Smart cities can help enhance lifestyles; but are we ready with the infrastructure?
The digital world has helped us accept the concept of smart cities, and the Telecommunication service providers have played a significant role in supporting these ideas. But are these traditional service providers ready and adequately prepared to take up these projects?
Significance of Smart Cities
If we look at the stats, the urban population is heading towards 70% by 2050. Smart cities can play a significant role in improving the quality of urban life by providing better access to basic amenities like water, power, transport, health, and communications.
What makes a city smarter? It is connectivity – faster, easier, and 24/7 availability. The objective of a smart city is not only to connect people-to-people but also to create an infrastructure that can respond to the needs of the citizens automatically.
Telecommunication systems play a significant role in the infrastructure of smart cities. Access to high-speed broadband is a prerequisite for building smart cities. In this scenario, a faster network rollout is the need of the hour.
Can Communication Service Providers (CSPs) assure efficient and timely rollout?
Challenges faced by Communication Service Providers
The CSPs are under constant pressure to expand their network at a rapid pace to meet the ever-growing customer demands for high-speed data. The customer expectations are forcing CSPs to match their planning and business operations with that of the next-gen technologies.
However, managing the plan, build, and operate services with existing silos may not be possible without increasing the operating expenses.
Before we move on to discuss the suitable solutions, the challenges which every CSP needs to address include managing large teams, rigid business processes, complex network management, and ineffective OSS/BSS.
To dig deeper into the scenario, operating with multiple stakeholders in the network rollout would be complex as CSPs need a single and seamless view of a network for various business groups; sales, planning, field survey, construction, operations, and maintenance teams. CSPs have to collaborate the inputs from these groups to process the real-time updates to the back office and provide an environment for faster networks.
Can CSPs create an optimized environment with complacent solutions?
CSPs need a proactive partner who can help them enhance their network capacity with process automation and smooth data migration. Let us understand how CSPs can improve the visibility of the network with a streamlined plan, build, and operate solution, without increasing their budget.
A complex organizational structure can delay decision-making due to the reviews and approvals process. An end-to-end single-source solution can help CSPs organize and connect these groups under one roof using real-time data and by providing data access to every stakeholder. CSPs can speed up the planning phase by channelizing cross-functional business groups. They can reduce operating costs by avoiding duplication of work through optimization of work locations.
Often the planned vs actual network deviations could be significant after build activities are complete. If CSP’s have to effectively manage the operations, both planned and actual network should be in sync. A single framework can help CSPs to support required changes to network through a single platform. Similarly, CSPs can avoid inconsistencies in the business process by establishing an end-to-end connectivity of the processes like network planning, network augmentation, fault restoration, last mile connectivity etc. and smoothly exchange the network inventory data between the stakeholders with an objective of not maintain duplicate and redundant data.
A single framework can help CSPs unblock the missing connectivity between departments by enabling continuous data exchange/information. It can also support every project at the individual task level with timely notifications, alerts, and acknowledgments. Similarly, CSPs can avoid inconsistencies in the business process by establishing an end-to-end connectivity of the network, including Fiber-to-the-Home and Wireless networks. The better inventory connectivity can, in turn, help them add new revenue streams by targeting new customer segments and by introducing innovative and competitive offerings.
To leverage these new avenues, CSPs must enhance their service provisioning, assurance, and delivery capabilities. Fortunately, the constant data exchange and access to real-time data enables the service providers to manage customer needs more efficiently.
Here are a few benefits of a single framework platform:
- Efficient turnaround time
- Improved network planning through accurate mapping and data
- Increased efficiency of planners through readily available data
- Quantified project progress, performance, and productivity
To conclude, a smart city is not a distant dream, and the market for network rollout is expected to grow with the advent of new industries and new mobile applications. However, network transformation is essential, and CSPs must have a clear view of the workload of planners, designers, and field engineers, to ensure efficient utilization.
By Ramakanth Gangisetti | December 7th, 2016