Network Service Assurance
Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are slated to begin massive 5G upgrades in parallel to existing LTE expansions. These capital expenditures tend to leave large impacts on the existing customer base through network outages, degraded performance, and physical mis-configuration from the work done at each node location. With the utilization of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and third-party site delivery crews, often the new network issues are not found, much less addressed, for 72+ hours. For the general purpose of improving the customer experience with new technology and capacity through these network roll-outs, MNOs tend to inflict a short-term pain on the existing customer base utilizing their wireless networks.
The concept of a war-room, tiger team, or specialized support personnel has been around since networks were first being launched. The TTS-Wireless Performance Assurance Group (PAG) takes this concept to an entirely new level. PAG excels in minimizing these impacts to live networks and ensuring accountability in network upgrade process reducing the impact to the consumer. It also introduces measured performance analytics on the teams implementing the upgrades, process issue identification, and actual impacts to the customer on top of driving resolution with all accountable teams. Analytics to the process brings improvement and removes the typical measurement of perception.
The PAG process is a scalable service product based on time tested procedures, quality network, project management, user interactive tools, and top-level personnel supporting a 24×7 operation. This process handles work flow approvals, on-site vendor activity documentation, configuration validation, and alarm clearing, in addition to post activity performance monitoring and optimization. This includes regulatory validation, issue resolution, weekly/ monthly/ quarterly analytic reporting on process, and visibility to the data for all parties involved in the project.
Transparency in the process is the key to success. Everyone needs to know real-time status of sites, schedules, and tasks. Field-teams need to know work performance metrics and MNOs need to have assurance the quality of work being performed is meeting expectation. PAG’s utilization of the TechInsights platform allows network operators, contract construction and integration parties, and TTS-Wireless engineers to work together with complete transparency. All data, analytics, and current information is available to users via the web application or in the field through Android and iOS mobile applications. The platform tracks details for each stage of the process leaving spreadsheets and verbal status behind.
In the race for 5G and the never-ending pressures on network capacity to meet ever growing demand by consumers, IoT, and content driven applications, network operators will continue to expand their networks. With any update, there is a risk to the customer performance. MNOs will need to ensure they are doing the most to minimize these risks and drive network quality while continue to be more efficient and creative in driving down costs. Service products that can be delivered transparently and most importantly, cost-effective will be vital to network roll-out success.