Mobile Service Assurance

Enabled by Eirteic

THE SERVICE ASSURANCE CHALLENGE FOR MOBILE PROVIDERS

Mobile networks have always been driven by equipment vendors. This limitation has forced service assurance to operate in silos — causing extraneous operational cost and complexity.

Hardware interoperability is the goal, but projects promoting this have had mixed results. New projects like OSSii show promise for the future, but many providers have doubts that they will solve their immediate problems. SDN & NFV technologies may help as well by allowing for virtualization of the different architectures, but solutions coming from this approach are not yet feasible.

Operations are being inundated by too many element management systems (EMS) and swamped by disparate views from legacy systems resulting in bottlenecks, causing end-to-end service management and customer experience management (CEM) projects to struggle.

The rapid development of new technologies is producing more challenges than solutions with 2G morphing into 3G, then to 4G LTE. Networks are converging, but legacy equipment (that may not yet have earned your organization an ROI) is still out there and needs to be managed just as effectively as next generation equipment. This results in even MORE silos, now by vendor and technology generation. New 5G technology will be introduced in less than 5 years and will add additional levels of complexity for service providers. Further, next generation mobile revenue is expected to center around OTT applications which further still complicates service assurance. This problem is only going to get more amplified over time.

Europe is showing a new complexity to mobile service assurance, in that access (specifically in the Radio Access Network or RAN) is starting to become heavily regulated. Sharing access is causing compliance and differentiation problems. Adding security and cross integration between mobile operators will create additional silos increasing costs and decreasing service quality. If being able to interoperate between vendors is difficult today, how will organizations interoperate with competitors when operations are using legacy tools within a multitude of silos?

New growth is expected and required for mobile providers to meet the demands the marketplace has requested.

The explosive growth in mobile demand means that providers have to simultaneously build, grow, and manage architectures — past, present, and future. This juggling of priorities leads to erosion of operational success and service quality, which plague the market today. The lack of automation and future-proof solutions can frustrate operations to the point that they are commonly forced into a reactionary “firefighting” mode to protect the interests of the company.

The amount of silos and lack of a future-proof solution dramatically affects the quality of service assurance that mobile providers can achieve. New solutions and approaches are required to address marketplace challenges. The good news is that processes and standardization allows for new solutions like Federos’ Assure1 for Mobile Service Assurance. This platform’s unified approach allows providers to simplify operations and increase the quality of their services through achievable customer experience management.

ASSURE1 FOR MOBILE SERVICE ASSURANCE

The service assurance challenges for mobile service providers are vast and growing. Between interoperability among vendors, sharing RANs, and explosive growth; service assurance is being impacted due to a lack of automation, unified end-to-end views, and future-friendly solutions. The Assure1 platform from Federos is a game changer for mobile providers.

For many mobile operator silos have become the enemy. They cause many of the problems providers face, but companies create new ones when they apply point tools as Band-Aids — hoping to achieve immediate success but almost guaranteeing additional future problems.

Avoiding silos requires a unified approach to solving service assurance needs. Organizations should be working toward the unification of all fault, performance, topology, and service information into a single solution for their operations teams.

Mobile Service Assurance – Fault Management

The first building block for Mobile Service Assurance is fault management. Assure1 increases the efficiency of operations by reducing noise, simplifying complex processes, and focusing the operations team on fixing customer impacting problems first. The more quickly operations can detect, diagnose, and fix the problem; the less expensive the costs to the business and the happier customers are. Mobile Service Assurance – Performance Management The second building block to

Mobile Service Assurance is performance management

The second building block to Mobile Service Assurance – Performance Management which allows operations to proactively address problems before they become outages. Simple issues become complex, costly ones when they are neglected which is common in a heavily-siloed environment. The performance management piece allows operations to manage the capacity of the infrastructure and predict when and where problems may arise.

Mobile Service Assurance – Service Management

The last requirement to Mobile Service Assurance is service management — being able to monitor holistically to measure the quality that customers are experiencing (QoE) not only from the network, but also through social media or CRM sources. Service management allows operators to process incidents in terms of direct impact on customers and services and make decisions based upon the business value instead of simply the technology in play.

 

IMPROVING MOBILE OPERATIONS EFFICIENCY WITH FAULT MANAGEMENT

 

The first step of having better fault management is reducing the noise caused by redundant monitoring and sympathetic events from complex silos. The Assure1 integration library is designed to handle legacy OSS and IT systems using a simple and standards-based integration methodology to allow all data from every device and from any vendor to be easily collected, processed, and stored. Using topological or heuristic data, the Assure1 platform can determine a root cause of an issue and analyze its customer impact to provide holistic tracking of incidents for operators.

