Service Assurance

Deliver the power of monitoring with outstanding customer experiences, while enabling new revenue streams.

Service Assurance

VIAVI delivers service assurance and analytics to monitor, assure, optimize, and monetize your network, whatever the technology. Gain visibility into your network, and customers, by combining market-leading machine learning technology with a cloud-native platform to deliver critical insight for managing your business objectives, as well as your network ambitions.

Service Assurance Solutions from VIAVI

Service Assurance is the application of policies, processes, and solutions through which an operator can monitor their network, the services running over the network, and their customers’ Quality of Service. The network is your most powerful data and analytics engine with a mass of data that can be turned into real intelligence and insight. Using smart technologies and machine learning, the VIAVI service assurance and analytics solution, NITRO Mobile, leverages unified RAN and Core data, providing an unparalleled 360o view of the customer experience across all mobile technologies.

When building or expanding the network by leveraging a virtualized infrastructure, any visibility engine that will provide Service Assurance and Analytics can no longer be addressed during the later phases – it must be designed into the cloud-based network at day one. By ensuring the systems are integrated, you can be confident that you have seamless and unified visibility across the multiple technologies (2G, 3G, 4G, 5G) as well as across RAN and Core

The NITRO Mobile micro-services based architectural approach delivers a cloud-native solution, pipelined across VNFs (Virtual Network Functions) enabling a dynamic range of applications to ensure critical services are running efficiently, maximizing both your consumer and enterprise subscribers’ experience while optimizing operations.

Building on the Multi-technology NITRO

Automation takes the principles of Management, Assurance, and Optimization and encodes them in a process that can be performed automatically with minimal or even no human intervention. The complexity of 5G and Virtualization demands a level of automation allowing engineers to manage other aspects of network operations and planning. With the dynamic nature of cloud-based networks, the number of parameters involved and often with support of several disparate verticals, many would argue some level of Automation is a must. Indeed, the openness and flexibility offered through a cloud-based approach in a multi-vendor environment can only be fully realized with automation.

The concepts of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are the cornerstone of Automation. These elements have been key components of the NITRO Mobile evolutionary capabilities. Both supervised and unsupervised ML are used within the solution today along with a branch of AI called evolutionary computing. Many ML algorithms and models thrive on data in large quantities and these algorithms and models in-turn underpin the AI required to automate processes.

To achieve a full end-to-end and unified view of subscribers’ quality of service, data from the RAN and the Core is correlated across multi-technologies. For example, GEO Location Intelligence can be generated from RAN-based subscriber data and combined with Core Control and User Plane insights to provide a rich window to service quality. With 5G, Network Slicing and Virtualized Networks, dynamic data capture is required where data access will be variable with the user plane function topology adapting to the needs of network slices. A more flexible, automated, and powerful data-capture engine is needed as the network continues to evolve and traditional methods become grossly insufficient. 

Analytics is the practice of measuring and analyzing data generated by mobile subscribers and their devices. It employs “big data” to capture the details of mobile user experiences and behavior with the primary objectives being service assurance and data monetization. When utilized by mobile network operators, mobile analytics solutions can provide detailed subscriber insights enabling a vast array of applications from Marketing Campaigns, Fraud Analysis, and Revenue Assurance to Benchmarking, Churn and Financial Reporting. The depth of insight now available through NITRO Mobile Analytics enables new revenue streams and supports many operator lines of business and underpins third-party and operator applications, and data science solutions. 

The evolution of 5G that brings new opportunities to Service Providers, Enterprises, and Consumers inevitably presents new challenges. New verticals often with disparate network and service needs; a new disaggregated RAN; many new network endpoints; and a new cloud-based and programmable core, to name a few. And all this comes on top of the network and services you already and will continue to support. Crucially you need to monetize your 5G investment, drive new revenue streams, forge new partnerships, and engage customers in new and exciting ways. You also need a vendor you can trust that can partner with you through the journey who has significant experience as well as agility to evolve with the technology and market needs. 

The NITRO Mobile 5G Service Assurance and Analytics solution provides unique RAN2Core insight from a national view right down to a street-level beam-view seamlessly. Whether you need to support an Open RAN environment or a Virtualized Cloud-native 5G Stand Alone core, NITRO Mobile will ensure your customers are delighted, your network is efficient and your business opportunities are realized.

