Digital Network Operations Workspace Helps China Mobile Hebei Build Best 4G/5G Networks
In the early stage of 5G service development, operators are faced with the following challenges: mutual impact and interference caused by 4G and 5G network coexistence, poor voice fallback experience in commercial use of SA, difficult user satisfaction management, and urgent needs to improve network quality and construction efficiency. While constructing a 5G network, operators might consider how to match market development, build user reputation, monetize network capabilities, and guide network construction through market strategies.
Amid these challenges where opportunities follow China Mobile Hebei has implemented the OSS4.0 specifications, centralized O&M, and centralized network optimization of China Mobile, proactively responded to the network requirements of the "4G/5G Synergy Battle" in 2020, and adhered to the two themes of "E2E experience improvement, differentiated network assurance for high-value areas". The strategy also focuses on three aspects, namely, good 4G experience, leading 5G networks, and coordinated 4G/5G development, so as to fully explore the benefits of live network resources, and strive to build Best 4G/5G Networks.
To achieve this goal, China Mobile Hebei and Huawei jointly deployed a digital network operation workspace that supports O+B collaboration and marketing + network collaboration. The workspace focuses on leading 5G network quality and experience, building an E2E 5G IT support system, and promoting collaborative innovation and development of 4G and 5G networks, as well as accelerating the transformation of centralized O&M and digital operations. China Mobile Hebei has so far made remarkable achievements in Value-based site selection & precise planning, satisfaction improvement, 4G/5G collaborative optimization, full lifecycle management, and market and network collaboration. The 5G E2E support capabilities have been deployed in cities across the whole province — key use case capabilities have been rolled out in six cities – and will be gradually applied in each city based on data access status. Two 5G benchmark cities in Shijiazhuang and Xiong ’an have been established based on the "Top Ten" 5G scenarios. According to the construction progress and the scale of 5G phase 2 in Hebei, 100 5G showcases or leading demonstration projects are built in Hebei.
Practice 1: Achieve Value-oriented 5G Network Construction via High-value Site Selection and Precise Planning
The entropy weight method is used to automatically identify 5G high-value sites and areas based on five high-value features: high-value users, branding scenario, service, traffic, and market/government/enterprise requirements. The 3D-precise simulation capability enables accurate coverage prediction, parameter optimization, automatic site selection, and site addition, effectively supporting quick selection and precise planning of 5G high-value sites. In the planning process of Shijiazhuang, Xiong’an, and Baoding cities, the number of 5G users at high-value sites identified by the platform is 1.7 times of that at medium-value sites and 3.9 times of that at low-value sites. The simulation planning efficiency is improved by about 30%.
Practice 2: Consolidate the Manageability and Controllability of the Digital Customer Satisfaction System to Improve Satisfaction
With key features such as customer complaint handling, CCH intelligent demarcation, and single-user analysis, China Mobile Hebei has constructed two solution themes: intelligent complaint handling and satisfaction management. Using the multi-dimensional data analysis, the system automatically demarcates the root causes of complaint trouble tickets, supporting front-end personnel to more efficiently and accurately handling complaints. It then implements automatic and intelligent complaint analysis, improving complaint handling rate by 5.6%, trouble ticket demarcation accuracy to 80%, and work efficiency by 30% compared with traditional manual mechanism. In terms of customer satisfaction management, proactive full prediction of detractors, cluster analysis of detractors causes, and output of handling suggestions for network problems are performed to restore user relationships and improve network satisfaction. In this process, China Mobile Hebei has continuously enhanced its network quality satisfaction, with the second lowest 5G network complaints ratio (per 10,000 users) in China.
