UK MNO Vodafone has enlisted Google Cloud and Cardinality.IO to help develop a pan-European cloud software project called United Performance Management.
UPM uses AI to process and analyze up to eight billion data points every day across the 11 countries in which its mobile network spans. The real-time information thus generated apparently allows Vodafone to simplify basic operations by performing analyzes using Google Cloud and Cardinality.IO AI tools.
Vodafone says this AI mega cloud “frees up staff to work on other key tasks”. A more sarcastic news outlet than this might suggest those key tasks might include packing their stuff in a box and googling how to get online, but we’d never stoop that low for a cheap gag.
It’s unclear at what stage this new cloud software system/data hub/AI analytics engine is being rolled out. Vodafone claims that UPM is already responsible for a 70% reduction in major network and IT incidents, so it’s probably been plugged in for some time.
Regarding what it does in the future, Vodafone says the information generated by UPM will be used to prioritize network upgrades by analyzing traffic patterns and identifying areas of high demand and areas where coverage is uneven. It’s also supposed to be able to spot network outages quickly, detect and block fraudulent behavior, and by 2025 it will enable full automation of Vodafone’s network.
As well as bringing cutting-edge AI analytics to the mix, UPM replaces over 100 separate network performance management tools that Vodafone currently uses. It runs on the company’s own suite of servers across Europe.
“As the needs of our more than 300 million mobile customers evolve, so will our network using this new platform,” said Johan Wibergh, CTO of Vodafone. “It’s a global data hub that gives us a real-time view of what’s happening anywhere on our network, uses our global scale to manage traffic growth more cheaply and efficiently at as customer data consumption increases by approximately 40% per year, and supports full automation of our network by 2025.”
So there seems to be a couple of things going on here – unifying what looks like a pretty disparate IT infrastructure landscape spread across Europe, and bringing in some extra AI firepower to help the network make adjustments faster, and who knows what else in the future. This appears to be a more nuanced approach to modernization and digital transformation than that taken by some other MNOs, which has seen them abandon their own hardware almost entirely and upload to cloud platforms owned by other MNOs. other companies.
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