SUSAN WHITE NETCRACKER Q&A
THE SYSTEMS BEHIND THE HARDWARE DRIVING CHANGE AUTOMATING FIBRE NETWORKS
With the fibre optic industry very much focused on developing hardware technologies for extending reach and capacity, it’s easy to forget that without operational and business support systems (OSS/BSS), network and revenue management would be almost impossible. To find out the latest thinking in OSS/ BSS for fibre, Optical Connections editor Peter Dykes spoke to Susan White , Head of Strategy and Portfolio Marketing at Netcracker, which recently launched Fibre Cloud, an automated OSS/BSS solution designed specifically for fibre networks.
onboarded fast, and turn up capacity on- demand. However, given today’s many manual tasks, it’s an arduous process. For instance, they need to know where they can lay the fibre, regulatory approvals, getting site blueprints into the system and working with many contractors. Most of this is still manually driven and takes far too long. We’re changing this model to bring in a high degree of automation to speed the process up and drive significant cost efficiency through the business. In addition, the changing environment where telcos are separating out their fibre business, means they need to accommodate more diverse customers. To accomplish this, FiberCos will need systems that allow them to handle both large- and small-scale ServCo customers and be able to on- board and operationalise them quickly.
As an OSS/BSS vendor, what major changes have you recently observed in the
why there are more and more specialised fibre operators in the market who are increasing FTTH coverage to help ISPs meet Gigabit Society goals of 1Gbps and more. Plus, they need to find ways to differentiate their offerings from each other to remain attractive to investors. But it’s not just about FTTH. With more deployments of the 5G core, edge compute and the emergence of network slicing, we’re starting to see evolutions in vertical markets including industrial IoT, autonomous vehicles, and the drone industry. These new technologies open the door to services that require low latency or high throughput and we’re going to need a lot more backhaul fibre to enable them. The fibre business has always been about high reliability and high performance, and for wholesale providers, it has to be neutral as well. However, to accommodate these new market trends, additional requirements are needed that necessitate a new IT environment, and this is our focus at Netcracker. To meet Gigabit Society goals, FiberCos have publicised aggressive build out rates. To make this a reality they need to expedite build outs quickly, get their ISPs
A major trend we’re seeing is an increase in specialist fibre operators - companies whose
primary focus is the build out of fibre infrastructure. And many of these are focused on the wholesale market. Adding to this trend is the evolution of telcos from fully integrated companies doing everything, into separate infrastructure and service companies. The infrastructure business takes care of fibre access and/or towers, becoming a NetCo, and the services arm becomes a ServCo. We’ve seen this happen to some degree in the past, such as NBN in Australia and BT Openreach in the UK. Often it was driven by the regulators, but now we’re seeing it as a business model driven by the telcos who believe that by separating these businesses, they’ll actually have greater value in the individual parts. For example, on the infrastructure side, with a more focused business, less regulations and a broader customer base, valuations are proving to be far higher than the integrated company according to Deloitte. This is
So how is this relevant to Netcracker?
Fibre operators are looking to change their IT environment as the legacy OSS/BSS systems are
not versatile enough for the new-look NetCos. They are struggling to scale and achieve the build outs needed, there are too many manual processes, and legacy
INDUSTRY FOCUS 2022/2023
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