MTN Benin and Ericsson address throughput issues

The ongoing use of advanced technology to address potential mobile network customer satisfaction issues has been in the news in West Africa thanks to a partnership between operator MTN Benin and vendor Ericsson.

MTN Benin and Ericsson have partnered on the deployment of an artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) solution to address throughput challenges.

A network management system utilizing AI and ML was designed to address throughput degradation with the associated aim of providing improved customer satisfaction. This, says Ericsson, is building on the existing Ericsson Operation Engine which is designed to provide data-driven network operations including state-of-the-art AI-enabled cognitive software for network optimisation.

Ericsson explains that the ongoing rise of connected devices has led to an increase in spectrum requirements, putting a strain on certain sites. Ericsson devised its latest algorithms to act on highly accurate predictions of future lower throughput based on historical data. As a result, MTN Benin can maximize the use of available spectrum, in turn improving user satisfaction through a reliable network experience for MTN Benin’s subscribers.

Uche Ofodile, Chief Executive Officer of MTN Benin, says: “By utilizing Ericsson’s solution for designing creative network solutions we hope to provide a more individualized approach to network management, thereby boost customer satisfaction and successfully contribute to government ambition to be the leading provider of digital services in West Africa.”

The AI and ML solution is described as multi-faceted in its benefits, as it addresses throughput degradation in the most efficient manner by anticipating it, offering zero-touch corrective action, increasing throughput for service-level agreements (SLAs) and making the best use of network resources.


Singtel announces first data centre project in Indonesia 

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Russia announces $1.4bn boost to domestic gear manufacturing

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Connected Britain Keynotes: CXO Spotlight

Total Telecom is delighted to share live footage of the Connected Britain 2022 Keynotes, featuring some of the UK telecoms industry’s biggest names discussing the sector’s most important issues

Connected Britain 2022 saw the UK telecoms industry’s leading voices take to the stage, introducing the UK’s ever-changing connectivity landscape and outlining the biggest challenges still to be faced.

In this opening Keynote session, the Financial Times’ Telecoms, Media, and Technology Correspondent Anna Gross sat down with a quartet of the UK’s largest fibre and mobile players, discussing everything from their rollouts so far to supply chain issues and the cost-of-living crisis.

The session also included fascinating presentations from Tristia Harrison, CEO of TalkTalk, and Katherine Ainley, CEO of Ericsson UK&I.

You can view the video in full from the link below.

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  • (00:00) Introduction by Anna Gross, Telecoms, Media, and Technology Correspondent at the Financial Times
  • (02:00) An interview with Katie Milligan, CCO of Openreach
  • (10:30) An interview with Lutz Schüler, CEO of Virgin Media O2
  • (18:40) An interview with Greg Mesch, CEO of CityFibre
  • (28:20) An interview with Ahmed Essam, CEO of Vodafone UK
  • (36:50) Keynote Presentation from Tristia Harrison, CEO of TalkTalk
  • (45:20) Keynote Presentation from Katherine Ainley, CEO of Ericsson UK&I

Keep your eyes peeled for our second keynote instalment, sharing the full panel discussion between these six panellists, as well as a special keynote address from Ofcom’s Networks & Communications Group Director, Lindsey Fussell.

Join us for more in-depth discussion about the UK telecoms industry at Connected Britain’s sister conference, Connected North, in Manchester next year 

Indian operators miss 5G base station rollout targets

According to figures widely reported in the Indian press, India’s three major operators are well below Department of Telecommunications (DoT) targets for 5G base station rollout – and in fact Vodafone Idea seems not have started yet.

The rollout of 5G services in India began at the start of October with a DoT target of 10,000 base stations to be in place every week. The actual figure appears to be 2,500 a week.

But when these figures are broken down it’s clear that market leader Reliance Jio is way ahead. Data from November suggest that Jio has 17,687 base stations up and running and 5G services launched across 10 states.

