A vision of the future, driven by autonomous networks

By GovInsider

As development progresses towards fully autonomous networks, telecommunications players such as Thailand’s AIS hope to deliver greater network reliability and quality, and personalised services.

Boonchoung Tansuthepverawongse, Head of Network Data and OSS Platform at AIS, presented a keynote speech at the recent Digital Transformation World Summit. Image: AIS 

Whether it’s fleets of autonomous vehicles, smart cities with applications triggered by facial recognition, or medtech that makes organ-matching for transplant patients more efficient, autonomous networks will have a role to play in a future that’s just around the corner. 

Autonomous networks are networks envisioned to be able to run with minimal or even zero human intervention. They can leverage technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, 5G and edge computing to improve human experiences. 

They would also be able to run themselves in the sense that they can adapt to environments and learn from data, and thereby configure, monitor, maintain and secure themselves. 

Networks will one day become fully autonomous 

On the journey towards fully autonomous networks, or AN, there remain challenges related to technical standards, platforms and data, and people and community, according to Boonchoung Tansuthepverawongse, Head of Network Data and OSS Platform at Advanced Info Service (AIS), a 5G digital service provider and Thailand’s largest GSM mobile operator. 

Speaking at the recent Digital Transformation World Summit held in Copenhagen, Denmark, he delivered a keynote speech titled, “Striding towards AN L4 and Paving the way towards Cognitive Tech-Co”, a presentation that referred to the telco’s collaboration with industry players to build on highly autonomous networks to become fully autonomous ones.

AIS clinched awards for “Best Innovation and Future Technology Company” and “Best New Catalyst - Culture and Talent” at DTW Summit 2023, which was hosted by TM Forum, an alliance of more than 800 companies working together to “break down technology and cultural barriers” between digital service providers, technology suppliers, consultancies and systems integrators. 

AIS won the “Best Innovation and Future Technology Company” and “Best New Catalyst - Culture and Talent” awards at DTW 2023. Image: AIS 

These awards recognised the participation of AIS in proof-of-concept “Catalyst” innovation projects. In one such project, AIS collaborated with industry partners to examine the use of APIs to develop intent-driven autonomous networks, which could enable intent-based automation to improve customer experiences and business outcomes. 

Elevating telco networks towards autonomy 

Wasit Wattanasap, Head of Nationwide Operations and Support Business Unit at AIS, said that the company aims to become an intelligent telecommunications technology organisation, what it terms as being a “cognitive tech-co”, by elevating its network operations into an autonomous network. 

“This network must possess a high degree of intelligence to anticipate and manage capabilities in real-time, responding swiftly to changing circumstances. Additionally, it should foster collaboration and even offer personalised services to customers.” 

According to Tansuthepverawongse, autonomous networks would play a significant role in enhancing AIS network reliability, network quality, and operation efficiency. 

“We have crafted a clear roadmap to elevate ourselves into an autonomous network with the intensive work of personnel, especially engineers and IT, through rigorous work, and seeking and developing new technologies in collaboration with world-class partners such as Huawei,” added Wattanasap. 

“This collaborative effort involves testing cutting-edge technologies that will enhance the network’s capabilities, propelling us to establish new global standards for autonomous networks.”

Advancing Thailand to the digital world stage 

AIS has four core businesses in Thailand, namely mobile phone services, high-speed home broadband, enterprise services, and digital services including video, cloud, digital payments, and the Internet of Things. 

According to Wattanasap, the latest accolades highlight AIS’s dedication to innovation, to improving the online experiences of its Thai users, and to contribute to the digital economy of Thailand

“[We’re] positioned to advance Thailand to a prominent place on the world stage for digital technology by establishing new benchmarks for smart networks in the telecommunications sector, both nationally and internationally,” he said. 

As the journey continues towards the ultimate goal of fully autonomous networks, which would be applicable to all scenarios and capable of analysis, decision-making and learning, he added that AIS would keep pushing the envelope and sharing lessons and best practices with industry partners. 

This article is published in partnership with Huawei.