NTT, Sprint lead ETSI’s zero-touch service-management efforts, sets focus on network automation

HK organizations see software development as key to driving growth and staying competitive (image scyther5 / iStockPhoto)
Representatives from NTT and Sprint are heading up ETSI’s Network Operators Council advisory group for its new network automation initiative (cyther5 / iStockPhoto).

NTT and Sprint are leading ETSI’s Network Operators Council (NOC) advisory group for its new zero-touch network and Service Management Industry Specification Group (ZSM ISG).

ZSM ISG, which recently ended its kickoff meeting that took place at ETSI on Jan. 10-12, elected a leadership team, started discussing the first topics to work on and initiated collaboration with other standards bodies, fora and open source communities.

The Network Operators Council (NOC) advisory group named Ashiq Khan of DOCOMO as chair and Serge Manning of Sprint as vice chair. Klaus Martiny of Deutsche Telekom was elected as chair of the ZSM ISG, while Nurit Sprecher of Nokia and Christian Toche of Huawei were elected as vice chairs of the group.

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During the first meeting, ZSG agreed on five working topics including the development of use cases, requirements and reference architecture with an end-to-end view of a zero touch systems as well analysis into areas such as automation techniques and the management of network slices.

“A continuous feedback from all stakeholders will lead to the first implementations of the specifications which will be tested through Proofs of Concepts, the outcome being fed back to improve existing specifications,” said Klaus Martiny, ZSM chair, in a release. “A strong collaboration and cooperation with other standards bodies and Open Source projects is important for the ISG.” 

A key focus of the ZSG is on network automation. The goal of ETSI’s ISG ZSM is to provide an end-to-end solution to have all operational processes and tasks—delivery, deployment, configuration, assurance and optimization with 100% automation.

As ETSI helped the service provider and vendor industries pursue the goal of full Automation of Network & Service Management and Operation (ANSMO), the organization said in a white paper (PDF) that “we see the necessity for coordination and cooperation among relevant standardization organizations and open source projects.”

Service providers are already taking advantage of network automation. AT&T fired an early shot in the network automation race with services like Network on Demand, which allows enterprise business customers to call up Ethernet bandwidth via an online portal, for example.

Meanwhile, Epsilon has automated 50% of its global network of 95 points of presence for delivering Ethernet services.