THE SERVICE ASSURANCE CHALLENGE FOR MOBILE PROVIDERS
Mobile networks have always been driven by the need to deliver growth (in terms of coverage, subscribers and data volumes) while keeping costs in control. These objectives may seem impossible to meet as each improvement is only gained after substantial investment. And those investments need to deliver tangible results as competition is fierce and subscribers will move freely between operators to gain price or performance improvements.
To meet these challenges Operators have, over time, partnered with various hardware and software vendors and partners – but all too often this has lead to independent silos of capability when interoperability is the real goal. These silos and lack of a future-proofed solution dramatically affects the quality of service assurance that mobile providers can achieve.
New solutions and approaches are required to address the marketplace challenges – new solutions such as 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 replaces silos of capability with the single, unified, Service Assurance system that needed to deliver high levels of customer satisfaction and to meet the business challenges of today and tomorrow.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Understanding the historical context of service quality is important for compliance, billing, and customer service reporting.
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 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
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.
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 network management with customizable reports, dashboards and portals displaying a single, normalized, view of device, fault, performance, topology, service logic and service relationships.
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 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.
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