Co-authored by : Srini Lakkaraju
Digital transformation is pushing communication service providers to put the necessary future-proof foundation in place. The best of customer experience can be offered by building a modern, reliable, and robust digital network management system.
Fibre is the way the world is going, especially when it comes to lower maintenance costs and improved customer experience. With fibre, communication service providers can offer their enterprise and residential subscribers- reliable, high-speed services, and can stay ahead of high bandwidth demand in the future.
HCL Capabilities in Fibre Network Rollout
The process of updating copper-based broadband to a fibre-based network presents significant challenges. It means physically disconnecting, moving the copper cables, and reconnecting with fibre networks. This requires truck roll and manual intervention which can lead to service downtime and, ultimately, an increase in customer churn. As fibre deployment brings its own challenges, it requires a well-planned strategy, frameworks, and experience to deal with the complexity of the transformation.
HCL can bring innovation to communication service providers at every step of their network transformation journey. Some of our solution capabilities which can help in accelerating the network transformation journey of communication service providers are: -
- Leveraging HCL’s Optical Electrical Lab: HCL has a dedicated Optical Lab which is spread across 2000 square feet of area with over 120 engineers. The lab can be utilized for validation of various optical engineering elements on attributes such as receiver sensitivity, return loss, eye patterns, and many others. The lab can also be utilized for debugging, tuning, full-wave characterization, and other service delivery. The lab’s mature best practices can help in getting first-time-right solutions and reduce overall time to market.
- Design and development of the network management system: HCL has vast experience in design, implementation, validation, and delivery of centralized network management systems, which is the key in the multi-layer optical network. With its product engineering expertise, HCL can customize to existing optical network elements to make it work as per the new network management requirements.
- Seamless fibre network rollout: HCL can manage end-to-end design, planning, and deployment of fibre networks for communication service providers. HCL has TIS (Transport Independent Site), an architectural framework that simplifies leveraging investments in MPLS and enables offloading of internet traffic. This helps with hybrid cloud adoption, providing a capability to be carrier-agnostic and enhancing end-user experience.
- End-to-end program governance: HCL has a matured engagement governance model which has a well-established process laid out. The pillars of HCL governance models are based on run-the-business, process and quality, relationship and customer satisfaction, and business innovation. These major tenets help HCL to take relationship with its customer beyond the contract.
- Training academy: Training on tools and processes currently used in a project is an integral part of HCL project execution methodology. Necessary training on the tools, rollout implementation methodology, and processes are provided to identified teams and roles. HCL follows a train-the-trainer approach. Separate training sessions are conducted if people are in different time zones. Training material is published well ahead of time to the candidates.
- Robust documentation process: HCL’s well-defined procedures and templates for standard documents include network element details, risk registers, flow charts, and information capture. This would ensure that the captured knowledge is translated into documentation that can be referenced and reused easily.
- Rich optical transport engineering heritage: HCL has a rich optical engineering heritage as it has over 20 years of experience working with top OEMs on the transport side. For a leading Europe tier-1 networking OEM, HCL took complete ownership of microwave backhaul products and carved their entire development team, which included the rebadging of 135 employees.
Challenges in Fibre Migration and HCL’s Solutions
HCL’s Fibre solution can mitigate some of the challenges faced by communication service providers with respect to migration to a fibre-based network, and they are mentioned below: -
HCL has invested in in-house solution accelerators which can jumpstart a communication service provider’s extensive fibre upgrade and rollout programs and can bring faster time-to-market and significant savings. Some of them are listed below: -
- TIS: Transport Independent Site is a cloud-ready platform that dynamically routes and seamlessly migrates the network, enabling end-to-end service chaining and traffic steering.
- iCE.X: iCE.X is a cloud-ready, carrier-grade device management platform which can help in managing multiple networks and device types.
- NetBOT: NetBOT is a network automation framework that helps in building self-healing networks by real time problem detection, remediation, and optimization.
- DRYiCE: DRYiCE is an award-winning automation solution which brings artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), thereby, significantly reducing the manual efforts.
Service providers that have adopted our solution frameworks in their network transformation journey have seen cost savings of over 35% and project acceleration by over 40%.
- For one of India’s leading tier-1 service providers, HCL managed SIP-, IP-, and MPLS-based network across 300 locations and 71 cities across India. HCL provided 24*7 remote operations and 60% remote optical engineering project implementation with multi-vendor network management with vendors such as Sun, Cisco, Juniper, HP, and many others. Training and knowledge transfer was done over 3500 worker-days.
- For a leading mobile manufacturer, HCL did seamless WAN transformation in committed timelines of 14 months. The network comprises a hybrid network with internet and MPLS. “Zero Infrastructure Framework” (ZIF) was implemented at small branch sites consisting of wireless-only architecture.
- For a leading supplier of optical communications, HCL did high-level and low-level design of optical NMS and developed core functionalities of FCAPS. HCL used robotic automation in the end-to-end testing of optical NMS and brought the cost down 40%.
The world is on the cusp of embracing 5G. With 5G coming, the amount of data generated and transmitted across networks will grow exponentially, leading to concurrent growth in bandwidth demands. The bandwidth demand is insatiable, and fibre network is the only rescue.
Faster and quality fibre technology deployments will be able to drive better network infrastructure. This meets the high-performance demands of customers and enables faster adoption of high-bandwidth 5G use cases. Fibre technology is revolutionizing the communication industry as it is faster, more secure, and more reliable. Fibre is the future of networks, and with its innovative fibre solutions, HCL can help communication service providers in accelerating time-to-market with significant cost savings.