ETSI plots the obsolescence of mankind with new Working Group

ETSI has unveiled a new Industry Specification Group: Zero Touch Network and Service Management, which will aim to accelerate network automation; humans beware.

The idea here is relatively simple. With the introduction of new technology such as SDN, NFV and MEC, as well as network slicing just around the corner, the network is becoming increasingly complex. As human error is the most common root cause of any disaster in a business, not just telecoms, higher levels of automation are critical to making sure the network meets the high demands of the consumer.

40 organizations have already joined the group, which will be led by Deutsche Telekom’s Klaus Martiny. Nurit Sprecher of Nokia and Christian Toche of Huawei will act as Vice Chairs.

Thankfully robotics is an area of the technology world which is lightyears away from perfection, otherwise what would be the need in humans? Once the physical network is present in the real world, if Klaus and his cronies have their way all execution on the network could be handled by artificial intelligence. Human redundancy is near and it’s because we can’t be trusted with the complicated stuff.

“While 5G and its building blocks are being developed, it’s time to offer an end-to-end view focusing on automated end-to-end network and service management,” said Martiny.

“We want to offer the market open and simple solutions. 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. A strong collaboration and cooperation with others standards bodies and Open Source projects is important for the ISG.”

The goal of the ISG, which will have the ZSM acronym, is to create a framework where humans are essentially made redundant. From delivery, deployment, configuration, assurance, and optimization, all operational processes and tasks could be handled with 100% automation. Of course there will be a time limit.

The group has the emergence of 5G as a key driver to standardize this area of the industry, as 5G will ‘trigger the need to accelerate radical change in the way networks and services are managed and orchestrated’. This might seem close, but if the delivery of 5G has been anything like the ubiquitous delivery of 4G, we have a while.

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