In the rapidly evolving world of networking, the emergence of network digital twins has brought about a paradigm shift. This innovative approach allows telecom companies to accurately replicate their network state in a virtual environment and leverage advanced analytics models to simulate and analyze the performance of the network ecosystem. One prominent feature of network digital twins is their ability to provide decisional intelligence. While earlier iterations of AI automation enabled data gathering, they lacked fine-tuning. This resulted in several gaps and blind spots. Network digital twins are proving to be a game changer in providing a holistic higher-level view and helping to add additional decisional context. Network optimization processes that once existed in silos can now be integrated and converged, resulting in significant cost reduction and ROI improvement.

Understanding Network Digital Twins

Network digital twins leverage self-learning AI models and advanced analytics to capture real-world network entities and processes in real time. By gathering data from multiple sources, including service state changes, configuration changes, sensor data related to network traffic, and service fulfillment and assurance, network digital twins offer a comprehensive view of the 5G network ecosystem, including its condition and performance. This provides valuable insights for decision making in optimizing network operations, identifying inefficiencies, and improving overall network efficiency.

Through multi-layered AI closed-loop automation, telecommunication companies (telcos) and Communication Service Providers (CSPs) can achieve zero-touch operations, converged infrastructure, and streamlined assurance processes. Leveraging domain or cross-domain-based Large Language Models (LLMs), network digital twins can analyze faults or incidents, identify root causes and effects, and apply automated AI-based solutions. They can also update and improve themselves through real-time data, simulations, and intent-based networking (IBN).

Advantages of Implementing Network Digital Twins

Implementing network digital twins offers significant opportunities for sustainable business innovation, including:

  1. Enhanced Network Planning:
    Visualization and simulation of the entire 5G network before deploying it into the network infrastructure enables better optimization, risk reduction, and improved productivity.
  2. Proactive Maintenance:
    By utilizing real-time data fed into network digital twins, operators can predict and prevent network failures, significantly reducing downtime. This approach enables proactive maintenance, self-assist, and self-recovery capabilities, resulting in an improved customer experience.
  3. Enhanced Network Intelligence:
    Network digital twins leverage AI and data analytics to transform network data into valuable insights, enabling informed decision-making, anomaly detection, and automated network optimization.
  4. Increased Resource Efficiency:
    Network digital twins provide operators with granular visibility into network utilization and traffic patterns. This knowledge allows them to optimize resource allocation, leading to cost reductions, improved accuracy, and enhanced performance.
  5. Enhanced Compliance:
    Dynamic compliance with Service Level Agreements (SLAs) facilitates efficient and accurate monitoring of network performance and adherence to quality standards. It helps resolve potential issues or violations, minimizing downtime and service disruptions.

The implementation of network digital twins will drive changes in network configurations, resulting in enhanced customer experiences. Using the insights generated by network digital twins, operators can also plan and execute network growth strategies more effectively, facilitating faster 5G deployment.

Ensuring Security and Privacy in Network Digital Twins

Ensuring security and privacy in network digital twins is crucial as they rely heavily on data and real-time updates. Operators should adhere to data privacy regulations and implement strict data access controls to safeguard sensitive customer information.

AI systems also rely on training data for accurate predictions and decisions. However, there is always a risk of malicious attacks on AI models and data manipulation. Ensuring the integrity and security of AI training data is crucial to protect against malware and maintain the effectiveness of the AI models.

To address this issue, organizations need to implement robust security measures to safeguard the training data. This includes using encryption techniques, access controls, and secure storage systems to prevent unauthorized access or tampering. Additionally, regular monitoring and auditing of the data can help detect any potential attacks or anomalies.

Wipro's Approach to Network Digital Twins

Wipro has been successfully implementing network digital twin use cases on the Nvidia Omniverse and Nvidia TPU platforms. These network digital twins are built on a robust layered architecture that effectively consumes real-time and historical trend data from the physical network environment. The Nvidia platforms are used to generate a comprehensive 3D-based model and helps compute multi-modal predictions. Wipro's AI-based foundation libraries for network automation, in conjunction with the Nvidia platforms, provide an enriched environment for multiple network use cases to evolve, meet business requirements, enable accelerated virtualization, and adhere to market standards.

Gearing Up for 6G and Beyond

As we look to the future, network digital twins will become increasingly crucial in the development of 6G and beyond. They will serve as a foundation for converging various domains within the telecom industry, such as wireless networks, cloud infrastructure, and IoT devices. By utilizing AI and machine learning, these digital twins will enable seamless communication and coordination among network components, ultimately enhancing connectivity and user experiences.

Companies like Wipro recognize the importance of network digital twins in harnessing the full potential of 5G. As we approach 6G, these models will become even more advanced, empowering telecom operators to unlock new possibilities and drive the next wave of innovation in automation and artificial intelligence.

About the Authors

Sendil Kumar J
Technology Architect, Wipro Engineering Edge

Ravi Kumar Emani
General Manager and Practice Head – Connectivity, Wipro Engineering Edge