• The scope is vast, encompassing 50,000 sites across the country and tens of thousands of network devices and servers.
  • Operators and service providers will create a slew of disruptive services that complement upcoming technologies.

Anuta Networks Automates First 5G Mobile Network in NA

Anuta Networks, a prominent network automation solution provider, publicized that a new North American (NA) mobile network operator has chosen its closed-loop automation platform (ATOM) to boost the first 5G Standalone (SA) deployment developed from the ground up with Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) as a Service.

The scope is vast, encompassing 50,000 sites across the country and tens of thousands of network devices and servers. The ATOM solution reduces setup and integration touchpoints, creates customized workflows that reduce human errors, and boosts productivity for network engineers.

Because of its huge performance boost over LTE (up to 20 times faster), low latency (less than 5ms), and vastly better security and device scale support, the 3GPP 5G-New Radio (NR) standard is being actively embraced globally.

As a result, operators and service suppliers will be able to create a slew of disruptive services that complement upcoming technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), Virtual Reality (VR), and Augmented Reality (AR). The O-RAN alliance has also become a driving force behind the deployment of open interfaces and Application Programming Interface (APIs), as well as domestic vendor flexibility and interoperability.

The built disaggregation in O-RAN’s architecture allows service providers to select best-of-breed vendors for each of the RU, gNodeb (DU/CU), Near-RT, and Non-RT RIC/SMO elements while using virtualization on Commercial-Off-The-Shelf servers (COTS). This strategy boosts innovation while also lowering infrastructure costs. But it also introduces operational challenges, majorly when manual processes are followed.

A cell-site activation, for example, usually necessitates 50 or more manual steps, spanning applications from a dozen or more suppliers who supply the essential hardware, software, and services. In the best-case scenario, manual activation can take up to 26 hours per site when all processes are optimized, necessitating network automation.

Cell site onboarding, comprising transport configuration and provisioning of multi-vendor network solutions, must be supported by any viable network automation platform. Many methods exist for CNFs (O-RU, O-DU, O-CU, IMS, AMF, SMF, and others) hosted in AWS local zones and regions, including bare metal server provisioning, workload provisioning, inventory update, and lifecycle management. Furthermore, automation must support multi-tenancy, reporting, and analytics on a large scale.

Anuta Networks ATOM provides server and network automation, mMTC applications, network slice provisioning for eMBB, and uRLLC applications, assembles telemetry, and delivers assurance and closed-loop remediation via one platform.

Important features of the Anuta Networks ATOM solution are as follows  –

  • A highly scalable cloud-native architecture that supports 100,000 plus devices
  • Standards-based (BPMN 2.0) low-code workflows
  • ML/AI-driven predictive analytics for assessing workflow completion
  • Pre-built integrations with CI/CD, ITSM, IPAM
  • 24/7 compliance implementation to reduce configuration drift
  • Out of the box libraries and reusable workflows
  • Customizable and extensible reporting
  • Zero-Touch Provisioning (ZTP) for cell-site routers
  • Bare metal server Lifecycle Management (BLM) through Redfish APIs

Furthermore, ATOM enables cell-site onboarding in as little as two hours on average, saving at least 24 hours per site. As a result, this carrier stands to save a significant amount of time and money in terms of time to market and cost, particularly considering the 50,000-site future scale-out plan.

ATOM’s ability to provide granular reports and fully linked workflows will allow this operator to fulfil and exceed SLA commitments for enterprise clients while also lowering subscriber attrition for consumer subscribers.

Experts’ view

Executive Vice President of Wireless Operations for the New Mobile Network Operator said, “We were looking for a holistic, complete network automation solution which could help us accelerate productivity and increase the scale of operations while also being affordable and are happy to collaborate with Anuta. Anuta Networks ATOM’s cloud-native, AWS-ready network automation solution, which runs on the Amazon EKS platform, helps us streamline onboarding operations while integrating systems from 13 vendors. The single pane of visibility and control delivered by ATOM for thousands of complex network and server elements across all our sites helps us ensure high uptime and performance for our 5G customers. With Anuta, we look forward to scaling across hundreds of new markets in quick succession by the end of 2022.”

Chandu Guntakala, Founder, President and CEO at Anuta Networks, said, “At Anuta, we support our clients’ network automation projects through a fine blend of technology, robust experience, and operational excellence. Supported by 30 operators and 300 suppliers, O-RAN is paving the way for global deployments of 5G networks with innovation and agility. The powerful combination of 5G and O-RAN is expected to witness a growth of about 52% between 2022 and 2030, and we are happy to be at the cusp of this revolutionary change.”

Guntakala added, “We are delighted to play a crucial role in ensuring the integration of components from the best-of-breed vendors. With Anuta Networks ATOM, customers get a single source of truth and a single-pane-of-glass view of their network and server infrastructure to ensure faster deployment, greater visibility, enhanced security, and optimum performance.”