by July 1, 2011 0 comments



The concept of shared passive telecom infrastructure has transformed the business model of Indian telecom players over the past 5 years. Indian Telecos, which were earlier pro-active in setting-up towers in order to catch up with their ‘subscriber explosion’, have soon, and for better realized the profits gained from infrastructure sharing. For major players, such as Bharti, who have a pan-India footprint, it opened fresh revenue grounds; while for those expanding their national presence, it simply implies lower CapEx and OpEx, besides swift service roll-outs. Though there are benefits, it still leads to hefty energy bills for telcos. Moreover, owing to the erratic power conditions in our country, most of these towers are run on diesel generators, which not only shoots up carbon emissions in the environment, but also incur a heavy cost in terms of diesel.

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Bharti Infratel is one such infrastructure provider, who has taken various initiatives to optimize its passive infrastructure utilization and offers better services to clients, which includes the likes of Aircel, Airtel, BSNL, Idea, Reliance Mobile, Tata Teleservices, Vodafone and many more. The company has implemented a solution to manage its tower operations and assets. The project spans 32000+ tower sites spread across 18 states and 11 telecom circles in India while having a vast rural presence across tier II and tier III townships.

Managing telecom infrastructure in remote locations was a herculean task. High energy cost, higher telecom network downtime, delay in restoration due to manual processes, and difficult to track and manage SLAs for customers were some of the key problem areas.



Implementation

As a part of the implementation, new sensors were connected to the passive infrastructure deployed on tower sites. These components include tower, AC/DC energy meters, batteries, remote terminal units (RTU), power interface units (PIU), DG sets, air-conditioners, etc. The set up aided monitoring and collection of data around energy consumption and other on-site conditions.

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The data collected, as a process is then fed into the centralized monitoring system built on IBM’s Tivoli Netcool Portfolio and Tivoli Service Request Manager. This helps in the analysis through domain-specific rules and converts data into actionable intelligence outcomes, which are then used to drive process workflows, and relayed to the on-site workforce for issue closure. At the final stage, the analytics system processes all the infrastructure and process data, to spot areas of improvement and identify opportunities for optimization.

Impact

More than 6,00,000 events/day are transmitted in real time through the firmware, reporting site events and conditions, status updates and energy readings. The ‘rule engine’ has also been customized to receive these inputs in realtime. It then correlates and controls the alarms to provide 1-2 actionable/site/day incidents. These incidents are reported to the field staff directly, resulting in reducing turn-around-time from hours to minutes.

The data collection and development of a centralized information repository has helped in providing deeper operational insights and learning from data mining, trend analysis, aiding in better business decision-making and transparent reporting of SLAs to customers with proactive complaint management alerts.

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The implementation has resulted in Infratel’s savings to the tune of Rs.55 million/year by optimizing DG set operations to negate extra ‘run hours’. This not only is a direct saving of the fuel , but also extrapolates to a reduction of 4.08* million kg of CO2 emission per year. Indeed, impactful and green!

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