Network planning for shared network infrastructure
A network-sharing joint venture was responsible for running the shared 2G, 3G and 4G network of two European operators, with plans to begin deploying 5G. The shared network serves over 40 million customers.
The customer required a network planning solution that could support a number of unique use cases. The customer owned, and was responsible for, system hosting and administration, as well as radio planning for the 3G network. The 3G network shared antennas, but the two operators each had their own separate base station equipment. The customer outsourced some of the 3G planning duties to its managed service partner. One of the operators has a 2G network and responsibility for this would belong solely to that operator. The 4G networks would not be shared, and the two operators would each be responsible for planning their own 4G networks on the central system. This meant the system selected would need to have advanced security and permission features that could comply with these complex requirements.
In one of our most complex use cases to-date, TEOCO deployed ASSET Radio, ASSET Design, EDS and MYRIAD, all within a centralized customer data center. The system was configured to give our core customer visibility across the entire network, with permission to make changes to the 3G network. Its managed services partner was also given permission to see and change the 3G network. Operator 1 was given permission to see the 3G network and change its 2G and 4G networks, and Operator 2 was given permission to see the 3G network and make changes to its 4G network.
Another key component of the system was a custom web service API solution which was deployed using open-source enterprise service bus components. This solution allowed the customer to load data into ASSET from upstream systems such as inventory, to keep the planning tool updated.
Further requirements were added to the system when one of the operators won an Emergency Services Network contract from the government, which runs on its 4G network. Significant reporting on the network was required and a key component was our ability to continuously provision and update per-cell coverage plots into an external, government-owned system.
TEOCO has successfully managed to meet the needs of our core customer – and its operator customers – for more than 5 years to-date. This has included several very complex use cases, some of which were part of the initial project scope, and others which emerged once the system went live.
For 2016, 2017 and 2018, this customer has been recognized globally with the ‘Best RAN Sharing Agreement’ award at the annual RAN World Event; a true testament to the value we provide to our operator customers.