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Nokia joins the digital assistant party with Mika


Whoops, wrong Mika... :) © Flickr/cc-licence-Alberto Garcia

  • A multi-purpose intuitive knowledge assistant for telco engineers
  • Provides augmented intelligence and automated learning
  • Built on Nokia’s AVA platform
  • “Am I too dirty, am I too flirty?” No, not that Mika…

The problem with voice-based digital assistants is that the chosen activation name usually ends up annoying or confusing people. There are thousands of Alexas in the world who are now exasperated that the mere mention of their name results in the nearest Amazon Echo device springing into life. And don't get my Norwegian relatives started on Siri…

The latest name to be hijacked in the interests of creating a better connected society is Mika. Yes, Mika. No relation to the Freddie Mercury-soundalike who once declared that Big Girl, You Are Beautiful and who Tried To Be Like Grace Kelly. And hopefully this Mika is a little more interactive than Formula One driver Mika Hakkinen, who may have been the Flying Fin but had the personality of a robot (hmm, maybe Hakkinen was the inspiration after all…)

No, this Mika is a “customised digital assistant” from Nokia (there’s that Finland connection again) that aims to improve telecom operators' efficiency by providing engineers with faster access to critical information. Mika apparently is an acronym for Multi-purpose Intuitive Knowledge Assistant, designed to provide automated assistance that saves time and frees highly skilled workers to focus on critical tasks.

Mika is powered by Nokia's AVA cognitive services platform and builds on Nokia's services expertise to provide voice-dictated automated assistance to reduce time spent searching information resources, enabling operators to focus on key business tasks. Nokia says analysis of working methods within a Network Operations Centre has revealed that the use of Mika could give back more than an hour of productive time every day to engineers.

"Finding the right information is a daily challenge for telco engineers tasked with boosting network quality,” said Igor Leprince, Head of Global Services at Nokia. “Mika is customised to support the specific needs of telecoms, and can deliver recommendations based on experience from networks around the world."

Mika combines augmented intelligence with automated learning to provide access to an range of tools, documents and data sources. These include the Nokia AVA knowledge library – a repository of best practice gathered from Nokia projects around the world. Using the knowledge library Mika can provide recommendations based on similar issues seen in other networks.

Predictive repairs

In addition to launching Mika, Nokia has also introduced the Predictive Repair, a service that it says will enable operators to reduce costs and improve network quality by moving away from break-fix approaches to hardware maintenance. This new service can reportedly predict hardware failures and recommend replacements up to 14 days in advance, with up to 95 per cent accuracy.

These recommendations should allow operators to improve efficiency by avoiding unnecessary site visits, wasted operations, excessive inventory and false “No Fault Found” returns. Nokia says it is the first service of its type in the telecoms industry. It draws on Nokia's hardware services expertise, correlating network, repair centre and factory data, and uses Nokia Bell Labs machine learning algorithms to predict failures.

The service is available to operators that use Nokia 3G and 4G equipment and is currently undergoing customer trials.

A final word of caution; telecoms engineers yelling “Hey, Mika” into their phones shouldn’t expect the colourful, tousle-haired European troubadour to coming skipping to their rescue. You probably have more chance summoning the former F1 driver who, last year, became the official brand ambassador for Nokian Tyres…

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