The Telco Industry needs a compass in their pursuit of Autonomous Operations

Telecom Networks are getting more and more autonomous, but the need of the hour is a Self-Driving Index to reliably measure AO progression with performance indicators, enabling monetization

VoicenData Bureau
Updated On
New Update
The Telco Industry needs a compass in their pursuit of Autonomous Operatio...ns (1).png

Telco Industry

Communications Service Providers (CSPs) have been on a spirited chase towards Autonomous Operations (AO) for a while now, and this pursuit has grown in intensity with the mounting pressure on their business. Several industry players, particularly across Europe, have invested billions into expanding network infrastructure, but monetization has been a struggle. On top of that, digital platforms born in the cloud & data era get the credit for having birthed the ‘experience economy’, with their intuitive social networks and millisecond money transfers. The CSPs, who deliver the connectivity driving it all, are the “unsung heroes.”   


How can CSPs assert their role in the digital world?

A sure-fire way would be to project their Networks as the Experience. Working towards that end, CSPs want to operate, optimize, and repair networks without human intervention, making the transition towards a customer-centric ‘digital Telco’. This is possible through a confluence of technologies – AI, Big Data & Analytics, and advanced automation. 

Autonomous Operations is the term, and it is no longer a mere buzzword. Estimates suggest annual investments up to 15% of CSPs’ IT budgets in this direction. Industry alliances and forums are mapping the journey with tools, technologies, and maturity models. Still, CSPs are at a loss to precisely assess where they are on this path.   


A measurable approach 

Prodapt’s Self-Driving Index (SDI) is a solution measuring AO progress by benchmarking against TM Forum standards. Think of it as a compass showing True North in what is a complex, multi-threaded journey. A higher score on the SDI indicates that the CSP is moving fast from being network-centric to customer-centric, meaning its operational goals match with change at the customer’s end: higher NPS, personalization, consistent service availability, and enhanced Average Revenue Per User.   

The SDI framework


The SDI framework seamlessly integrates with existing AO journey models based on the TM Forum's Autonomy Index (Level 0 – Manual Operations & Maintenance to Level 5 – Fully Autonomous Operations). This makes the SDI an adoption-friendly solution for CSPs. Here’s a view of how the SDI integrates with the TM Forum’s Autonomous Operations maturity model to help chart a measurable roadmap towards AO:

At a granular level, the SDI will help map CSP goals to these desired outcomes:  

  • Service Ordering: Streamlined ordering of services based on customer requirements through the self-service portal.
  • Service Monitoring: Clear visibility into customer’s KPIs, utilization & other service metrics, monitoring usage through specific dashboards. 
  • Service Management:  Efficient identification & resolution of faults within SLAs and consistent quality of service, extending the capabilities of managing the service lifecycle through the self-care portal.
  • Optimization: Continuous improvement of services rendered to customers, transparency, and improvisation based on periodic evaluation by the self-service Index.

How is the SDI calculated? 

A CSP looking to measure their AO journey needs to finalize the relevant KPIs, which, for example, can be Automation Rate, Mean Time to Recover, Network Availability, Security Incident Response Time, and Operational Efficiency. The corresponding weights are assigned to the chosen KPIs and the performance against each KPI is measured. The SDI, then, is the sum of the weighted scores against each KPI. The SDI can be graded across six levels (indicative), denoting Autonomy levels from No Automation to Conditional Automation to Full Automation.   

An AI-centric culture is necessary 


The adoption of SDI, in conjunction with other industry-recognized maturity models and tools, will accelerate the journey towards becoming an ‘Intelligent TechCo’. As a solution, the SDI can bring about Organizational change only to a level that any emergent technology can accomplish. Organizational change is triggered when people believe and get involved in it, influencing processes with the help of technology. Business transformation is nothing but people going about their work efficiently – with technology. And solutions like SDI act as a springboard to achieve this change. 

Authored by:

Rajiv Papneja, CTO of Prodapt,


Dibyendu Dey, Associate Director-Network at Prodapt

Balamurugan Subbiah, Associate Director-Solutions at Prodapt