Practice 3: Building 5G Camping Ratio Analysis Capabilities to Implement 4G/5G Collaborative Optimization
It is never easy in 5G network optimization in NSA networking, but China Mobile Hebei uses the digital network operation workspace to automatically identify and intelligently analyze fake 5G areas, dumb 5G areas, and no-5G areas, and provides association analysis capabilities such as alarm, configuration, and neighboring cell optimization list, supporting collaborative analysis of 4G and 5G network issues. This use case has been piloted in Shijiazhuang and gradually promoted to other cities. The problem identification accuracy is 84.35%, and the problem handling efficiency is improved by about 30% compared to traditional manual analysis.
Practice 4: Full Lifecycle Capacity Management for Effective Resource Management and Agile Capacity Expansion
Whether it is from the perspective of CXOs or the front-line operating staff of the network department, an automatic platform is urgently needed for the analysis and management for the status of full life-cycles, high-loaded cells, to-be-maintained cells and to-be-expanded cells, as well as future resource deployment. China Mobile Hebei fully utilises the digital operation workspace for online transfer and visualization of capacity issues. It runs three modules – load balancing, agile capacity expansion, and resource reallocation from idle to busy cells – to effectively manage all 4G network resources and site provisioning within the project duration. Agile capacity expansion and load balancing have been applied in the province. The intra-province policy of the load balancing module has been formulated, along with the implementation of automation. After this use case is launched, the entire life cycle of capacity problems is visualized and manageable. Time required to analyze heavy-load cells in the province is shortened from 1.5 person-days to just 0.3, time needed for designing solutions is reduced from 4 to 0.5. The period for resource reallocation from idle to busy cells in the province is cut down to just 7 days – compared previously 20 days.
Practice 5: Collaborating Market and Network Data to Support VoLTE User Migration and Precision Marketing
Adhering to the concept of “simultaneous 5G construction and marketing ", China Mobile Hebei leverages the big data analysis capability to identify and locate high-value VoLTE and high-traffic migration users, with the minimum cost in encouraging migrating of VoLTE subscribers, as well as proactive customer care and marketing after network is optimised. As a result, of the number of VoLTE subscribers increases by 10% just six months. In addition, we strengthen the connection and operability between platforms and data of internal and external partners and suppliers, and assist the collaboration between online and offline precision marketing, such as precision marketing of terminals, contact marketing, and B2H marketing.
Focus on cooperation with key industries, proactively deploy 5G industry development, and shape the blueprint of "Intelligent BEST Network" for China Mobile.
The digital network operation workspace needs stay future-proof. Hebei Mobile is moving into "Intelligent Network Optimization" blueprint in order to enhance the timeliness and accuracy of big data dimensions and build a centralized analysis brain with the emphasis of business, agility, efficiency, and security amid network construction for better problem analysis and end-to-end problem resolution capabilities. In addition, the unified platform architecture streamlines services such as transmission, home broadband, and smart O&M, which can further strengthen the 5G capability construction and satisfaction management of China Mobile Hebei, while deploying the entire digital network operations platform in advance at the corporate level to evolve towards real-time, intelligent, mid-end, and automation. In 2020, we will focus on exploring B2B vertical industries such as smart steel manufacturing and smart cities, incubating B2B user experience management and support government and enterprise value-added service management capabilities, establishing a centralized complaint process for 5G vertical industries, setting up precautionary measures for complaints, and further streamlining processes, so as to improve E2E quality control. Therefore, we will further study the requirements of the 2B industry on network capabilities and network policies to promote our next coordinated network solutions on 2.6 GHz, 700 MHz, and 4.9 GHz.
China Mobile Hebei and Huawei have jointly worked together with its CWR@Digital solution for innovation, cooperation and network operations of 5G. Both will continuously build an innovation showcase of how digital transformation operates under 4G/5G network collaborative optimization. Equipped with our AI+ big data driven digital network operation workspace, we will remain committed to better 4G planning, construction, maintenance, optimization, and operation capabilities and 5G E2E capabilities. Meanwhile, we will extend cooperation with industry partners in 5G value network construction, intelligent operation, user experience management of SA network, and 2B vertical industries, build an industry-leading 5G E2E support system and collaborate with partners to build best 4G/5G networks.