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Looking to better meet its customer needs and expand its footprint in its addressable market, communications technology provider Nokia has revealed it is strengthening its software portfolio in the areas of security, automation and monetisation, with artificial intelligence (AI) binding the portfolio together.
The company said the move reflected the continued evolution of its software business and would be part of a move to build on the success of rearchitecting its applications to make them fully cloud-native and deployable in any cloud environment – edge, public or private. Nokia also announced that it would be launching several software-as-a-service (SaaS) services to provide enterprises with faster time to value in operating their networks.
Nokia also announced that its operational support systems (OSS), business support systems (BSS) and security software applications would be unified under its AVA (automation, visualisation, analytics) brand to provide “Intelligence Everywhere” through AI, machine learning (ML), no-code configuration, open application programming interfaces (APIs), multicloud orchestration and digital ecosystems.
Nokia is introducing the AVA Open Analytics framework to help cloud service providers (CSPs) accelerate AI projects, in part by simplifying how data is stored and used. The Anaconda State of data science 2021 report found that data scientists spend around 40% of their time on data wrangling and repetitive tasks that should be automated, according to various industry estimates.
The AVA Open Analytics framework will aim to move customers from monolithic and centralised data lakes to a hybrid data mesh architecture that abstracts technical complexity and enables data scientists to focus instead on the needs of their data use cases. Nokia expects the framework to be fully commercially available in 2023.
Nokia is also introducing the Ignite Digital Ecosystem, which is designed to bring together customers and application partners to accelerate and commercialise innovation of security, automation and monetisation solutions. Ignite will use Nokia’s ecosystem enablement platform to streamline collaboration through secure access to the resources needed to unlock value, including on-demand product sandboxes for experimentation and integration.
More than 20 projects are already ongoing with customers and application providers, including the development of machine learning models, automation, and cyber security incident detection and response use cases.
Looking at what effect the move could mean for the business, Appledore Research principal analyst Grant Lenahan said: “Nokia’s repositioning of its business applications under the AVA brand places artificial intelligence and machine learning as central pillars to Nokia’s software offering.”
Ahmad Latif Ali, associate vice-president of European telecom insights at IDC, remarked: “Telcos are searching for more intelligent ways to monetise their network data. As they do that, telcos must consider implementing next-generation AI, ML and data governance capabilities. Nokia’s announcement is an example of a vendor redoubling its efforts to drive further analytics innovation and 5G value for…enterprises.”
Hamdy Farid, senior vice-president of business applications at Nokia, added: “By strengthening our analytics framework and unifying our portfolio under the AVA brand, we are reinforcing our commitment to provide deep intelligence across our security, automation and monetisation solutions. We look forward to partnering with our CSP and enterprise customers, along with application developers, to drive further innovation and create 5G value.”
The first public deployment of the Nokia AI RF capacity planning software, part of the AVA set, will be at Japanese operator NTT DOCOMO to help it more efficiently roll out its 5G network and to speed up radio frequency planning. The AI RF solution has been customised based on DOCOMO’s requirements and can predict RF capacity of 4G cells from BTS performance data; and simulate the best candidate locations of 5G cell and RAN hardware to meet required area capacity.
The software is said to support DOCOMO’s ongoing work to achieve a clearer understanding of where its network is starting to get congested and where to plan network upgrades to prevent capacity bottlenecks. “We are striving to create new values and contribute to the resolution of social issues through communication technology to make our customers’ lives more convenient and prosperous,” said Yoshitaka Hiramoto, director of RAN department at NTT DOCOMO. To achieve this, efficient network construction is essential, and we expect incorporating Nokia’s AI driven RF capacity planning software into our network capacity design work will help us to realize the construction of efficient networks.”