Challenging and Critical Ethernet rehome project delivered on-time for a Tier 1 US wireless Operator

The Challenge

A Tier 1 US wireless Operator planned to decommission one of its New York switches and rehome all facilities to an alternative switch. This was a significant project that required all leased Ethernet transport facilities, encompassing more than 1,100 cell site locations, to be rehomed by issuing approximately 2,300 circuit orders.

Ethernet processes and engineering rules vary across service providers. Successfully managing a project of this size and scope requires advanced knowledge of provider-specific protocols and rules to assure that contracted rates are properly applied by the provider. Due to numerous organizational changes, the Operator did not have the expertise on staff necessary to plan and process Ethernet orders of this magnitude within the targeted thirteen-month project timeframe.

The Solution

Our team was selected by the Operator to manage the engineering design work required to support the decommissioning of their New York switch. Our Transport Engineering Solution team was responsible for delivering on this as a turn-key project. This included engineering review, planning, provisioning, inventory design updates, and project management services utilizing the TraK™ project management platform.

To kick things off, our team received project packages containing data for sites, circuits, and repoint assignments. We reviewed the engineering design for non-conformities that did not meet the traffic design criteria and created a workflow routine for Operator revisions. Obtaining the visibility and coordination requisite for a project of this scale also necessitated that we initiate a formal project with the vendor providing the Ethernet services to the Operator. We processed all orders, prepared cut-sheets for the switch with all relevant technical data, and provided the appropriate contact information to ensure a smooth cutover. We successfully executed the entire plan for the Ethernet migration while delivering custom reporting on all activities, participating in weekly conference calls with multiple stakeholders, providing status updates and resolving any issues as part of our project management services.

The Results

Complex multifaceted projects depend on frequent communication, proper planning, coordination among all stakeholders, and excellent data management. Flexibility to adapt to changing conditions on the ground is vital, in addition to executing with a sense of urgency. Our team interfaced regularly with the Operator and local exchange carriers (LECs) via meetings, phone calls and email; utilized the Operator’s internal systems for work orders and inventory; and leveraged the LEC’s systems for ASRs (Access Service Requests). To help manage the project, the TraK™ solution brought this valuable data together via dashboards and reports.

Our team completed this critical project by the deadline and the Operator’s New York switch was decommissioned with zero network downtime.

The Future

We have built a decades-long relationship with this Operator, providing most of their network provisioning and inventory work through a managed service offering. Our partnership began with one successfully executed project in a single region. This has grown into a national footprint as technology, industry, and organizational changes have made our partnership more compelling and valuable over time. The trust that has been established over the years by working alongside the Operator through numerous upgrades, decommissions, re-grooms, internal system migrations and organizational changes cannot be understated. Today, automation initiatives are underway that will improve processes and efficiencies. However, the high-touch coordination our team provides on challenging network infrastructure projects, and the synergy created from working together for years, is not possible to duplicate through automation. This stems from our deliberate focus on quality, continuously expanding our expertise, and always listening to the needs our clients.