With the deployment of 5G and new business models along with continual pressure on Capex and Opex, Service Assurance and Analytics solutions must provide measurable reductions in TCO compared to traditional methods. Typically, there are three primary datasets that require input, namely:

  • Diagnostics: troubleshooting and root cause
  • Assurance: operational service-affecting anomalies and Quality of Experience
  • Analytics: exploratory data science and analysis

Supporting these workflows is the need to understand the separation of data requirements albeit from the same data source. In many ways this is similar to the concept of network slicing where a multiplex of virtualized networks on the same physical infrastructure can be applied to deliver often disparate vertical needs. With NITRO Mobile, we deliver the unique, Intelligent Assurance Slice Manager (IASM), which provides assurance slices per workflow applying the resources needed and priorities to the workflows in real-time dynamically. Flexible-data processing pipelines of microservices will enable the workflows bringing a new level of automation and data science, significantly reducing TCO while maintaining data integrity.

The need for Analytics to support a broad range of business for the operator, supporting data science and revenue-generating opportunities, is well understood. The Network Data Analytics Function (NWDAF) is part of a 3GPP standard for the 5G Core as defined in TS 29.520. It provides standard interfaces from a service-based architecture for centralized data collection and analytics through subscription or by request. The proposal would have a distributed architecture providing data at the edge in real-time along with a central aggregator of analytics. 

NWDAF is a key element in the provision of automated assurance and analytics, allowing operators to manage, in real-time, elements such as network slicing in a cloud native NFV domain. A central foundation of NITRO Mobile is an open platform with northbound and southbound interfaces aligning with standards and technologies as they evolve. NITRO Mobile would be able to leverage the NWDAF principles to provide granular insight on the 5G Core network, services, and customers.

Service Assurance: Educational F.A.Q.

Service assurance is defined as the application of policies, processes, and solutions through which a mobile operator ensures all network services meet predefined levels of performance and quality of experience (QoE). This includes ongoing visibility into network faults and service degradations that allows operators to respond proactively to potential issues.

At the dawn of the telecommunications era, the service assurance meaning was a simple case of basic voice services meeting "carrier-grade" performance standards. Since that time, text and data services have gradually increased the volume, velocity, and variety of mobile services, along with their associated complexity.

5G is creating a new paradigm for service assurance, as a cloud-based Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) model and thousands of diverse service use cases expand the challenges of RAN to Core visibility in unprecedented ways. Network slicing, higher bandwidth, and the millimeter wave will continue to raise the bar with 5G Standalone mode.

The singular voice use case has now been replaced by a virtually limitless combination of services originating from slices of the cloud. To maintain the visibility necessary to optimize service levels and monetization opportunities, a flexible, unbiased, third-party verification approach to network service assurance is essential.

As operators transition from LTE to 5G Non-Standalone mode, Network-as-a-Service models, and eventually full Standalone 5G deployment, virtual network elements will acquire the intelligence necessary to monitor, analyze, and diagnose their own performance. This benefit is counterbalanced by an inherent bias that can only be eased through independent, third-party verification. Advanced service assurance architecture should also be adaptable to the value and complexity of each use case. Services are no longer “one-size-fits-all”. Service assurance solutions must adopt this same level of flexibility and innovation to remain cost effective and competitive for cloud-enabled networks.

An experimental, short term, or low volume service does not merit the same assurance resources as a secure, high-throughput application with extensive user volume. The fundamental architecture of the VIAVI NITRO Mobile platform was conceived from the ground up to enable a unified RAN and Core model that intelligently applies assurance resources based on the value extracted.

Rapid application development fits within CI/CD processes for quick turn-around in the form of unbiased, valuable insight. NITRO Mobile innovation enables operators to reap the ample benefits of the Network-as-a-Service model, right now.

The concept of service assurance is not unique to the mobile communication industry. Any type of business seeking to monitor performance, optimize customer experience, and grow revenue is likely to utilize some form of service assurance. What sets service assurance in telecom apart is the rapid pace of technical innovation coupled with a continuous deployment of new offerings. Service assurance provides a foundation for telecom operators to deliver next generation network services quickly, launch new business objectives, and support emerging technologies.

Service assurance tools in telecom have evolved into advanced systems and solutions converting endless streams of big data into valuable insights. A typical mobile device user wielding an array of applications while streaming 4K quality sports over 5G represents just one of millions of data sources for mobile operators aspiring to flawless, reliable service.

