Network Transformation: Transitioning to Packet Technology

To keep pace with changing technologies and the rise of mobile 5G, underlying communication networks need modernization. TDM-based networks must transform into packet-based networks to meet the demands of pervasive data-centric applications and services.

Packet-based networks not only enable new innovations, services, and business opportunities, they are also the most cost-effective, efficient, and scalable networks for content delivery.

To ensure a smooth transition, network operators must first have a clear view of the current network state. Data should be collected from physical and logical resources, services, customers, capacities, and redundancies for full visibility. Next, potential impacts on customers must be analyzed prior to any changes to determine if any services need to be rerouted. Finally, all network changes must be reflected within a central information system. Proper documentation ensures that accurate data is provided to planning, operation, and fulfillment teams.

A unified resource management solution can automate these steps and help network operators successfully execute a seamless transition to packet-based technologies.

Benefits of Unified Resource Management

Documenting changes within a central resource repository will make cable infrastructure rollouts, extensions, and changes easier to plan and more efficient to execute with significantly less manual rework. FNT’s centralized management system covers all physical end-to-end connections including the splices and patch cables used to implement signal routes. Services can be assigned to various signal routes within the repository, making it possible to categorize and describe if and how physical connections are being used.

Proper documentation within the central repository keeps network operators apprised of available resources throughout the network, optimizes planning, and accelerates troubleshooting. From a service assurance perspective, this is important because it’s the best defense against service interruption. From a planning perspective, it’s important to base changes and rollouts on accurate as-built documentation.

Unified resource management from FNT covers the entire spectrum of assets and resources within one integrated data model, enabling users to navigate between the different layers and across all resource types:

  • Active telco transport network (classical telco network infrastructure such as DWDM, MPLS, Carrier Ethernet, SONET/SDH)
  • Passive inside and outside plant infrastructure (cable infrastructures such as trenches, ducts, microducts, splice enclosures and cassettes, patch panels, all cable types in the field and within the building)
  • Mobile Radio Access Network devices and resources (antennas, active nodes, cells and configuration data per site)
  • Virtual resources of NFVI and VNFs (IT server, storage, data center infrastructure capabilities to manage floor space, power and cooling capacities)

Regardless of where you are in the network transformation process, FNT can simplify the journey. Unified resource management not only provides a complete view of all resources and the ability to manage them holistically, it also enables the provisioning of accurate data to other tools and solutions within the OSS/IT environment.

In the evolving electric utilities industry, transitioning to packet-based networks is necessary to enable a smart grid, support new services, respond to changing customer demands, and drive operational efficiencies. Utility providers will experience many benefits including optimized CAPEX, immediate impact analysis, reduced repair time, minimized OPEX, high service quality, increased automation, and accelerated delivery processes.

Interested in learning more? Download our white paper for best practices and practical advice on how to transform the grid’s underlying communications network.