What Assure1 for Mobile Service Assurance does is collect data from an entire infrastructure, leverage the topology of the network, isolate the root cause, and then suppress all faults that are not the central problem.

The true value of Assure1 for Mobile Service Assurance is that the amount of data operations has to deal with is significantly reduced. Every incident can be handled simply, quickly, and efficiently to maximize the outcome operations can produce.

What Assure1 for Mobile Service Assurance does is collect data from an entire infrastructure, leverage the topology of the network, isolate the root cause, and then suppress all faults that are not the central problem.

The true value of Assure1 for Mobile Service Assurance is that the amount of data operations has to deal with is significantly reduced.

Every incident can be handled simply, quickly, and efficiently to maximize the outcome operations can produce.

TAMING A MOBILE NETWORK WITH PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

In order to have better performance management, you must collect all useful data or key performance indicators (KPIs) and condense it down into tangible business leading metrics or key quality indicators (KQIs). Within the mobile industry, it is useful to create best practice categories for these metrics using the “ARIAM” approach — Accessibility, Retainability, Integrity, Availability, and Mobility.

Assure1 for Mobile Service Assurance embraces this best practice with out-of-the-box mapping for powerful performance management value. Best practices help simplify a complex network that has thousands of devices, millions of elements, and trillions of bits of data flying across it a minute. Simplification is the key to successfully managing the performance of complex mobile environments. The ARIAM approach for Mobile Service Assurance might be defined in the following way:

Accessibility — whether a handset (phone) can get signal or not

Retainability — whether a handset (phone) experiences lost calls or connection failures

Integrity — whether a handset (phone) experiences bad quality in the form of garbled voice or data errors in applications

Availability — whether your phone service works or not

Mobility — whether your handset works when you are moving


Collecting all vital data from a complex network and simplifying that data into valuable knowledge allows you to actuate its usage through proactive alerting. Assure1 can mine the data collected to produce actionable faults for your operations to investigate with the goal of preventing customer impacting incidents. Alert templates can be set in the system so that any count and combination of thresholds can be aplied in an automated fashion.

There are currently four out-of-the-box alert threshold engines to help mobile providers mine their performance data: default alerts, trend-based alerts, missing data alerts, and abnormal baseline alerts.

Default alerts leverage a set static value and trigger when the value bursts a set number of times in a set interval. Trend-based alerts calculate the rate of change across a long time frame and alert when the rate of change is calculated above the set amount. 

Missing Data alerts check for data integrity issues to help operators identify when third party collection has failed. Finally, the abnormal “baseline” alerts leverage a confidence band calculation based upon previously collected data, then trigger when the current value has exceeded the upper and lower limits for a set number of times in a set interval.

These alert threshold engines combine to form a robust, proactive detection solution so outages can be prevented, and all impacting work can be done without affecting customers.

Assure1 has the capability to collect holistically, process enormous amounts of data in real-time, correlate and summate data into actionable information, and provide simplified and meaningful displays so that operations, engineering, and executives can proactively address the quality of their network.

 THE POWER OF HOLISTIC MOBILE SERVICE MANAGEMENT

The workings of a mobile environment are not simple. Handsets, towers, routers, switches, load balancers, billing systems, security gateways, and firewalls are only a subset of a network. Operation teams need help in determining how problems on this complex infrastructure with overlapping services are impacting the business in a real-time nature.

Assure1 provides this capability through discovery and mapping logical business hierarchy, correlating faults, and alerting operations on the business impact of these services as they happen.

With Assure1’s Real-time Business Impact Analysis engine multiple faults are condensed into a simple event indicating that customers have been affected and associations to the cause are provided.

Service outages can then be tracked down to the second they went down and subsequently come back up. Without any delay in response, operations has every opportunity to acknowledge the problem, understand its impact to the business, and act accordingly – all in an automated fashion.

Understanding the historical context of service quality is important for compliance, billing, and customer service reporting.

Assure1 for Mobile Service Assurance includes Service Quality Management capabilities for leveraging a service hierarchy and calculating how often the service meets certain quality levels. This functionality is critical in understanding how well your operations teams are achieving service quality goals and where challenges exist.

Service quality goals can be managed by proactive monitoring of KPIs. When a service is not meeting its quality standards, proactive alerts can be sent to operations informing them that the service in question needs to be watched more carefully. This all helps the goal for operations to focus on other chronic customer impacting issues and improve customer satisfaction. Assure1 for Mobile Service Assurance has been designed specifically to immediately address the costly and complex challenges mobile providers are facing with a practical measured proactive approach to solving problems.

