Benefits of GIS-Powered Hybrid Network Infrastructure Management

Telecommunications networks are undergoing massive changes right now, from technology upgrades to network expansions and 5G deployments. FTTX extensions are deployed to support business and residential customer connections and large fiber optic network deployments are made to connect mobile sites, which will then be connected to future edge data centers. To meet the increased traffic needs, massive bandwidth expansions must also be made.

To meet the demands of the digital world, network operators must be able to efficiently document and manage large amounts of geographically dispersed asset data. A geographic information system (GIS) is the ideal extension of an infrastructure and resource management solution, as it provides a georeferenced representation of this data. Applying location intelligence to infrastructure management processes dramatically increases efficiency and brings data about network assets and resources to life. Location-based visualization and geo-intelligence can support use cases ranging from capacity management, planning and deployment management, operational support and site management.

Let’s take a look at the common challenges that GIS-powered hybrid network infrastructure management can simplify.

Capacity management

When expanding the network, it is important to plan and build capacity on the basis of up-to-date information in order to avoid further builds and subsequent modifications. To track resource capacity and usage, georeferenced location and visualization makes it easy to analyze available and used resources in cables and ducts and display their routes with sectional views on a map. Accurate visualization of splice box data and cassette details, rack views, manhole capacities, and schematic views can also help optimize free capacity utilization and reduce CAPEX investments.

With full transparency into available capacity across the network, operators are well equipped to meet current and future business needs cost-effectively and quickly. By combining complete management of the network infrastructure on a map with geoinformation and geodata processing, communication service providers (CSPs) can make smarter decisions about network capacity and the spatial availability of services and devices. resources, whether for B2B, B2C or any type of mobile link or fronthaul use case.

This is especially true if a stepwise approach to extending the fiber infrastructure is applied to the way in which the pipeline infrastructure is constructed. By carrying out all the digging work in the first stage and blowing the fibers according to the connection and service demand of customers in a second stage, the proper and efficient management of the pipe capacities can be achieved. This is also true for responding to other specific B2B connection requests. When georeferenced visualization of POP sites and the capabilities available to access them is a task, they can be performed much faster and with a lower failure rate, if GIS-based data visualization and infrastructure details are tightly integrated.

Infrastructure operations

The goal of a unified inventory of resources, which includes all passive installations inside and outside as well as all active physical, logical and virtual resources of a hybrid network infrastructure, is that, of From an operational point of view, an analysis of immediate impact on all hierarchies can be performed in the event of a failure. This will identify all the resources and customer services involved. A tightly integrated GIS application combines this impact analysis with location intelligence to enable precise fault location. To speed up problem resolution, OTDR measurement data can be used and mapped to cable length information that is stored in the Unified Resource Management tool. In this way, the requested fault location can be performed and the corresponding geographic coordinates are calculated and displayed on the map, so that field technicians can be quickly directed to the point of failure.

So, if there is any construction work in the field that has damaged cables, a service manager can see exactly which services and customers are affected by running the corresponding impact analysis for a cable, pipe or pipe. damaged trench. This impact assessment also includes an assessment of whether the affected route is protected by a redundant connection or not. Consequently, the impact assessment report provides all the services concerned, that is to say those which have no protection as well as the places where the protection is affected. Based on this knowledge, customer support teams can proactively notify business customers of the service disruption or provide qualified feedback in the event that customers call to report the service disruption.

Using GIS-based fault tracing, the troubleshooting process is performed on the basis of precise and accurate data. This speeds up problem resolution and reduces downtime for customers.

Georeferenced development

Graphic documentation and spatial analysis, combined with cable management and outdoor facilities, can provide full transparency on digital infrastructures and interconnected systems. For planning of cable infrastructure and outdoor facilities or additional locations, a GIS-based user interface with spatial visualization of data via maps is usually the preferred starting point for planners. But to run planning processes efficiently and with minimal failure and manual rework, it is essential that the details of the network infrastructure and GIS-based location intelligence are tightly integrated. In addition, all planned changes, transformations and deployments should be made on the basis of as-built documentation, and all changes and status updates should be reflected immediately in a centralized network infrastructure and solution. resource management. This approach avoids data inconsistencies and discrepancies between as-is documentation and planning data over time due to ongoing planning and execution iterations.

When planning fiber deployments, infrastructure data and physical connections can be georeferenced with route sections so that planners and managers can see trenches, manholes, building entry points and the distances between them on an interactive map against the background of streets, buildings, etc. before construction. Conduits, micro-conduits, cables, and raceway sections can be assigned using comprehensive automatic routing capabilities in combination with validation rules (mapping of valid wire, connector, and receptacle types ) to optimize planning tasks and ensure that the best paths are established. Any information can be shared internally or with partners using a standard web application.

To increase the level of automation and facilitate interworking with internal field service teams or external partners or contractors, it is necessary to apply a process-oriented approach. This means that by planning changes and deployments, the corresponding work orders are automatically created and can be assigned via workflow to field teams and partners for execution. The corresponding status is plotted, updates are made to the central infrastructure and the resource repository, and the final documentation is automatically created.

Such an automated “closed-loop” approach ensures data consistency and accuracy, which is an essential prerequisite in the continuous cycle of network infrastructure and service resource management.

Site administration

Planning for new POP locations or mobile sites can be tedious. The deployment of 5G mobile networks in particular requires a large number of additional sites for the mobile radio access network (RAN). Managing this site acquisition process is a very laborious and time consuming task. Every step that increases efficiency can bring significant savings.

To effectively manage this process, once again, a combination of GIS-based location information and network infrastructure details is required, along with other site information collected for subsequent profiling and assessment. of the various candidate sites. A unified inventory of resources with a tightly integrated GIS application is the ideal solution to manage this site acquisition process effectively and efficiently.

In principle, the process begins with the geographic coordinates of the “nominal site”. It may be either a calculated parameter supplied, for example by a radio schedule for a request for a mobile site, or the “desired optimum space” for a POP site. Via the search by radius in the GIS application, candidate sites (potential buildings, service stations, poles, etc. as well as existing partner sites) can be assigned to this requested “nominal site”. During the site selection process, all site applicants are given various additional information necessary for their profiling and assessment, such as existing contractual relationships with owners, proximity to the fiber optic network and many more. This site planning and selection activity is facilitated by seamless navigation between the GIS visualization of sites and candidates on the map and the representation of the various assigned location details. Based on the best match with certain criteria, a candidate site is selected for further development. At this point, a physical location (building) can be linked and other associated documents.

Combining location intelligence with site data, site equipment, and network infrastructure details allow planners to streamline fiber deployments needed to connect sites and manage equipment deployment. and required configuration changes based on accurate documentation of available network status and service resources and configurations. Ultimately, a holistic view is provided on all information and resources related to a site, including schematic and georeferenced representations of fiber optic connections from data centers to sites, and even details of routing to rooftops. .

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