AIS, the largest telecom service provider in Thailand, has always adhered to the idea of providing users with the best information services, leading the development of wireless network in this country. As Thailand enters the 5G era, to keep its leading position, AIS has newly acquired 2600 MHz and 700 MHz bands to enrich its spectrum resources. However, this makes the network structure of AIS more complicated and poses higher requirements for its network O&M efficiency.
ZTE is AIS's network equipment and solution provider in northeastern Thailand. Adering to the corporate culture of "serving with dedication and being committed to our customers", ZTE is committed to providing customers with the best services and solutions. It has rolled out an end-to-end automatic intelligent tool solution to help AIS improve O&M efficiency while reducing costs. It has also organzied experts to optimize the AIS network and ensure AIS's leading position in network quality in northeastern Thailand.
AIS Uses uSmartNet-RNIA to Improve Efficiency and Reduce Costs
Thailand is a sparsely populated country with high mountains and hills in some areas. Its the population is mainly concentrated in several large cities, and network requirements are extremely uneven. With the spread of Covid-19 in Thailand, AIS is facing greater challenges in its networks O&M. The problem that AIS urgently needs to solve is how to make effective use of spectrum resources to meet the needs of different users while reducing operating costs as much as possible.
AIS adopts ZTE's wireless AI solution uSmartNet-RNIA that provides a variety of automation and intelligence covering the whole process of network planning, construction, maintenance, optimization and operation. uSmartNet-RNIA helps AIS improve O&M efficiency and reduce costs.
VMAX-R Precision Planning to Support Network Construction
AIS began to build its 5G network at the beginning of 2020. Its challenge was how to identify 5G value areas and maximize the return on investment. AIS worked with ZTE to deploy VMAX-R intelligent planning platform. By automatically identifying the terminals supporting 5G services in the LTE network, the platform provides a powerful reference for selecting the location of 5G sites. In addition, the platform can analyze the value of LTE and UMTS sites from multiple dimensions such as coverage, load, user experience and competitor analysis, automatically identify the black spots in the network, and cover the blind and weak ones. The introduction of the VMAX-R precisie planning tool greatly improves the efficiency of network planning, and assists in the precise construction of AIS network.
Site Commissioning on Mobile Phone to Improve Efficiency
With the old site commissioning and maintenance mode, engineers must carry laptops to connect to the equipment on site, which is inconvenient and hard to operate in special weather conditions. To solve this problem, ZTE has launched a site commissioning solution through mobile phones, where engineers can complete site commissioning and maintenance by connecting a mobile phone to the site via cable or WiFi. This greatly improves commissioning efficiency. Compared with the traditional site commissioning, the commissioning time of a single site is shortened by 30%.
WNG Intelligent Drive Test Tool to Output Report Automatically
Network optimization drive test (DT) is an important method for checking performance indicators in wireless network optimization, such as wireless network coverage, upload and download rates. However, traditional DT features high costs and low efficiency, which have been the pain points of drive tests in the AIS network. ZTE proposed wireless network guardian (WNG), an intelligent network optimization DT solution based on cloud service and handheld terminal. WNG features lightweight equipment and simplified drive test. The cloud server delivers test tasks ranging from data collection to one-click report output, which are completed on handheld terminals, thus improving the efficiency by more than 30%.
Intelligent Network Optimization Platform to Improve Efficiency and User Experience
In the existing AIS network, there are seven different modes: GSM, UMTS, FDD LTE, TDD LTE, NB-IoT, FDD NR, and TDD NR. The network structure is very complicated, and is difficult to implement optimization. According to the network architecture features of AIS, ZTE has deployed an intelligent network optimization platform together with AIS, including AAX alarm root cause analysis, EFP equipment health check and prediction, AAPC automatic antenna weight control, NQI automatic interference analysis and TopN poor quality analysis. These functions greatly improve the O&M efficiency of corresponding scenarios.
AIS Builds Fastest 5G Mobile Network
As the largest wireless network operator in Thailand, AIS has always imposed high requirements on network quality. To ensure the leading position of the AIS network, ZTE has established a special network performance improvement team to work together with AIS, analyze network conditions, formulate network deployment policies, and implement performance improvement solutions. With continuous efforts, AIS network has always been the best wireless network among Thai consumers, and the number of users continues to increase. In the 3G, 4G and 5G Speedtest, the scores of AIS have far exceeded those of other operators in the northeastern region. In the latest assessment report of Ookla, AIS won the "Fastest 5G Mobile Network" award (Fig. 1).
Embracing New Technologies to Promote 5G Industry Application
AIS, together with ZTE and Thailand's Suranaree University of Technology (SUT), built a demonstration factory for Thailand's 5G intelligence in May 2021 (Fig. 2). Relying on the overall 5G solution, an ordinary factory is transformed into an intelligent factory integrating technologies such as 5G automated guided vehicle (AGV), 5G AR remote guidance, and real-time VR monitoring, and robot arm, to empower 5G+ industrial application innovation.
ZTE exclusively provides the entire technical solution for the intelligent factory, perfectly integrating 5G technologies with traditional factory production lines. "AIS has developed the solution together with ZTE and the education department of SUT to better meet industrial requirements, aiming to build an intelligent factory model based on the overall 5G solution in the industrial field," said Tanapong Ittisakulchai, Chief Enterprise Business Officer (CEBO) of AIS.
AIS will go further on the road of intelligent networks. As always, ZTE will provide the best and all-round solutions working together with AIS for more success.