stc Group has completed the 5G Core Network functions automatic upgrade test case with Huawei MBB Autonomous Engine (MAE) solution and associated team. This signifies a giant step taken forward under the stc Network Cloudification and automation strategy. The stc strategy aims to deploy an agile cloud-native, next-generation platform including 5G edge computing, convergent and digital network through a sustainable shortened TTM and optimized TCO approach. As the first practice of the CDCT Use case validation project in KSA, stc Group demonstrated VNF/CNF onboarding and upgrading scenarios with a cloud detector – a simulator to perform automatic function test cases, thus successfully achieving O&M transformation from the NE-centered manual mode to the service-centered adaptive mode.
Based on Saudi Arabia’s vision of economic diversification in 2030, complex network environments and rapid development of vertical industry applications in the 5G era posed new requirements for network development, such as agile service provisioning and the simplified O&M. The traditional network functions upgrade mode brings challenges to core network O&M mechanisms and to network security. By exploring the concept of ADN (autonomous driving network) with Huawei, an advanced automatic workflow engine is introduced to orchestrate automation capabilities, such as Agile service Onboarding and tools, for quickly implementing automated process orchestration in scenarios such as NE upgrade, capacity expansion, scaling, and reconstruction.
Furthermore, with the new technology, CDCT AI-based intelligent O&M is introduced, including a unified pipeline engine, orchestrated and self-defined pipeline, workflow visualization and automatic upgrade. The automated workflow engine effectively solves three core issues: 1) Pre-upgrade high-security risks and complex operations associated with manual transferring of software versions, 2) During the upgrade, low efficiency with manual attendance in a short maintenance window and 3) Post-upgrade manual verification of alarms and service validation.
Compared with traditional NE upgrade methods, CDCT provides a unified operational interface to eliminate traditional upgrade breakpoints. Such scenarios of E2E automation will enhance service evolution progress on the live network. Driven by the vision of an authentic autonomous driving network, stc’s and Huawei’s dedication to innovation will enable NFVI infrastructure dynamic orchestration and telco cloud variety of automation scenarios. stc Group and Huawei will continue to innovate in service reliability, agility and automation, bringing advanced and mature business practices to the stc network, which better meets the requirements of various industries, and helps digital telecom transformation better cope with the development of the 5G era.