A telco is no longer just a telco
We now find ourselves surrounded by changing business models. A telco has become a bank, an applications service provider, a B2C company and a B2B company all in one – and it relies on a resilient infrastructure to work.
For instance, with many telcos now supporting payment services from providers such as Google Pay and WhatsApp Pay, what would happen if a critical transaction couldn’t be carried out? In health care we’re seeing more and more consultations conducted online – there are even surgical procedures being carried out by IoT devices and AI robots – so, what would happen if connectivity was lost at a crucial moment?
A further example can be seen within smart cities, which is currently one of the biggest use cases of 5G and IoT technologies. What would happen if cars lost their connectivity to an app that detects traffic and intelligently changes traffic lights? One single break in this infrastructure could bring the city to its knees.
Planning for resilience
With such a reliance on network stability, every organization must plan for resilience. The past year alone has shown us that anything could happen at any time, and the network needs to remain available.
In a moment’s notice, for example, thousands of students may be told to study from home, putting vast amounts of pressure on the entire telecommunications infrastructure. If your network hasn’t planned for that surge, then you will almost certainly experience bandwidth issues that will affect performance. This, in turn, will negatively impact customer satisfaction, which can ultimately lead to revenue loss with customers choosing to switch to a more competitive provider.
It’s a domino effect that can harm a business’s reputation and it means that resilience isn’t just about keeping the lights on or providing an effective disaster management strategy for devices; it can also be your competitive advantage.
An end-to-end strategy is crucial
Every organization has some sort of resilience in their DNA; that’s the human way of doing business. But when you’re planning to deploy, operate and manage a network, you need resilience built into each of these phases – which can be hard to achieve without support.
From the impact of new business models, to handling the surge in demand following yet another lockdown, all of these elements need to be accommodated within a single platform.
We look at resilience from end-to-end: from making sure you have the right processes and technologies in place; to checking whether you’ve factored in a single point of failure for the entire network; to analyzing the distribution between core, access and transmission networks.
Taking a proactive approach
EY can work with the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) to begin with an assessment exercise, looking at any pre-existing strategies to see if they are comprehensive enough before going on to provide detailed guidelines that support the resilience of the entire network.
Once a strategy has been designed, we can either hand it over to the customer to manage it or we can deliver our managed services to support the successful implementation of the plan. We draw upon our in-house team of around 400 dedicated members of staff with deep industry knowledge, as well as our trusted ecosystem of partners, to achieve the desired outcomes.
However, I’m afraid to say that many telcos only look for support when an incident has occurred, which in my opinion is the equivalent of having your home burgled and then going out to buy an alarm! Equally reactive is when telcos approach us solely with the intention of meeting regulatory requirements when applying to governments for licensing. My best advice, therefore, is to be proactive instead of reactive.
To read more about Future Network Now take a look at the full NextWave Journal (pdf)