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The Evolving Landscape of Service Assurance in Telecommunications


Horizon landscape field 5G

As the shift to 5G becomes ubiquitous, the integration of advanced technologies presents its own set of challenges.

In the dynamic world of telecommunications, the advent of technologies like 5G, cloud computing, edge computing, and artificial intelligence (AI) is reshaping the concept of service assurance. As we delve deeper into this era, it becomes evident that traditional methods of network management and optimization are evolving to accommodate the increased complexity and demands of modern networks.

Emerging Trends and Technological Integration

Substantial investments in 5G infrastructure, especially on the Radio Access Network (RAN) side, are facilitating the rollout of mid-band spectrums that enhance performance. This expansion aims not only to improve the consumer mobile experience but also to power next-generation services for businesses including enterprise grade fixed wireless access and private 5G networks. As the number of internet of things (IoT) and machine-type communications devices continues to rise, the shift to dedicated network slices is necessary.

However, the integration of these advanced technologies presents its own set of challenges. Network optimization and automation are pivotal, with core network functions migrating to both private and public clouds on standardized compute infrastructures. Yet, the journey towards fully autonomous networks reveals hurdles, such as AIOPs tools struggling when applied to mobile networks. while AI integration is crucial for future networks, we are still in the early stages of achieving complete autonomy.

Moreover, the approach to network management is evolving from reactive to proactive. Traditional methods of capturing and analyzing every bit of data are no longer feasible due to the sheer volume of both control and user plane traffic. Instead, the industry is moving towards a seamless DevOps cycle that integrates service activation, network monitoring, and rapid automated root cause analysis with change management. This method not only enhances the efficiency and reliability of networks but also ensures that they meet the increasingly stringent SLAs that demand specific performance metrics like latency and throughput.

VisionWorks active testing

Active Testing

The incorporation of active test agents across the network plays a crucial role in this new strategy. Deployed across different network domains, these agents provide a real-time view of the network's performance and health, enabling proactive testing and monitoring. When anomalies like increased latency or data loss are detected, automated workflows leveraging these agents can swiftly identify the issue's location, enhancing the speed and accuracy of fault isolation and resolution.

Active Test Agents | Gain end-to-end visibility across the network and through every service layer.

Active Test Agents | Gain end-to-end visibility across the network and through every service layer.

Practical Applications and the Road Ahead

The practical application of advanced telecommunications technologies is already evident in industrial operations. For example, Tesla's use of mobile network engineering to connect cars and robots seamlessly to its private 5G network during manufacturing showcases how these innovations are being used. This not only demonstrates the capabilities of 5G but also highlights its potential to revolutionize industry practices.

Continuing to push the boundaries of what's possible in telecommunications, integrating tools and metrics across different network components—RAN, core, and backhaul—is vital. This consolidation allows operators to gain a comprehensive view of network health, enabling quicker and more precise fault detection and resolution. The future of telecommunications hinges on our ability to effectively integrate and automate these technologies, setting the stage for an era where network efficiency, reliability, and performance are paramount. As we move towards autonomous networks, active assurance plays the role of the eyes and ears for AIOps and network orchestration, enabling instant verification of changes that are made.

To delve deeper into how these transformations are shaping the future of telecommunications and to understand the pivotal role of service assurance in this new era, watch our webinar: Service Assurance in the Era of 5G, Cloud, Edge, and AI.

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Ross Cassan
Ross Cassan

Sr Dir Mobility Strategy, Lifecycle Service Assurance

Ross Cassan is director of product marketing for the Mobility Infrastructure business unit within Spirent’s Networks, Applications and Infrastructure division and is responsible for strategy, marketing and promotion for Spirent’s flagship product Landslide. Spirent Landslide enables end-to-end testing of the entire Mobile & Wi-Fi eco-system. In addition, he is has been a key contributor to many technical standards bodies such as the Broadband Forum and TIA. Ross joined Spirent in 1999 had has held positions in product management and product marketing for both hardware and software platforms. Prior to joining Spirent, Ross held marketing positions at Newbridge Networks and Nortel.