How mobile network automation will drive success for operators

Last updated: 21 November 2023

Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are under huge pressure from enterprises and consumers to deliver fast and efficient services – but meeting these expectations in the face of exploding data demands is not an easy task.

Fortunately, automation has emerged as a potential game-changer, holding the key for MNOs to meet end user demands and maintain a competitive edge.

In this blog, we explore four ways MNOs can harness the power of automation to not only deliver standout experiences, but to achieve their own growth and profitability objectives:

  • Scaling 5G: Network upgrades require significant investments from MNOs, so they need to identify efficiencies at every single stage – from network/service planning, to deployment, maintenance and operations. The application of automation at every single stage will be critical to make sure 5G can scale in a timely, reliable and cost-effective manner.
  • Tackling complexity: Networks, services and ecosystems are getting complicated. Indeed, MNOs are grappling with multiple technology generations and spectrum bands, at the same time as implementing new core architectures that embrace cloud, edge and virtualisation. Networks increasingly decoupling software from hardware is also adding additional complexity to operations and maintenance. Simplifying processes should therefore be a key focus area for automation to improve service offerings and delivery.
  • Supporting sustainability and security: Sustainability and security have long been top priorities for MNOs, and suppliers have already been responding to this through the use of automation. Product updates ranging from network sleep to energy efficient user management, threat mitigation and detection, feature rollout support to guard against threats. Innovation must continue in this space to accelerate progress towards these goals – helping to both protect confidential information and reduce our impact on the planet.
  • Increasing spectrum: The intersection of spectrum and networks represents a complex network dynamic with plenty of room for automated support, including multi-band operations, antenna and cell parameter optimisation and spectrum-aware radio planning – all alongside traditional self-optimising network (SON) functions. This should therefore be a key focus area for MNOs looking to drive efficiencies.

Despite the huge potential of network automation, internal issues are proving to be some of the most significant obstacles to adoption. Some of the biggest challenges include a lack of automation expertise, automation project ownership and administration, and an inherent bias against automated processes. It’s therefore crucial to garner C-level support to drive these initiatives forward and reap the benefits.

By embracing automation, MNOs will position themselves for success in the fast-changing telecommunications industry, ensuring they deliver exceptional experiences and stay ahead of the competition.

Find out more about why mobile network automation matters in the latest report by GSMA Intelligence:

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