickly and accurately create plans for different scenarios. Technologies such as photogrammetry, optical character recognition (OCR), voice recognition and computer vision are introduced in the survey, design, commissioning, integration and acceptance phases to continuously improve engineering automation and quality of delivery.
Huawei is also exploring integrated digital delivery equipment to improve the operational efficiency of sites. Its Integrated Service Delivery Platform is shared among customers, equipment vendors and partners for project delivery management. Information and instructions from the operator, equipment vendor and partners are automatically exchanged during project implementation, which makes communication smoother, management smarter and network construction more efficient.
The co-existence of 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G networks drastically increases the number of connections between people and things, while providing a wide range of services for users. Consequently, the number of service requests and problems faced by operations and maintenance (O&M) personnel also increases. According to data analysis over the past few years, network O&M problems are increasing by 5 per cent annually.
In 2019, Huawei Services provided more than 580,000 cases of technical support on more than 1,700 networks worldwide. Conventional O&M practice cannot be sustained, as people are the main workforce, with just isolated O&M tools for assistance. The introduction of AI for man-machine collaborative IT operations (AIOps) is becoming an inevitable trend.
AIOps O&M will not mean breaking the O&M system and abandoning existing tools. Instead, an O&M knowledge platform using existing models is added, which can drive the evolution of existing domain- and phase-based, human-dominant O&M to man-machine collaborative O&M.
AIOps will not substitute people but will enable them to play a greater role with the assistance of machines. O&M talent will take new positions such as network policy engineers, orchestration engineers and data analysts. People will focus on more important roles in intent design, troubleshooting and key decision-making.
5G is ushering in a new era of communications. It will bring better services, applications and unprecedented experiences to consumers. It will also create an opportunity for operators to break the conventional "pipe" business model, enabling them to develop new digital services, explore new business models and foster new industry partnerships.
Huawei has completed an experience model for the first batch of new 5G services, released new experience and network construction standards, and built an AI-based experience management solution with service-network synergy to provide real-time, dynamic adjustment of a service experience and network policies. With its convergent data service operations platform and intelligent engine, Huawei helps operators accurately and efficiently attract new users, promote user activity, retain users and increase value, transforming their conventional operations into smart operations.
Huawei will increase its investment in its service experience lab and continue to explore the use of digitisation and AI to accelerate the resolution of complex user experience problems, while preparing for more service scenarios in the future.
We have always adhered to the rule to “simplify things for customers by dealing with complexity ourselves". Huawei Services abstracts rules, models and AI algorithms from a large number of successful practices, encapsulating them in an open, unified technical platform for our customers and partners to use. The company wants to lower the threshold for applying AI technologies, making them more available and easier to use. We will leverage the power of the industry to continuously innovate, solve problems and make AI ubiquitous. Operators and global partners can develop new talent with new methods and skills based on the company’s Digital Transformation Practice Centre.
Huawei will continue to invest in and improve the capabilities of AI-powered technical platforms. It will discuss intelligent and agile network construction, intelligent O&M, smart operations and improved user experiences with operators, industry organisations and global partners, cooperating in the 5G era to help customers achieve business success.