Broadband Forum Intros Automated framework to Improve Broadband Networks Resiliency

The Broadband Forum is championing a pair of new industry standards for helping service providers to further improve network service quality – using AI – and anticipate and solve potential network faults.

The Automated Intelligence Management (AIM) framework relies on AI, ML and automation to bolster operational efficiency and reduce OpEx. It can reduce on-site maintenance and human intervention, detecting flaws before the user perceives or experiences service issues.

“AIM promises to unlock new revenue streams and save costs for service providers, that have had to increase CapEx to scale their networks,” said Vodafone’s Bruno Cornaglia, also Broadband Forum SDN/NFV Work Area Director. “For improved network monitoring and maintenance, these innovative technologies and solutions are available to be adopted to provide increased flexibility and seamless integration within deployed networks via their cloud-native nature.”

TR-436 (Access & Home Network O&M Automation/Intelligence) defines the AIM framework while TR-486 (Interfaces for AIM) defines its associated interfaces to allow seamless vendor interoperability. Both specifications complement cloudified network automation and low-maintenance operations, and streamline deployments provided by the CloudCO suite of standards.

One use case for the AIM framework is potentially monitoring and troubleshooting home Wi-Fi networks by automatically detecting when service levels go un-met, generating recommendations and reconfigurations to re-establish expected levels.

Another use case relies on network probes that recognize network performance between the subscriber premise and any location in the network. Closed-loop service assurance, as implemented by the AIM framework, identifies “best network path” for service flow and preserves user experience in the event of network congestion. This use case also builds on the Broadband Forum’s QED and subscriber session steering work, and was demonstrated at Broadband Forum’s recent CloudCO Demo at Network X.

“Service assurance with performance monitoring and automated traffic steering is an attractive proposition as it enables an automated and intelligent way to operate the network with minimal human intervention,” said TIM – Telecom Italia’s Mauro Tilocca, who also serves as the Broadband Forum Service Provider Action Council Chair. “The new specifications deliver an entire framework to empower network capabilities, via AI/ML-based recommendations. The AIM pipeline components can be implemented as virtualized functions in a cloud-native environment, allowing a high degree of reusability per modern DevOps and GitOps paradigms, as well as flexible and seamless deployments.”

New standards provide the framework and interfaces for single domain and end-to-end root cause analysis, path degradation predictions, sophisticated end-to-end customer experience assessments and recommended improvements.

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