Vodafone and Nokia develop Machine Learning system to detect mobile network anomalies

Vodafone, in partnership with Nokia, is introducing a new machine learning (ML) algorithm to its pan-European mobile networks to detect and correct anomalies before they impact customers.

This latest innovation is part of Vodafone’s strategy to deliver customers a ‘best on Vodafone’ experience through the introduction of new, more reliable and energy efficient digital technologies. Earlier this month, Vodafone switched its entire pan-European fixed and mobile networks over to electricity from 100% renewable sources.

Based on Nokia Bell Labs technology, the Anomaly Detection Service autonomously detects if a mobile cell area is showing out of the ordinary behaviour which, if allowed to go undetected for an extended period, could impact the quality of service to customers. It allows Vodafone engineers to address issues faster such as congestion at a mobile site, interference, unexpected latency, difficulty in handing calls between different cells or call setup failures.

In addition to detecting anomalies, the algorithm also identifies patterns of change to allow Vodafone’s operating companies to proactively address issues before they impact the customer. Once active, Vodafone expects the new service to support its ambition to automatically detect and address 80 per cent of all anomalous mobile network issues and capacity demands.

With support from Vodafone, Nokia’s Bell Labs algorithm has been tested on the live network to demonstrate its accuracy and to ensure that it works with equipment from all network vendors. Following the initial deployment in Italy on more than 60,000 4G cells, Vodafone will extend the service to all its European markets by early 2022.

Johan Wibergh, Chief Technology Officer for Vodafone, said: “We are building an automated and programmable network that can respond quickly to our customers’ needs. As we extend 5G across Europe, it is important to match the speed and responsiveness of this new technology with a great service. With machine learning, we can ensure a consistently high-quality performance that is as smart as the technology behind it.”

Nokia’s Anomaly Detection Service is being deployed on Vodafone’s Cloud platform to enable engineers to make fast and informed decisions based on secure and reliable data analytics, such as being able to boost capacity where customers need it most.

Raghav Sahgal, Nokia’s President of Cloud and Network Services, said:“We are pleased to celebrate the first commercial deployment of our solution with Vodafone, running on the public cloud. By analyzing network data our machine-learning algorithms can detect anomalies impacting network operations and performance, helping Vodafone engineers to pre-empt and rapidly resolve issues.”

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