December 22, 2016

Network management automation in 5G: Challenges and opportunities

  • Decarreau G.
  • Mannweiler C.
  • Mwanje S.
  • Naseer-Ul-Islam M.
  • Schmelz L.

The development of 5G cellular networks is driven by several architectural and radio technology evolutions; and by requirements of diverse uses cases from the vertical industries that will be supported. Combined, these drivers demand for new approaches and processes to be applied towards the automation of Network Management (NM) tasks so as to advance operability levels for mobile network operators (MNOs). This paper analyzes the limitations of legacy Self-Organizing Networks (SON) introduced with 4G for Network Management Automation (NMA). In particular, we highlight the new challenges emerging from these 5G features and present several technological enablers that can be leveraged for 5G NMA. We include a future NMA framework combining these enablers, that addresses the NMA challenges by: 1) enhancing the level of intelligence in network elements, 2) allowing the networks to better process and analyze various kinds of network information, 3) enabling identification of operational context and scenarios, and 4) leveraging the building and sharing of NM knowledge across different domains and networks.

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