Handing over infrastructure management key to network availability

The fastest and most affordable way to guarantee 99.9% network availability is to outsource infrastructure management, says Plessey.

Plessey, a provider of full lifecycle telecommunications infrastructure solutions, is exhibiting at Africa Com, now underway in Cape Town.

Plessey COO Howard Earley says that modern telecommunications and connectivity technologies require a more integrated and holistic approach to maintenance and management than was necessary when all countries had was some copper cable and mobile base stations limited to major commercial centres.

“Today, telcos and internet service providers are judged by an extremely fickle market on the speed and ubiquity of their network availability and the sophistication of the collaborative content and services they can deliver on those networks.

“Guaranteeing these capabilities means that management and maintenance of the network has to be pre-emptive and pro-active. And most telcos and service providers just don’t have the financial or technical resources to provide that for themselves across thousands of kilometres of fibre optical cable or for hundreds of base stations, many of which are in remote terrain that is difficult to access.

“They’re realising that the fastest and most affordable way to guarantee 99.9% network availability is to outsource the maintenance and management of their infrastructure, removing from their businesses the fiscal and executive strain of, for instance, identifying and fixing broken cables or malfunctioning air conditioners or power supplies in any one of hundreds of base stations.

“By handing responsibility for infrastructure management to an organisation like ours, a company saves time and money and massively boosts its ability to be agile in and responsive to its markets. The savings and increased agility directly benefit the bottom line.

“Infrastructure managed services can actually improve profitability.”

Earley says that operators and service providers are looking for a partner that can build their infrastructure and then deliver managed services for the infrastructure’s full life cycle – in the same consistent, world class way, wherever the infrastructure partner touches their business in Africa and regardless of region-specific issues.

“That’s possible only if the infrastructure solutions provider has deep enough pockets and human and management resources to be able to roll out fully trained and equipped teams and state-of- the-art facilities, such as Network Operations Centres, pretty much on demand – in any country.

“And that’s possible only if the infrastructure solutions provider has in-country offices, relationships with local and global vendors, established local sub-contractors who take ownership of service level agreements, and a willingness to interact with local communities so as to provide ad hoc labour-based jobs wherever possible.

“In addition, where the solutions provider doesn’t have such relationships or offices, then it must have a standardised mechanism in place that enables it to very quickly replicate in a new territory the capabilities it has proven elsewhere in Africa.

“In other words, getting infrastructure managed services that make you more profitable depends more on the business infrastructure of your outsourcer than its ability to splice cables.” 

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