A Huawei solution to support network operations centers during the COVID-19 pandemic won the COVID-19 response award at the AfricaCom Virtual Awards.
Huawei O&M Autin network-based operations solution won the award, which recognizes organizations and initiatives that have successfully implemented technology solutions in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. Huawei was chosen as the winner from a list of five initiatives on the continent.
The AfricaCom Virtual Awards recognize the contributions of the African technology community in fields including corporate leadership, entrepreneurship, innovation, connectivity, responding to a pandemic, and building a more accessible and inclusive digital world.
Huawei developed Autin’s network-based operations solution for network operations and maintenance (O&M), using new technologies such as blockchain, network-based transformation, and operations intelligence to enable decentralized network management during the COVID-pandemic. 19.
About 170 million mobile subscribers in Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, are served by four main operators of around 30,000 sites across the country. The maintenance of these large infrastructures requires hundreds of field technicians and supervision 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Lockdown and mobility restrictions during the pandemic posed additional challenges for operators, with increased traffic and restrictions on the number of workers allowed in network operations centers (NOCs).
To address these challenges, Huawei developed the network-based Autin operation, which decentralizes network management by training field technicians with digitized tools to proactively monitor network quality indicators and respond to any degradation before it subscribers are affected.
Not only does the solution provide a contingency for operators’ NOCs, which essentially function as a “portable NOC”, but it extends network monitoring capabilities with network-based operation. A cloud-based digital big data platform is the core of the solution, leveraging machine learning / AI, prediction algorithms, and knowledge-based smart rules.
A monetary incentive mechanism linked to network quality indicators motivates field workers to adopt this change in mindset. Lastly, an intelligent command center, a “magnifying glass in the sky,” provides real-time visibility into network status, staff geolocation, and incident resolution tracking.
“Network-based network operation improves predictability and increases the agility of operators to respond to network incidents,” said Leo Lu, Huawei’s vice president of global technical services for South Africa. “Field workers go from being passive-reactive to being proactive thanks to cloud-based technology that gives them visibility and access to a knowledge database to solve network failures.
“Smart dispatch and an incentive plan based on network quality are additional mobile features that improve the well-being of field workers and reduce their exposure to the pandemic,” concluded Leo Lu.