Zitius, Sweden: Nurturing Networks
How an audit assessment offers insight into the capacity and stability of network performance
Recognizing a growing demand to improve the Hudiksvall open access broadband network, Zitius and Fiberstaden decided to use an independent party to audit the current network. Together, they chose Ericsson to carry out the assessment.
During earlier engagements Zitius, Fiberstaden and Ericsson have worked together to provide the municipality of Hudiksvall with an advanced fiber broadband solution, including DSL to remote residential subscribers. The DSL network solution offers an innovative communications environment for residents, businesses and enterprises in the region. Currently, Ericsson is involved in a managed services engagement with Zitius and Fiberstaden.
For this project, Ericsson acted as an independent and unbiased auditor, delivering results to all three companies through the Broadband Access Network Optimization Service. Ola Friis, CTO, Zitius explains why Ericsson was chosen to evaluate the current network’s health: “Our experience of working with Ericsson proved that they had the technological know-how and service offering that we needed. They were the perfect choice to perform an independent audit of the network.”
The audit was performed from a central data repository, using the software-based Copper Plant Manager (CPM) tool from Ericsson. The tool enabled cost-efficient data gathering prior to the data analysis, which was essential to the success and final outcome of the task.
The network audit provided insight into the entire performance of the Hudiksvall network. It outlined the current state of the DSL network and categorized the lines according to whether they were faulty, unstable, highly unstable or stable. The DSL part of the line in particular was monitored and key parameters were evaluated to assess capacity and stability.
A detailed inventory of all faulty lines enabled Ericsson to suggest a list of coordinated fault prevention activities that offer the potential to lower opex. This inventory knowledge can also enable operators to correct issues before potential complaints, resulting in increased customer loyalty.
Magnus Larsson, CEO, Fiberstaden explains why the results of the audit were a success: “The detailed audit has been a really useful tool. We’ve been able to differentiate between issues that could be solved or mitigated using pure line profile configuration updates and those that would actually require truck rolls.”
After the audit was performed, recommendations were given on how to improve network performance and service capacity and stability. Adam Wiå, Product Manager, Design and Optimization, Ericsson says that this sort of network audit works like a health check: “Based on the outcome, an operator can make strategic decisions on how to act on their current network and how to invest in future rollouts.”
The Broadband Network Audit extracted and logged performance data across the DSL nodes in the network without the use of dedicated test probes. The way that the lines were categorized in the audit report provided clear guidance on how to approach the different network issues.
The CPM tool proved to be useful for service delivery, enabling remote collection of data from the DSL network. This was the first time the Broadband Access Audit was delivered using the CPM tool for the DSL network.
Nicklas Björn, Account Manager Broadband, Ericsson says: “We always want to improve the standard of our service offering and this particular project gave us the first chance to look at and implement the Broadband Access Network Optimization service, which is great in terms of future product development.”
Business Focus - Improving performance
The Broadband Access Network Optimization Service improves the capacity and stability of the network. Revenue streams can also be identified and new Service Level Agreements formulated based on the attainable levels of service observed during the audit. Proposals on how to optimize the unstable lines in a future Network Performance Improvement agreement are available.
Better insight into the performance of the network means that it is possible to formulate coordinated projects and further improve capacity support and stability. For the customer this can result in increased bandwidth for users, greater stability of flapping lines and lower opex due to the ability to plan and coordinate truck rolls. Future strategic decisions can also be based on a detailed analysis of network performance.
Zitius is Sweden’s leading fiber-to-the-home open access network operator. As a neutral service broker, Zitius provides networks to the utilities, municipalities and property owner markets across its country-wide customer base. Zitius assists in every step of the broadband process, from deployment to ongoing operation and development of service.
Founded in 2006, Fiberstaden AB is owned by the municipality of Hudiksvall and is responsible for the operations of Hudiksvall City Network, which connects 60 cities and small villages in an open access broadband network. Fiberstaden actively works to extend the network and increase the selection of user services.