From complete cell site management to network mapping for fibre and beyond

How Enghouse Networks can support the tower industry as it continues to evolve

Read this article to learn:

  • Who Enghouse are, what markets they serve and who their key customers are
  • How Enghouse supports MNOs on both the active and passive side of their network
  • Key elements of Enghouse’s system tailored to towercos
  • Enghouse's modular approach to system design and the benefits this brings
  • How Enghouse’s system is ideally positioned to support towercos as they diversify into areas such as fibre, small cells and DAS

Offering a full suite of active and passive network management solutions to MNOs and towercos, Enghouse has a long history in supporting companies in reducing opex whilst increasing quality of service. As the tower industry continues to evolve, Enghouse Networks is ideally poised to support businesses as they expand beyond macro-sites into new business lines. TowerXchange speak to Enghouse’s Richard Pappalardo to find out more.

TowerXchange: Please can you introduce Enghouse to TowerXchange readers, when was the company formed, how has it grown and what sectors does it support?

Rich Pappalardo, VP Business Development, Enghouse Networks:

Enghouse Networks is a global company with headquarters based in Toronto, Canada. We are publicly listed on the Toronto stock exchange, and employ 1,600 people worldwide. Starting in 1984, we now have a full portfolio of more than fifty operational and business support (OSS/BSS), call center and call recording, value added services, and transportation solutions. Will more than 500 customers in all geographic regions of the world, our largest customer segment is mobile network operators followed by fixed and multi-service operators, electric power utilities, transportation, and government entities.

TowerXchange: Enghouse has an impressive client base in the telecoms sector, can you outline some of the work that you are doing with operators in the African market?

Rich Pappalardo, VP Business Development, Enghouse Networks:

In summary, we are providing network and site management solutions to Africa’s mobile operators. African MNOs have unique challenges operating and maintaining their networks: large geographically dispersed network infrastructure, electrical power issues, rapidly evolving technologies and associated services, rapid subscriber growth, high churn, shortage of  experienced engineers and technicians, and boundless demand for more bandwidth. The focus is on lowering operations and maintenance costs while improving service quality. 

We have been working with mobile operators in Africa for more than 10-years to centralise their network management activities under “umbrella” management systems used in their network operations centers (NOCs). We connect to all the multi-vendor active network elements via their element management systems and in many cases directly to the network elements. We also provide environmental management by connecting to passive systems such as rectifiers, battery, generator, HVAC, smoke/fire/intrusion systems as well as instrumentation, and summarise status, alarm, and performance information on GIS maps, alarm panels and KPI dashboards for network operations staff. Due to the vast areas covered by many African networks, our mobile app for smartphones is especially helpful, enabling field technicians to see what NOC operators see, and permit mobile staff to take actions such as acknowledging alarms, sending commands, placing devices in maintenance mode, or opening and assigning trouble tickets.

For optimised efficiency our trouble ticketing and workflow system is integrated with the fault management system so tickets can be opened, populated, and assigned rapidly. The ticketing and workflow system covers not only responses to equipment events, but also preventive maintenance and refuelling tasks. 

Our site manager effectively covers site candidates and contracts, site access information, rollout workflow, civil works, equipment inventory and configuration, rack elevations, and shelter layouts.

Very importantly, we have a process re-engineering practice in the company to optimise network operations. We have done this work for two of the largest operators in Africa. It’s a three-phase process covering assessment, design, and implementation. We write and deliver the processes, train staff, test the processes, and tune them until optimised. We also make recommendations on staff functions and department staffing. 

TowerXchange: Why do you see towercos as a particularly important part of the market and which features of Enghouse’s platform are particularly suited to the towerco industry?

Rich Pappalardo, VP Business Development, Enghouse Networks:

As the MNOs transfer their tower sites and related assets to the tower companies, the same Enghouse tools the MNOs use can be used by the towerco’s for site and equipment management, trouble ticketing, and workflow. These platforms can be used in a multi-tenant operation so towercos can manage sites servicing different operators from a single centralised platform, even if the sites are in countries other than where the network operations centre is located. Trouble tickets can be opened, assigned, and tracked across networks and countries. This centralised management approach is a huge cost saver and ensures processes are consistent across the company. 

TowerXchange: There are often complaints that traditional site management systems can be cumbersome and expensive – how flexible is Enghouse’s offering and how does this compare to other solutions on the market?

Rich Pappalardo, VP Business Development, Enghouse Networks:

Each of our products can scale technically and commercially. They easy to use and maintain, and can be used effectively by towercos managing tens of site as well as those managing thousands of sites. All our products are pre-integrated and can be deployed incrementally as needed. Our customers often take a phased rather than a big-bang approach so they can balance functionality with budgets.  

TowerXchange:Towercos are looking to expand their service offering beyond macro-towers, looking at owning and managing other forms infrastructure such as fibre, DAS  and small cells. How is Enghouse able to support towercos as they expand into these new areas?

Rich Pappalardo, VP Business Development, Enghouse Networks:

The Enghouse portfolio is a very good fit with where the towercos are going in this regard. In addition to the OSS capabilities mentioned previously, we have a GIS-based network mapping and engineering product for fibre network design build-out, managing customer and lease information, and planning for future growth and services. Using GIS tools in the African environment is vital as the product is aware of topology and can avoid costly engineering errors and associated delays.

We also have a billing and customer self-care product for multi-tenancy applications the towerco’s will be operating in. We provide convergent billing, full life cycle management, and business process automation, all in an out-of-the-box framework. Especially important is IoT support for sensors, smart meters, instruments, as well as DAS and small cell equipment that the towercos are beginning to work with.


Sample reports and dashboards

– Alerts summary & MTTR reports

– Daily, weekly, and monthly site availability report, filterable per tenant

– Daily, weekly, and monthly performance reports and trends; SLAs & KPIs

– Performance per vendor

– Performance per customer “A”, “B”, “C”, etc., and co-location

– Performance per vendor per customer

– Repetitive, prolonged failures

– Failure count & failure categories

– Worst performing sites & repetitive fail sites

– Hourly open tickets and summary report

– Employee ticket report

– Energy graph & report summary

– DC overload consumption by customer

– Fuel report and refuel log per site

– Fuel consumption report for desired period

– High temperature report

– Generator run & failure report

– Low fuel inventory report

– Sites on battery

– Sites that were repaired during the past hour

– Fuel consumption per site and per tenant


 

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