Airtel has rolled out services across more states – 13 – but with a base station total of only 3,293. That’s just under 21,000 5G base stations between the two companies to date.

Meanwhile, Vodafone Idea, aka ViL, seemed to be signalling its intention to be part of India’s 5G evolution by buying spectrum earlier this year. However, according to The Times of India, it hasn’t set up any 5G base stations yet.

As we have noted in the past, Vodafone’s ongoing cashflow problems may be holding back not just repayment of a number of outstanding debts but investment in network maintenance and infrastructure and, of course, 5G rollout.

Plans to convert its 161 billion Indian rupees (US$1.95 billion) accrued interest on the operator’s deferred AGR-related dues into a 33% government stake in the company seem to have stalled as the government apparently waits for guarantees of investment from the likes of the company’s owners, Vodafone Group and Aditya Birla Group, to reassure it the company has a future.

However, in turn, the lack of government assurances seems to be unnerving potential private investors, leaving Vodafone Idea in investment limbo.


Interview: Whale Cloud’s Dora Xu

A sudden pandemic disrupted all sectors of the economy in 2020, with countries taking various lockdown measures. For an international company like Whale Cloud, it became an unprecedented challenge to deliver global projects – especially digital transformation projects – on time.

In this interview, Dora Xu, Executive Vice President of Whale Cloud International who oversees Global Delivery and Operations, explains how to ensure the stable operation of global customers’ systems under the impact of the pandemic, how to achieve on-time delivery of large-scale projects, and shares the best practices of « Global Digital Transformation Delivery During the Epidemic » and the new delivery approach in the post-pandemic era.

When it comes to delivering a digital transformation project, services and support teams of both vendors and CSPs always work closely on-site. The pandemic, however, changed the situation and affected such connections. How did Whale Cloud transform its delivery model to ensure successful delivery of projects?

In large-scale software delivery projects, remote delivery is more challenging. It involves not only the difference in communication and understanding of requirements between the two parties, but also how to leverage effective project management methods to encourage all departments of CSPs and external partners to fully participate in the whole project, and match our delivery pace. Digital transformation projects are more special as they often need business process renovation and business model innovation, and multiple departments in the organization are involved, rather than traditional IT department-dominated way. At the same time, overseas projects will also encounter differences and challenges such as regulations, time zones, language, and culture.

Before the pandemic, Whale Cloud already had a deep understanding and exploration of remote delivery, and the new situation was a catalyst in accelerating the implementation of its new delivery model. To maximize the value of remote delivery, we needed to conduct adjustments and shifts in organizational structure, methodology and process, technology and tools.

A large-scale project involves hundreds of people. Take U Mobile as an example: a project we completed in 2022 which involved about 500 people distributed across 9 cities in 6 different countries. The reasonable allocation of the Agile Release Train (ART) team and Scrum team needs to be considered horizontally and vertically in terms of geography, job types, and work tasks. It is also necessary to adjust the organizational structure in real-time at different stages according to the duration of the project.

The alignment of goals and paces between the ART team and the Scrum team can achieve synchronization despite time zone and geographical differences. This involves alignment at different dimensions, including strategic goals, management plans, business requirements, and technical solutions. For the strategic and management alignment, we adopt the latest « large-scale lean-agile » concept and conduct Steering Committee (SteerCo), Executive Committee (EC) and daily stand-up meetings. At the technical/business level, we use the Lean Kanban mechanism for alignment, and Separation of Concerns (SoC) – that is, « research and develop on rhythm, release on demand » – to enable different teams in different time zones to work at their own pace without waiting for each other.

In terms of technology and tools, the cloud-native technology isolates the environmental differences between different locations, makes one-click deployment and one-click upgrade possible, and simplifies the difficulty of remote troubleshooting. The ZCM DevOps platform developed by Whale Cloud realizes the Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) of the business value stream. With the cloud delivery platform (eDo), the task flows are transparent between different teams. The delivery process and problems can be visualized through dashboards so that all project members can see it at a glance. Information and risks are scattered due to multi-faceted and off-site remote delivery; visualization management is an essential means to solve these issues. Remote delivery can be implemented more efficiently, safely and economically through this combination.

