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UK university contributes key autonomous networks effort

The University of Glasgow is highlighting the “key role” its researchers have played in the development of newly agreed international standards for autonomous networks.

Photo credit: Adobestock/Gorodenkoff

According to a statement from the university, the Autonomous Networks - Architecture Framework (Y.3061) received official consent at the International Telecommunications Union’s ITU-T SG13 meeting in Geneva last November. It has now been officially adopted as an international standard.

The University’s Dr Paul Harvey co-chairs a focus group working on the standards, known as the ITU-T Focus Group on Autonomous Networks. The group’s work “studies the technical enablers, use cases, interoperable architecture, trustworthiness, and proof-of-concepts necessary to create telecoms networks which can operate with minimal human intervention.” 

A spokesperson for the university said: “Widespread adoption of the standard could enable a new generation of networks which use emergent and generative AI-driven approaches to monitor their own operations and adapt to solve technical problems, on-demand and beyond pre-defined design bounds. 

"These faster, more resilient networks could support a wide range of more advanced communications technologies beyond the current capabilities of 5G devices and systems. Those improved networks could underpin advances in technologies including self-driving cars, remote medicine, and industrial automation.”

Dr Harvey said: “As our world becomes ever more dependent on data communication, it’s vital that our networks are up to the challenge. Building autonomous networks which are capable of intelligently adapting to problems and integrating new technologies - with minimal human oversight - will be critically important to meeting those challenges and opening the door to major leaps forward in a wide range of transformative technologies.

“In order to make that happen, it’s vital to develop new standards which will help systems developed by one part of the telecoms ecosystem integrate with other systems built independently elsewhere. The work of the ITU-T, and other standards bodies, will help pave the way for an open and interoperable ecosystem."