SKT unveils AI-enabled fixed network controller

SK Telecom staff try out the AI Orchestrator network management platform.

SK Telecom staff try out the AI Orchestrator network management platform.

  • SK Telecom is looking at lots of different ways to use AI
  • It has developed an AI-enabled fixed network management system
  • The operator says the system automates SDN tasks and greatly simplifies network operations

SK Telecom has deployed an AI-enabled fixed network management platform, dubbed AI Orchestrator, that will “significantly improve network operations efficiency and stability.”

The influential South Korean network operator, which positions itself as an AI company, says it has applied a “code-type infrastructure solution with an AIOps environment” to manage the fixed networks that support its 4G and 5G radio access networks, effectively automating the software defined networking (SDN) processes that are currently in place.

“When a network [operations team member] enters a script in a programming language with which he or she is familiar, it is automatically translated into commands for each device, dramatically improving operational efficiency and stability by integrated inspection and control of tens of thousands of devices nationwide,” noted SK Telecom in this announcement (in Korean). 

SKT noted that network operators have been deploying SDN systems in recent years to manage their multivendor network environments, “but there were several limitations, such as high maintenance costs and differences in standardisation” by the equipment vendors. 

“AI Orchestrator’s automated system not only overcomes existing limitations by enabling integrated control of the entire equipment but also greatly improves work speed, completing tasks that previously took several days in one day. Errors that can occur during manual management have also been reduced,” stated SK Telecom. 

According to the operator, AI ​​Orchestrator automatically manages software version updates and tracks changes, detects potentially harmful commands and can even modify code templates when errors are identified, avoiding lengthy and costly modifications and rebuilds.    

The platform also includes “AI-based analysis and model functions” that enables network management operatives to predict events and continuously collects data from network elements so that the operations team can “develop AI models based on stored data, analyse data to determine what actions and inspections are needed in the future, and improve accuracy in detecting network abnormalities and predicting traffic.” 

SK Telecom’s head of infrastructure technology, Ryu Tak-gi, stated: “As an AI company, we are applying AI to the infrastructure area, which is the basis of our company. We will take the lead in not only developing solutions to achieve these goals but also establishing a development culture,” he added. 

- Ray Le Maistre, Editorial Director, TelecomTV

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