The location, technology, apps, devices, network function performance, and radio conditions of each user form part of a larger puzzle that requires superior service assurance, analytics, and diagnostics to convert into seamless, reliable performance. No instrument or tool can perform this monumental task alone. Only a unified RAN and Core service assurance and big data analytics system can ensure operators deliver on the full promise of 5G.

  • 5G Assurance
    VIAVI provides industry-leading solutions for 5G Assurance with unprecedented real-time access to network performance and customer experience. The NITRO Mobile platform combines RAN, Core and Convergence applications into an integrated portfolio with always on visibility into service quality, app-aware 5G GEO Location intelligence, and 3D beam visualization. When deployed in tandem with an OSS, NITRO Mobile utilizes advanced, patented analytics to process and evaluate countless customer-generated trace data events each day.
  • Virtualized Assurance
    Network functions delivered by cloud-native software and decoupled from hardware restraints have quickly moved from the drawing board to the mainstream. The breakthroughs that are enabling new 5G applications require the highest caliber of NFV service assurance automation and analytics to support network and business priorities simultaneously. VIAVI Virtualized Assurance & Analytics solutions employ “virtualized visibility” principles to harness the power of user-generated data and address the assurance challenges of distributed architecture and cloud-based services.

The benefits of service assurance cut across a wide array of network, performance, and business categories. The development of advanced service assurance platforms with intrinsic analytic and diagnostic intelligence means business and network objectives are no longer mutually exclusive. As 5G revolutionizes the industry, operators are reshaping their businesses from the ground up. Service assurance is at the heart of this transformation.

  • Visibility
    Visibility is a central tenet of network service assurance, particularly for cloud-enabled virtual networks. Understanding what the customer sees at the micro level, and how they interpret it, are the keys to degradation awareness and minimized mean-time-to-repair (MTTR). Enhanced visibility also allows providers to strategize new offerings, optimize infrastructure outlay, and protect existing business.
  • Customer Experience
    The voice of the customer should always speak the loudest. Call centers, websites, and surveys are only trailing indicators of dissatisfied customers. Service assurance is a proactive solution for establishing and maintaining outstanding QoE. Data and feedback processed in real-time keeps the customer experience in sharp focus.
  • Speed of Innovation
    New network innovations like 5G and the IoT cannot be launched in a vacuum. Leading operators are redefining their organizations based on the diversity of 5G use cases and "currencies". As services like the IoT, wearable med-tech, and driverless cars drive new revenue streams, service assurance underpins the operator’s responsibility for safe, reliable, and secure application performance.
  • Revenue
    Service assurance drives improved bottom line performance in many ways. Increased awareness and diagnostics reduce troubleshooting time and resources. Consistent performance and user satisfaction establish the reputation needed to bring on new customers and opportunities. Providers are combining their portfolios and racing to 5G Standalone mode to gain a competitive edge. Service assurance safeguards performance in the face of this aggressive growth and transition.

The pivotal role of service assurance in telecom makes it clear that the future is now. 5G and cloud-enabled networks are allowing mobile operators to offer highly granular services that span all verticals and the consumer market. Smart factories, self-driving vehicles, and broadband offerings tailored on demand are just a few of the advanced services changing the way we live, work, and communicate. Service assurance solutions adaptable to this highly dynamic and diverse new reality are ensuring its success.

Just as the arrival of 5G once seemed a distant ambition, new trends and innovations continue to emerge and reshape the service assurance paradigm. Open RAN (O-RAN) continues to gain momentum for the interoperability and standardization of RAN elements, including open source software components from different vendors. Artificial intelligence, still in its infancy, will continue to influence service assurance technology, improving response times through increased automation. Even as the industry rises to the challenges of 5G assurance, work on 6G has already begun, with the requisite quantum leap in complexity and possibility.

To navigate this intricate, changing environment, operators need innovative solutions, such as NITRO Mobile, to assure the differentiated services mobile customers expect are delivered without fail. With over 30 years of service assurance experience, partnering with operators to manage technology turns and maximize subscriber experience, VIAVI provides the industry-leading service assurance, analytics, diagnostic, and location intelligence capabilities that optimize network and business outcomes, now and into the future.

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