MOBILE SERVICE ASSURANCE ENABLED BY EIRTEIC

Mobile Networks are getting more complex all the time and not just due to the technology involved. There are just over 4 million people in Ireland, yet we have 8 Mobile Networks (4 physical and 4 MVNO’s) to choose from, and thanks to recent legislation it has never been easier to move operators while keeping your phone number. Mergers, acquisitions, partnerships, regulators, legislation, MVNO’s, and outsourcing are all things that increase the complexity of modern mobile services. Most, if not all, operators are launching LTE/4G services which will result in super-fast services for customers.

What people probably don’t realize is that operators in most countries reduce the cost of their infrastructure by sharing their networks with their competition. RAN sharing is where the operator’s networks most expensive pieces – the cell sites and towers, base station equipment, and the transmission network – are built and managed separately and then shared between competitors. This results in lower costs, by reducing duplication of network assets and allowing operators to deliver better services for less money.

The Shared RAN is a great idea but the management of it is vitally important, because the speed at which new and converged service offerings are being deployed is putting strain on the networks. The ability to quickly and efficiently manage services while keeping track of the entire infrastructure is a very complex set of tasks. Operators are requiring detailed monitoring and reporting of the services provided to them by the shared RAN and without the proper tools, this is an increasingly difficult task. Legacy OSS tools don’t make it easy for the operators of these shared RAN’s to provide realtime Unified Service Assurance reporting to their customers. Multi-tenancy is a core requirement for these businesses — something that is lacking in a lot of legacy systems. The ability to quickly, securely and accurately provide detailed, relevant, information on their services to the appropriate customers is a core requirement for shared RAN’s. Federos’ Assure1 platform enables Eirteic to do this and provides the solid foundation for monitoring of future services and technologies.

Max. service 'Events' per hour

Countries WorldWide

Subscribers

Years in Business

We are the Service Assurance Company and we've been creating and integrating world class solutions for over 17 years. Our customers cover the globe. Their systems support hundreds of millions of subscribers, we've had to estimate just how many. We've only counted the countries that our solutions were primarily built to cover. Our platforms can easily handle today's largest networks, even so a 100x increase is planned to enable future networks and services which have yet to be invented.

UNIFY

Move to a next generation Service Assurance solution. Unify fault, performance and service level management within a single, integrated, scalable platform. Monitor, measure and report on all network types (fixed line, mobile and virtual), integrated seamlessly with existing hardware and emerging technologies.

SIMPLIFY

Simplify network management with customizable reports, dashboards and portals displaying a single, normalized, view of device, fault, performance, topology, service logic and service relationships.

ENABLE

 Our Customers want to manage their networks to peak performance, to drive new markets and capitalise upon new technologies. They demand new approaches including closer integration of business functions and network management. We enable them by developing tight integration between our core Service Assurance platform and other OSS systems.

Next Generation Solutions

Unified Service Assurance

Unify your organisations fault, performance, topology, and service level management in a single integrated scalable platform, in which users can measure, monitor and report on the services they provide.

OSS Integration

OSS integration or transformation is a first step to enable a new service model that’s customer centric; with proactive management of infrastructure, business services and customer experience. By integrating Unified Service Assurance with service management (from ServiceNow™ and Remedy™) we’re enabling our customers’ transformation from NOC to SOC (Network Operating Centre to Service Operating Centre).

Visualization and Insight

Network management tools generate a lot of data; interpreting it has always been a specialist skill. Our objective is to simplify the task and speed up decision making. Using software from Galileo, our sister company, we build in extra layers of intelligence and then we enrich the data from numerous external sources including weather events and the power grid. The result is a visual representation of the network which delivers valuable insights, and which can become proactive and  to predict network problems and capacity issues.

Netcool™ Replacement

We’ve loved Netcool™, but all products have their day. New times, new challenges require new solutions. Upgrading isn’t easy, but we are experts. We installed some of the World’s largest Netcool™ systems in the first place. We’ll replace Netcool, and the other systems which run alongside, with a new Unified platform, reducing OPEX, simplifying operations and accelerating business processes.

Where we are:

Address: Eirteic House Eastlink Business Park Carrigtohill Co. Cork, Ireland  T45 Y381

Phone: +353 21 242 7215 Fax: +353 21 485 5212 Mail: EUinfo@eirteic.com