Vodafone to launch AI on Spanish network in 2018

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Vodafone is hoping to halve the times for routine network management tasks in Spain after launching a new set of artificial intelligence algorithms.

Built in collaboration with Huawei and Ericsson, the algorithms can process information about signal levels on different frequencies to determine the best combination for each device connecting to the network.

This allows them to balance traffic loads between adjacent cells, manage the handovers from one cell to another and choose the best frequencies for carrier aggregation. Vodafone said the algorithms have halved the times for these tasks in a lab setting.

The algorithms also continually improve through data processing and pattern recognition, becoming more accurate with each connection they make.

Vodafone plans to introduce the technology commercially this year by embedding it within its base stations in Spain.

The operator said it hopes the technology will help it prepare for “exponential data growth”, which it claims is one of the major challenges facing operators. It plans to move towards a predictive network which can anticipate problems and pre-emptively resolve them.

It is also trialling artificial intelligence in Germany and Ireland with Huawei and Cisco respectively ahead of a planned commercial rollout this year.

Spanish rival Telefónica started using machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve the self-management of its network in December. It is working with Juniper Networks to develop and implement its Self-Driving Network solution, which will enable self-configuration, self-monitoring and self-diagnosis.

Telenor and Telecom Italia are also researching the technology.

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