How operational automation can optimise telco spend

New revenue streams for the telcos are emerging from the 5G technology, focused on supporting Industry 4.0 services, such as remote healthcare, autonomous vehicles and robotic factories. To speed up the delivery of these business-critical services, automation of 5G network operations has become an essential consideration.

While 5G offers plenty of new opportunities for telcos, the complexity caused by 5G can offer challenges. From our discussions with leading Tier-1 telcos, we understand that 5G’s constituent software and hardware is the cause of increased network complexity, which could be mitigated by network automation. With the introduction of automation in a NOC (Network Operations Centre) and a SOC (Service Operations Centre), telcos are expecting to monetize 5G consumer and enterprise services faster, empowering them to be successful in a highly competitive market.

The urgency in automating network and service operations

It is widely understood that a direct outcome of increased automation is optimised service performance and reduced costs.

For operation support system (Service Assurance) software vendors like MYCOM OSI, it is more important than ever to collaboratively work with telcos to understand their business and economic drivers, processes, people, and ambitions; how automation solutions could help telcos to predict and optimise resource usage and redeploy teams to support their growth aspirations; and how automation solutions could offer proactivity and automated analysis, in sync with telcos’ zero-touch assurance or Dark NOC programs.

Zero-touch assurance for faster turnarounds

Zero-touch assurance programs can result in up to 80% reduction in the time (based on our experience with Tier 1 telcos) to identify and resolve network challenges. This is the tip of the iceberg; with time, such use cases will evolve and provide larger efficiencies and benefits to telcos.

In some recent experiences with Tier 1 telcos, we observed an uplift in customer experience when network or service outages were updated accurately, enabling customer care teams to inform subscribers immediately, minimising expensive engineer call outs and truck rolls. In an example of a Tier 1 telco who implemented end to end automation across their NOC and SOC, almost 5 million notifications were sent out to mobile and broadband customers, informing them well ahead of time about impending outages. Reducing human handoffs resulted in improved turnaround time by 99.9%: subscribers were informed within minutes rather than in hours. All these numbers can be easily converted into millions of dollars of savings.

Automation for rapid service deployment

Automated onboarding of services and networks can reduce new system deployment to a few hours, by automating complex processes across multiple domains, thus freeing up valuable human resources. Automation reduces human error and increases efficiency in service deployments, much needed to meet the customer demand. Telcos’ support teams could also achieve reduction in time-consuming, and cost-inefficient trouble tickets by up to 90% using predictive techniques.

These automation examples are only a slice of the revenue benefits that can be reaped from pre-emptive fault resolution, accurate diagnosis, and corrective recommendations, leading to millions of dollars of annual savings. At MYCOM OSI, we have been a provider of innovative Service Assurance applications to global telcos for over two decades. Our learning is that innovation should be in lockstep with the telcos’ immediate challenges. And right now, automation of the operations is the telcos’ biggest concern.

Author: Andrew Coll, CEO, MYCOM OSI


This blog was first posted on Financial Times on 25th Sep 2023: