ETSI ENI Group elects officers; AI to improve telecom network deployment & operations

Verizon-UK, China Telecom, Huawei and others are taking part in a new “Experiential Networked Intelligence” (ENI) industry specifications group (ISG) at ETSI, or the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, looking at how artificial intelligence (AI) could be used to improve the deployment and operation of telecom networks.  The new AI group will cooperate with other industry organizations in advancing this topic area.

Last week, ETSI announced the elections of a chair and vice-chair for this new ENI Industry Specification Group.

“The purpose of the group is to define a Context Aware System using Artificial Intelligence (AI) based on the ‘observe-orient-decide-act’ control model,” ETSI said on its website. “This enables the system to adjust offered services based on changes in user needs, environmental conditions and business goals.”

The group will “improve operators’ experience regarding network deployment and operation, by using AI techniques,” Huawei’s Raymond Forbes said on ETSI’s website.  Mr. Forbes is the chairman of the new group.  “By introducing technologies such as SDN, NFV or network slicing, the network becomes more flexible and powerful,” added China Telecom’s Haining Wang, the group’s vice-chair.  “Nevertheless, the complexity of the future network is not reduced, but transferred from hardware to software, from the network itself to management and operation, from equipment to people. Experiential Networked Intelligence is expected to help operators to solve these problems.”

Here’s the complete list of ISG ENI Members:

  • China Academy of Telecommunications Research of MIIT
  • China Telecommunications Corporation
  • Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.-China
  • Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. – UK
  • Huawei Technologies Sweden
  • Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust/University of Luxembourg
  • PT Portugal SGPS SA
  • Samsung R&D Institute – UK
  • Verizon UK Ltd. – UK
  • WINGS ICT Solutions – GR
  • Xilinx Ireland

ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) creates a variety of standards for fixed, mobile and internet communications.  They generally pass their specifications to ITU-T for further work leading to ITU recommendations.  In the case of NFV (Network Function Virtualization), the ETSI work was input to OPNFV open source group within the Linux Foundation.  The new ETSI  ENI group said it would work on the topic with other standards organizations including IETF, MEF, 3GPP and others.

This isn’t the first time artificial intelligence has been discussed in the realm of telecommunications. For example, AT&T’s Brian Daly said last year the carrier is experimenting with AI to make its processes more efficient. And Verizon earlier this year said its “Exponent” initiative will include big data and AI to help carriers monetize troves of data through the application of advanced machine learning techniques and deep analytics.

SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son said earlier this year that the “singularity”—the idea that the invention of artificial superintelligence will trigger massive technological growth and cultural change—will happen in the next handful of years.