IoT driving operator strategies for future network assurance

Research reveals network assurance complexity is driving automation, but operators reluctant to fully relinquish control and are divided over NFV

London, UK – 7th October 2015 – Research published today has revealed that the emergence of IoT and increased M2M communications is the biggest driver for mobile operators’ network assurance.  Over 34 percent of respondents (MNOs and industry players) cite IoT/M2M as the main factor, with the increasing need to improve network quality as a market differentiator ranked next with 28 percent of respondents.  These figures reflect a continuing requirement for operators not only to manage growing network complexity, but also to drive competitive advantage through the quality of experience they can deliver to their subscribers. 

The findings, published today in the Future of Mobile Networks Outlook 2015 report by Intelligence and sponsored by MYCOM OSI, found a growing demand for automated network assurance, tempered by a reluctance to turn over critical infrastructure completely to algorithms and a need for manual programmability.  The case for automation is clear with 58 percent of respondents claiming that they “have to trust automated network assurance because it’s too complex and vast to control manually”.  However, they overwhelmingly agreed that there must be a “balance between trust of automation and manual programmability”, with over 75 percent wanting to retain control over their network.

Increasing complexity and network risk can also be seen at play in operators’ attitudes to NFV, over which the industry is divided as to the best approach.  While 25 percent believe that NFV will be siloed into various areas of the network, a further 31 percent predict that it will bring about a new approach to network management, forcing operators to effectively start all over again.  However, a significant number (44 percent) do see NFV as part of their end-to-end network assurance strategy, believing NFV management will be absorbed into their OSS systems.

Other key findings from the global survey include:

  • 82% think assurance of a future network should be managed from a converged, cross-domain, end-to-end perspective
  • 80% of operators surveyed agree that quality of service will be the most important priority for strategic investment in future networks
  • 77% think assurance of the future network should be approached from a customer-centric perspective
  • 52% of operators plan to prioritise the use of big data and real time analytics to improve customer user experience, over and above use of network virtualization to drive assurance innovation

“It’s not surprising that IoT and network quality head the list of drivers for future network assurance and that it should be managed from an end-to-end perspective whilst injecting customer-centricity via analytics,” said Ian Meakin, Global Head of Marketing, MYCOM OSI.  “But this research also reveals that despite being confronted by ever increasing complexity, operators dare not relinquish control of the network assurance or entrust it completely into the hands of black-box automation and closed algorithms. There is a clear demand for automation with control via open, programmable automation platforms such as MYCOM OSI provides with its ProActor™ solution.”

MYCOM OSI, the leading independent provider of next generation service assurance, automation/orchestration, and analytics solutions to the world’s largest communications service providers (CSPs), sponsored the research conducted by Intelligence.  The Future of Mobile Networks Outlook 2015 questioned mobile operators and telecoms industry vendors around the world on their attitudes and strategies to 4G and evolution of 5G and what the next generation of mobile technology needs to encompass. 

To see MYCOM OSI ProActor™ open, programmable network assurance automation in action, please check out our webinar here (, where we cover four network assurance automation use cases.