In the first of a series of blogs around Aria Networks’ new suite of applications, VP of Engineering John Crickett introduces the concept of the Operator Maturity Index (OMI) and some of the software applications that support service providers as they move through the maturity levels extracting maximum business value from their network.

One of the more significant challenges for the telecommunications operator community has been to manage the rapid growth of the network.

If you consider a mobile network operator, 20 years ago it carried mobile calls and SMS messages for a small percentage of the population over a small area of coverage. Nowadays it carries calls, SMS and a significant level of mobile data with a far wider geographical coverage for the majority of the population. This rapid increase in capacity requirement has led to a rapid evolution in infrastructure leaving operators with networks that consist of a combination of 2G, 3G and 4G infrastructure. The same rapid increase in traffic over a network also applies to traditional telecoms carriers, carriers’ carriers and over the top providers.

All this leads to larger, more complex networks. Historically service providers broke down networks into smaller networks within networks, which were easier to understand. Engineers were responsible for specific parts of the network themselves and managed and controlled these parts individually. Once voice or data services had left their part, they knew little about what happened next.

This distributed knowledge model was unsustainable in the long run. The astronomical growth in data demand has meant that networks have grown at a vast rate. Making the OPEX required to manage a network this way unsustainable and the CAPEX required to grow the capacity equally unsustainable. At the same time, the revenue for carrying the data has dropped. Thus to remain competitive and profitable an operator must make the most efficient use of their network. The first step of which is to increase the operators understanding of their network.

To support a detailed level of understanding of an operators network Aria Networks has developed the Operator Maturity Index (OMI) which enables operators to understand how their ability to manage their network compared to the state of the art.

In order to help operators increase their understanding of their network and extract the maximum value from it, Aria Networks provides a series of applications, delivered as part of a comprehensive software suite, which enables operators to improve their understanding of their network so they can extract the maximum value.

The level one OMI applications help service providers initially at a tactical level by visualizing the entire network. Surprisingly this can be extremely difficult for many operators, yet the benefits to the business of visualization are often instant and impactful. Service providers can more easily identify areas of the network that might be vulnerable to failure or hotspots which are rapidly running out of capacity, whilst other segments are overbuilt and may provide opportunities to harvest unused equipment, prompting better decisions around infrastructure investment and service provision.

Despite this being only the first level of the OMI, Aria Networks has worked with service providers that have seen double-digit improvements in efficiency simply by “seeing” their networks.

In the next blog, John Crickett will address moving from level 1 of the OMI to level 2, incorporating Worst Case Failure, Routing, Traffic Modelling and Failure Impact.