End-to-end automation: opportunities, challenges and the state of deployment

03 April 2023 | Research

Justin van der Lande | Michelle Lam

Perspective | PDF (26 pages) | Automated Assurance| Service Design and Orchestration| Network Automation and Orchestration

"End-to-end automation and orchestration of the network and service layers is a key priority for 5G operations."


Automation has been a strategic focus for communications service providers (CSPs) for many years in order to improve operational efficiency, offer higher-quality services and reduce the time to market for new services. 5G deployments have acted as a catalyst for the acceleration of automation due to their requirements for cloud-native and microservices-based development, software-defined and highly-virtualised network architecture and new services that support the Industry 4.0 era and other advanced use cases. Extreme network automation is also required when adopting open and disaggregated RAN architecture to reduce the cost of integration across multi-vendor environments using standardised, open and interoperable interfaces. All of these factors mean that CSPs must increase their levels of automation to be able to realise new revenue opportunities such as network slicing, software-defined networking (SDN) and cost savings using network function virtualisation (NFV).

Analysys Mason conducted a study in October 2022 to assess the current state of CSPs’ automation journeys. This paper provides in-depth analysis of the results of the study, which comprised a survey of 70 Tier-1 and Tier-2 CSPs worldwide,  interviews with a subset of 10 CSPs and Analysys Mason’s existing network automation and orchestration research. The study focused on areas relating to CSPs’ automation initiatives such as the challenges, benefits, financial impacts, use case priorities, deployment timelines and key performance indicators (KPIs) for multiple end-to-end processes including the process from network planning to building virtual infrastructure, that from designing a service to building it and the processes from ordering to activating, from problem to resolution and from termination to confirmation.

End-to-end automation: opportunities, challenges and the state of deployment

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Justin van der Lande

Research Director

Michelle Lam