Q&A Interview with Shahryar Khan, Telia Group

Ahead of speaking at FutureNet World 2019, Shahryar Khan, Head of Automation and Systems, Transport Networks at Telia Group discusses the drivers, priorities and challenges around AI and Automation in this exclusive Q&A with FutureNet’s CEO Giles Cummings.

Tell us a little but about you and your company?

Head of Automation in Network Services & Devices (Global) in Telia Company. Leading automation initiatives in the Transport domain and also for key network applications life cycle management.

Are you deploying AI and automation on your network? If so, where and how?

Yes, we are looking into more end to end automation primarily from the network programmability perspective to start with and have plans to get more into intent driven networks using AI.

What are the main drivers for deploying AI and automation in your organisation? 

Speed, efficiency and taming the complexity both in deployment and operations. With 5G enabled new generation of services on the horizon, we believe automation and self-driving network shall play an important role in enabling us to meet the ever increasing demand on quicker time to market and significant operational challenges arriving with the whole new more inter-dependent ecosystem comprising of the existing and new technology domains.

What is the biggest barrier for introducing automation and intelligence into network operations?

One the main stumbling blocks is the constant burden of having to deal with the legacy. One other key aspect is the mind-shift and how quickly we are able to transform the competence towards the newer technology and ways of working.

Where do you see AI and automation having the biggest impact?

Both in deployment of the new and complex services requiring orchestration across many technology domains and also in the operations area where the add-on complexity stemming from the complexity of the new diverse set of network services requiring complex functions across various technology domains. The level of scale required for our target architecture in the 2022 time-frame shall mandate the use of automation relying more and more on AI.

Are you developing your own solutions or working with partners? Which do you think it the best approach?

We are keeping our options open. In some key strategic areas, we intend to work on more open source and home grown solutions and whereas in some other areas, we are also working together with partners both in the systems integration and vendors space.

Finally, you are speaking on the panel discussion: Intelligent network automation – paving the road to the intelligent, autonomous networks: What are the keys to success? at FutureNet World, what can we expect to hear from you?

Telia is relative small but at the same time an innovative operator. I would like to highlight some of the challenges that we see on the road leading to completely autonomous networks and how is Telia going about in addressing those challenges while at the same time making sure that what we do is aligned closely to our business ambitions and objectives.

*Please note that the opinions of Shahryar are his personal opinions and not reflective of the Telia Group.

Interested in attending and hearing from Shahryar in person? Register today.