Tier 1 wireless US Operator achieves $70 Million annual cost savings by optimizing their network circuits

The Challenge

A Tier 1 wireless Operator sought to optimize their existing TDM network following numerous upgrades to Ethernet backhaul. Challenged by a lack of in-house resources to complete the work, they elected to put this project out to bid and select a vendor capable of managing the entire project from end-to-end. The scope included researching the utilization of the existing TDM network, developing a plan to reduce costs while maintaining network integrity and executing on the approved plans. The operator set an aggressive optimization savings goal of $60M and required that the selected vendor provide tracking, reporting, and trending updates to executive leadership in support of these goals.

The Solution

We were awarded the project which included turnkey design, provisioning, inventory and project management services utilizing the TraK™ project management platform. We also provided dedicated customer-facing staff consisting of project managers, planners, provisioners, inventory specialists, and rehome coordinators. Initial priorities included auditing the operator’s network data and identifying “quick wins” for immediate cost savings, while developing the engineering plans and the overall project schedule. The operator’s primary business goal was cost-savings, with the initial focus to identify the top twenty-five high cost markets, then phase in the rest of the U.S. markets over time.

This was a 1-year project covering approximately 10,000 circuits for which our team’s responsibilities included:

  • network audit and market-level plans
  • Operator work orders
  • LEC (Local Exchange Carrier) project packages
  • ASR (Access Service Request) provisioning
  • network inventory updates
  • preparation of cut-sheets including DACS (Digital Access and Cross-Connect System) assignments
  • coordination and hosting maintenance-window cuts with all parties responsible for testing and turn-up

Data was maintained in the Operator’s work order and inventory systems. Orders were input via the LEC’s online systems, and custom daily, weekly and monthly order and project-level status reports and metrics were provided from the TraK™ platform.

The Results

Complex projects depend upon frequent communication, proper planning, coordination among all stakeholders, and excellent data management. Flexibility to adapt to changing conditions on the ground was vital for success, in addition to executing with a sense of urgency. The team interfaced regularly with the Operator and other involved service providers. We utilized the Operator’s internal systems for work orders, inventory, and assignments, and the TraK™ platform for provisioning, project management and reporting.

The combined efforts of all teams involved resulted in exceeding the $60 Million forecasted savings goal by 16%, a total annual cost savings of $70 Million.

Lessons learned from the initial project are still being used today to provide continuous improvements for greater project efficiencies on subsequent circuit optimization projects by the Operator. In the years since this project was finalized, a long-term relationship has been established with the Operator, and other major network projects have been successfully completed together.