PETER DYKES SUPPORT SYSTEMS
OPERATIONAL SUPPORT SYSTEMS: MOVING TO FIBRE
From having a real-time view of everything that is happening across a network, to rolling out new services and ensuring a positive customer experience, Operational Support Systems (OSS) are the key to monitoring, controlling and monetising networks. Traditionally, these systems have been largely physically part of the network, but the switch from copper to fibre and the move towards running them in the cloud means vendors are having to rethink their offerings. Optical Connections editor Peter Dykes spoke with Johan Hjalmarsson , Product Marketing manager at Swedish OSS vendor NetAdmin about the changing nature of support systems.
PD As operators switch from copper to fibre, is it a case of rip and replace, so far as OSS is concerned or is it possible to transition existing systems to the fibre infrastructure?
run critical systems on cloud providers outside for example the UK or EU. So, I guess there will be niche players or special setups in the cloud space that can deliver these services.
reliability, scalability, availability and more. However, moving to SaaS or hosting by cloud providers is not necessarily an option, due to the need for OSS being close to the network and being critical to the operations of the network, as well as being affected by different regulations. Cloud can be quite expensive depending on resource consumption, and many telecom operators have their own private cloud, so they are able to rely on that investment for the moment. For start-ups it is a different story, they often benefit from a cloud deployment. When it comes to OSS there are some performance aspects when getting into the monitoring domain. You want to be able to monitor and control your network as close as possible to the network. Even if you have an outage between your network and your cloud provider you still want to monitor and control your network. This is not a big problem however, and you might work around it with local satellites. Another aspect of this is that there are more and harder security requirements, the Telecoms Security Act, Cyber essentials to name but two which are put on telecom operators. They cannot
With an increasing number of altnets/wholesale carriers coming into the market, each
The old systems made for copper have some fundamental issues in their data model that are too
carrying a mixture of different traffic types (i.e. mobile xhaul, FTTx, DCI, etc.), do these traffic types need to be managed separately?
specific for copper. They could for example rely heavily on the phone
number or the management of copper cable pairs. They were also built many years ago and don’t really use the latest technology. It is unclear how much they are left behind in terms of modernisation. Some systems have been able to modernise, but far from all. When it comes to fibre, the address or delivery point is essential. It is very important that you can model how the address evolves, from planning, to installation and activation. including how you link network elements to the address and perform a successful installation. PD Is OSS increasingly moving into the cloud?
When it comes to FTTx you need to have a lot of automation and self-service for that business case
to work. If we talk about FTTx in a wholesale/open access perspective, you also need a lot of good APIs and portals for external service providers in order to facilitate the crucial business processes. So far as mobile xhaul and carrier ethernet services are concerned, you often have a more manual approach using more manual quote-to-offer processes and service delivery processes but the potential for automation and standardisation is big. However, monitoring, inventory, address/location management, installation/maintenance procedure support can be shared.
Moving to utilising cloud technology, like containerisation is inevitable. It has to do with
| ISSUE 33 | Q2 2023
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