OTF2017: Telcos move from network-centric to service-centric operation

Telecom Asia Special Project Team
29 Sep 2017

As telecoms operators move from network-centric to service-centric operation, improving the customer experience and operational efficiency are now the top digital transformation priorities for telecoms operators worldwide.

“Operators used to be concerned about how to quickly build the network and this year priorities have been shifted to how to improve customer experience through operational efficiency,” said Sheng Kai (pictured), president of consulting & services solution sales department at Huawei Global Technical Services.

“And delivering the best service and customer experience is the key for operators’ business success.”

Sheng said these are the key findings of an IDC survey commissioned by Huawei Technologies, which interviewed 200 telecoms operators across Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East and Africa.

To tackle all these challenges and achieve business goals, telecoms operators need a “systematic” transformation in terms of operations and infrastructure, Sheng told a media briefing at the company’s annual Operation Transformation Forum last week.

The executive cited three operator partnerships detailing how Huawei address challenges operators facing digital transformation.

HKT: ROADS experience-driven transformation

For example, HKT, the telecoms arm under PCCW Group in Hong Kong, has contracted Huawei to support its digital transformation project.

Sheng said HKT employed Huawei’s open ROADS architecture as a blueprint for its transformation project. The pair worked closely together to redefine HKT’s business objectives, implement agile operations, revamp OSS and cloudified its network infrastructure.

“HKT’s goal is to optimize its end-user experience, improve operational efficiency and business agility. Sheng said. “Without the transformation of infrastructure and operation, it will not be able to achieve agile operations and service experience cannot be improved.”

As a result, time required for product planning or setup has been reduced from weeks to days, while engagement duration of self-service customer support sessions has been lowered from days to minutes.

Sheng said Huawei has also helped HKT to identify and enable digital services which create new revenue opportunities for the telco.

MTN: Agile operations

Huawei has also worked with MTN in a project focusing on agile operations. The vendor provided its Operation Web Services (OWS) platform to support the South African operator’s Network 2020 digital transformation project.

The OWS is an open, programmable, cloud-based platform with micro-services architecture. It supports real-time network monitoring and process automation, enables orchestration capabilities, and lets operation engineers develop apps even without an IT background.

Sheng said the main goal of MTN is to improve operational efficiency and get its network leaner and more agile.

By deploying OWS and automating network management and operations, MTN has significantly improved its operation efficiency: backend office efficiency has been increased by 20%, while frontend office efficiency is up 50%. Also in call centers average complaint processing time has been shortened by 30% while issue demarcation and processing time has been reduced by75%.

Viva: Value-oriented network construction

Another example is with Kuwait’s Viva, the second largest mobile operator in Kuwait in the Middle East, which is striving to optimize its network resources and monetize data traffic on its network.

Viva was experiencing network congestion issues due to heavy consumption of YouTube by low-end users, which affected the customer experience of the operator’s high-value VIP customers.

After identifying the root cause, Huawei implemented real-time planning capabilities on Viva’s network to enable the operator to accurately expand network capacity and effectively utilize network resources through network traffic prioritization. It also used data analytics to monitor the user experience of Viva’s VIP customers.

As a result, churn rate of VIP customers is reduced significantly, with “value” traffic from these customers increased six times, and the number of network-related complaints decreased by 33%.

On network side, investment decision has been reduced from 16 weeks to 4 weeks, while site construction time dropped from 24 weeks to 8 weeks.

Customized solution addressing operator’s specific needs

Sheng said Huawei global service is the fast growing department under the company’s Carrier Group and is upbeat on the market outlook. A key driver for growth, he said, is operator’s need to seek new digital services for growth as revenues from traditional businesses like voice, SMS and data are declining.

“Operators are now looking for new services like video, enterprise connectivity and IoT for new revenue growth,” Sheng said. “To cope with this, we need to identify operators’ business objectives and provide them with customized solution [to address their specific needs], like we did with HKT and Viva.”

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