UK company to provide AI know-how for China networks

By HARVEY MORRIS | China Daily UK | Updated: 2016-12-08 18:38

British artificial intelligence pioneer Aria Networks says it has signed a deal with China's BOCO Inter-Telecom to provide software that can spot network problems in advance and take the guesswork out of providing telecoms services to an ever-growing market.

Shanghai-listed BOCO, one of China's largest systems integration companies, will roll out Aria's AI technology to telecom service providers, initially in two Chinese provinces.

TianXuwen, CEO of BOCO Inter-Telecom, said on Wednesday the deal would leverage big data and AI to help China's communications providers transform traditional operations to intelligent operations.

Aria spokesman Robert Curran told China Daily: "Networks are hugely complicated and changing all the time. AI is a way of crunching through all the possibilities about the future state of networks."

Intelligent software gives telecoms providers the edge by allowing them to cope with unplanned outages or spikes in demand, as can occur when a mass audience tunes to a global televised event.

Jay Perrett, the UK company's chief technology officer, said: "Proactively reducing the impact of outages translates directly into protecting revenue and a better customer experience."

Privately-owned Aria, founded in 2005, is based in Bath. The deal's value was not disclosed. BOCO has more than 3,000 employees in China, India, Pakistan and elsewhere.

A benefit of incorporating smart software into networks is to provide customers with a service that appears to be infinitely and instantaneously flexible, making temporary boosts in service quality or speed.

The deal followed tests in which Aria's AI technology identified future hotspots on a fourth-generation network, revealing billions of dollars' worth of recoverable capacity.

China has more than half-a-billion 4G subscribers and is home to several of the world's largest mobile and fixed-line service providers.

Before AI, processes that involve planning or executing changes to a network were particularly difficult to automate. Providers had to consider technical, commercial and regulatory factors.

Artificial intelligence has eased that burden, reducing the time is takes to optimize services from months to real-time.

The technology allows service providers-BOCO's customers include China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, PTCL and Aircel-the real-time capacity to plan, manage, automate and optimize underutilized infrastructure and plan future investment.

The writer is a senior media consultant for China Daily.

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