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The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has launched a new Focus Group to support the emergence of ICT networks able to control their behaviour autonomously in the interests of efficiency.

The ITU Focus Group on ‘autonomous networks’ will lead an exploratory ‘pre-standardization’ study to determine how ITU standards will support the realization of autonomous networks and their evolution in years to come.

Networks are growing in sophistication to enable highly interactive new communication experiences and innovations in fields such as digital health and intelligent transport systems. IMT-2020/5G and future networks will be versatile all-round players able to meet the requirements of a very diverse set of ICT applications.

This versatility is made possible by major advances in cloud computing and network virtualization but​ this versatility also introduces significant network complexity. The Focus Group will study the creative intelligence techniques that leverage this online experimentation, elaborating foundational concepts such as ‘exploratory evolution’, ’emergent behaviour’, and ‘real-time responsive experimentation’.

It will study the meaning and characteristics of autonomous networks, providing definitions and terminology to build clarity around the concepts underpinning creativity in autonomous networks.

Also, it will propose technical enablers for evolution in autonomous networks to support networks’ dynamic adaptation to future ICT environments and use cases. And it will demonstrate architecture concepts and develop associated guidelines to enable higher levels of autonomy through real-time responsive experimentation.

The group is offering an open platform for the collaboration of standardization and open-source communities and all industry players and academia active in the field.

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