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Vice President at T-Labs
Deutsche Telekom’s Dr. Christoph Peylo shares why, in his opinion, Self-Organising Networks (SON) are a great opportunity to reduce complexity and build reliable, better products which help to better satisfy the needs of the customer.
What is motivating a need for Self-Organising Networks?
The idea of SON for networks, or parts of networks, becomes relevant for many application areas. If you look at the future of networks and network slicing, applications demand almost real-time capabilities and it will be difficult to provide the kind of network and network experience that each customer will need. So we as telco providers have to work on technology that meets demands for real-time, low latency, secure, confidential networks, and to provide tools that satisfy these demands automatically. That’s the whole concept of Self-Organising Networks and network functions, and it is extremely important for the future.
What do you see as key benefits for the end-user?
It’s about friendliness - giving the customer exactly what they need to fulfill each interest. Today we have basically one network for everyone, and this network has to satisfy every need and demand. I think in future - in several years from now - when things like Industrial IoT have succeeded and big enterprise has connected their production sites worldwide, there will be demands in terms of security and real-time delivery which cannot be solved otherwise. Self-Organising Networks are part of a toolset to satisfy these needs.
What will be the interaction between Self-Organising Networks and 5G?
Self-Organising Networks have to interact with the technology and infrastructure, because Self-Organising Networks mean enabling the net to organise itself given specific demands. The path chosen for a customer that requires a low latency, almost real-time connectivity between Europe and the US might be different from the path chosen for someone that does not need real-time, but requires low jitter communications. For a third customer the main concern might be the security and integrity of data, and so here again the route chosen by the system may be different. According to specific customer needs the path through the network or the network slices would look completely different.
How important is investment in Self-Organising Networks, and how would you convince a CTO to invest?
We have to invest in our networks to prepare them for the future demands of our customers: for low latency, speed, reliability, avoidance of jitter and so on. It is a logical function that we cannot separate - it is inevitable to invest in Self Organizing Capability and a tool set to address those features conveniently. It reduces complexity and, thus, will help to save OPEX. It’s more convenient and easier to use since the complexity of planning the right path through the networks, or picking the right slices of the network, is done automatically by the tool-set.
How would you measure a successful implementation of Self-Organising Networks?
I think there are two main ways to measure. If you can keep the promise that it’s easier and a tool can be provided that hides complexing and improves usability, you will be able to measure this by the demand generated for the tool. Financially, in my regard, it’s a means to reduce OPEX because it lowers complexity and the customers have to spend less effort getting what they really want to have. Less time spend with configuration and customizing, less administrative overhead and maintenance should be mirrored in better pricing. Thus, if we have an attractive Self-Organising Networks solution, and reduce the OPEX organizing it, then we have been successful.
What will be your key message at the Self-Organising Networks Conference?
I want to demonstrate the big picture of why the concept of self-organizing and SON is so powerful and makes perfect sense, will reduce complexity, and the benefits in terms of usability and security when such solutions are in place. The reduction of complexity will lead to the reduction of operational costs and management. This will result in innovative products and attractive pricing.