For large-scale software projects, especially digital transformation projects, CSPs focus much more on minimizing risk and impact on businesses while realizing business agility during system migration, which has become a challenge for vendors. How does Whale Cloud address this challenge?

The organizational division between ART and Scrum, the adoption of the SoC approach (research and develop on rhythm, release on demand), and CI/CD aim to achieve agile delivery of business value streams. To ensure the reliability of migration from a legacy system to a new system and eliminate the risk, we leveraged an innovative migration approach called Bridging, which enabled online migration and allowed legacy and new platforms to run in parallel, realizing agile and stable migration.

Whale Cloud has extensive experience in delivering digital transformation projects. What do you consider the most noteworthy example from recent years?

We have successfully delivered many projects with the remote delivery approach, including DITO Telecommunity in the Philippines, WOM in Chile, SilkNet in Georgia, MTN in Rwanda and WOM in Colombia. The BSS Transformation of U Mobile impressed me the most as it is the best practice for both remote delivery and smooth migration. We have mitigated the risk and improved maturity in business operations for U Mobile without impact on customer experience. It has also recently won the Project Excellence Awards from Project Management Institute (PMI) China.

The BSS Transformation of U Mobile is a large-scale project with nearly 500 team members, including Whale Cloud’s R&D and delivery team, U Mobile’s IT and business departments, and 70+ partners. In the early phases of the project, Whale Cloud and U Mobile consultants worked together to define and optimize the business model & processes, formulating the goals and correct paths to realize the transformation. Although the pandemic affected the delivery phase as we could not work with U Mobile on-site, we achieved the goals by introducing a large-scale lean-agile approach and conducting a combination of Program Increment (PI) and Sprint.

It seems like Whale Cloud has already developed a mature and practical methodology. Can you share more details with us?

Over the years, we have accumulated extensive experience in large-scale projects, and refined a set of delivery concepts, or methodologies applicable to large-scale software projects by reinventing our organization, processes, and tools – this is what we call Digital Transformation Delivery Framework (DTDF). It is divided into four layers.

The delivery strategy layer is the stage of aligning the delivery strategy and digital transformation goals, or we can say decomposition and refinement from CSPs’ digital transformation goals to the delivery strategy. We work with CSPs to identify « value-first » transformation requirements, and then make the delivery strategy, scope, KPIs and acceptance criteria.

The delivery tactics layer is to complete the tactical delivery arrangements such as project plan, organizational formation, and management process of delivery strategy objectives. It aims to reach an agreement on the tactical arrangement of project delivery methods.

The delivery execution layer is the process of project execution and value delivery. With the agile and stable delivery approach, each team can achieve rapid value delivery by completing the pre-set strategic objectives and adjusting measures to local conditions.

The fourth layer is the continuous evaluation process. Continuous iteration, metrics measurement, adjustment and optimization for the stage delivery results help set delivery strategies and goals for the next stage of transformation.

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Bridging the gap between demand and capacity in field services using AI

Bridging the gap between demand and capacity in field services using AI

This Industry Viewpoint was authored by Boominathan Shanmugam of Prodapt Systems

Most service providers in the connectedness industry are challenged with the planning and allocation of field technicians based on demand. Gartner states, “Balancing available resources against the demand is essential to successful initiative completion.” Based on the engagements with various service providers, the common challenges in traditional field service capacity planning are … [visit site to read more]

Bicom Systems and Telnyx: Self-Service Voice & Debugging

Bicom Systems and Telnyx Collab

Voice communications can be complicated–especially as organizations and people become more distributed. In 2023, companies will need to be able to keep their voice communications flexible, and that means having complete control over DIDs and SIP connections. Bicom Systems and Telnyx have partnered to empower MSPs and resellers to effectively manage their telephony systems, without having to wait on support agents and tickets.  

