Telecel Faso is the third-largest operator in Burkina Faso, a landlocked country in West Africa. Here, mobile-telephony penetration is well below the African average, and the country has one of the lowest GDPs per capita in the world. To benefit from the enormous market potential, Telecel Faso has to provide a reliable communication service to its customers and keep its charging prices low, while still remaining profitable.
Solving problems before they happen
Network downtime can cause considerable loss of revenue and harm to an operator’s brand and credibility. Network instability raises the risk of this, and can increase costs in other areas too. And for an operator doing business in a country with one of the world’s lowest GDPs per capita, controlling costs is crucial. In 2008, Telecel Faso initiated a partnership with Ericsson to ensure a positive user experience, and to avoid revenue loss by detecting and preventing possible incidents early on.
Arouna Tinta, Chief Technical Officer with Telecel Faso, explains why the project was needed: “Modern telecom networks are becoming increasingly complex, so our operation and maintenance (O&M) resources need to be very flexible. We needed a service that accommodated our individual business and operational needs, reducing the number of critical incidents impacting the quality of our networks.”
The Proactive Support service provided to Telecel Faso was the first delivered by Ericsson in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, and it has played a crucial part in making Telecel Faso’s business viable in such difficult economic conditions.
Telecel Faso is now benefiting from a reduced O&M workload thanks to its use of Ericsson competence and a reduction in the number of incidents. This is both improving return on investment and attracting new users thanks to better network quality.
Driving higher performance
Telecel Faso has reduced the number of critical network incidents by 33 percent. Tinta says the resulting reduction in downtime has raised revenue, while a lower fault-management workload has cut network-operation costs.
“Proactive Support allows us to improve the availability of our network by anticipating faults and resolving them before they occur. The service has been very well managed and we are very happy with Ericsson’s performance and handling of the delivery.”
Sheraz Masood, Ericsson’s Head of Customer Support for Region Sub-Saharan Africa, says the company has taken on an active role in the O&M of the Telecel Faso network. It works both reactively and proactively, sharing findings among all support teams.
“The use of Proactive Support services leads to a reduction in network O&M expenses,” Masood says. “This can give an additional option to customers that want to know how many maintenance staff are required for O&M activities.
“However, some operators arelooking to improve their employee competence so they can perform long-term O&M themselves,” Masood says. “To meet this requirement, Ericsson is now offering a short-term service that operators can buy until their own O&M competence is up to speed.”
Tinta says a more reliable network means greater possibilities for Telecel Faso. “When subscribers can use all the services they have bought without problems, they are more likely to stay with us because our network is more reliable. This will enhance our reputation in the market and boost our customer base, which will also result in increased revenue.”
Proactive Support is part of the Optimize family of support services: enhancements to Advanced- or Superior-level support contracts. It allows a greater focus on problem prevention without compromising resources dedicated to rapid response and resolution. The proactive measures range from health-check procedures to sophisticated monitoring and analysis techniques.
Proactive Support helps operators attain higher network-performance levels, using new problem-detection methods and analysis to stay on top of complex technology.