Take Control Over Your Migration

When number porting and connection set-up is in the hands of onboarding agents and support staff, it can often leave you in the dark. If something goes wrong–how do you know? What systems do you have access to that can help you understand the root of the issue, or give you an estimate of updated cutover dates? 

At Telnyx we believe you should have visibility into something as important as migration and connection creation. We have added a number of helpful products and features to give you complete control over your telephony–via our intuitive UI or next-gen APIs. 

When you partner with an experienced provider like Bicom Systems, they do all the heavy lifting for you. Providers are equipped with teams of expert engineers ready to prevent and solve issues as they arise or before they occur. That way, resellers and MSPs can focus on what they do best: selling. 

Fully Transparent Porting

FastPort was developed to help customers adequately plan and execute port-ins and the often-complex porting process. In just a few clicks, users can check customer service record (CSR) validation, schedule cutover times, make edits to requests and track port status. 

FastPort helps take the stress out of porting by giving you complete transparency at each stage of the process through the Mission Control Portal or via API. 

Scale Your Voice Service on Demand 

Over the past 3 years, we’ve seen that demand on voice services can change in an instant, and organizations need to be able to respond to that shift in record time. Unlike traditional telephony providers, Bicom Systems and Telnyx don’t limit the number of channels and connections. This facilitates easier scalability rather than being dependent on legacy systems and infrastructure.

We enable businesses to scale voice capacity on demand in the Mission Control Portal. Our multi-cloud, global infrastructure–combined with our deep number inventory–gives customers the flexibility required to manage a next-gen system of communications.  

Voice prioritization at Bicom Systems starts when you build your virtual foundation. SERVERware is the only virtualization platform tailored to hosting telephony and unified communications in the cloud. The platform is dedicated to prioritizing voice and is 100% scalable to fit the needs of any business.

Efficient Voice Debugging

Waiting hours to be connected to support just to give basic call information and open a ticket should be a thing of the past. It creates both operational inefficiencies and poor customer satisfaction as the end user waits for answers to issues that can have a big impact on their business.

Telnyx has developed a suite of debugging tools that live in the Mission Control Portal to help our users get from issue → resolution, faster. They include: 

  • CDRs for customers to see information on every call made on the Telnyx network 
  • An advanced SIP Debugging tool that allows users to export call flows in PCAP or txt format for advanced packet inspection 
  • QoS reports that enable account owners to inspect each RTP stream of the call to understand where issues lie and how these issues might be affecting call quality. 

As a carrier, Telnyx can help Bicom Systems customers self-serve on issues–across porting, connection set-up and call quality–for improved time to resolution, decreased downtime and an elevated customer experience. 

On top of the debugging tools that live in the Telnyx Mission Control Portal, Bicom Systems has a toolbox of its own: 

  • STIR/SHAKEN: Call Signing to help reduce fraudulent robocalls and illegal phone number spoofing
  • CDR and CDR Partitioning: A template for database partitioning that you can archive for a selected time. 
  • Provisioning Device Certification Validation: The PBXware implementation of mTLS (Mutual TLS verification) verifies the client (device) certificate on the server side by taking the manufacturer’s root CA (Certificate Authority) and building a trust store on the server side.

Interested in Learning More?

Gain access to markets all across the world with Bicom Systems and Telnyx. Through our partnership, we are making it easier for businesses to scale their communications globally with our suite of self-service tooling for number search and provisioning, SIP trunking creation and management, debugging, and QoS reporting. Telnyx offers Bicom Systems customers PSTN Replacement in over 31 countries around the world, including key markets such as the US, Australia, the UK, and the Netherlands. 

To learn more about the Bicom Systems and Telnyx partnership and how we can help you expand your global offering, reach out to a member of our team today!