Solving the Access Network Footprint Expansion Enigma

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What is the problem?

While planning for network expansion projects such as onboarding new greenfield areas, network operators are faced with many technology and architecture options.

Such planning is often done in a siloed atmosphere with a short-term view.  This often results in plan that is sub-optimal in the long run that fails to accurately predict budget and resource requirements.

Key takeaways

When you are creating network expansion plans

  • Plan for the long-term
  • Leverage your brownfield network knowledge
  • Build integrated network plans enabling:
    • Enterprise level decisions
    • Cross domain synergies
    • Consistent strategies
    • Planning efficiencies

At the end – leverage planning tools, such as AP-Jibe, to perform integrated planning while you are fine tuning the business strategies.

Executive Summary

An ever-growing array of access technology options are available to service providers to deliver state-of-the-art broadband service.  With all these choices, service providers are faced with increasingly complex deployment decisions. Planning deployments with only a short-term view, or by using a simple blanket guidance, can lead to sub-optimal results with regrettable investments in the long run. This is particularly true when planning for network expansion projects such as on-boarding new greenfield areas.

In this paper we have outlined a methodology to identify deployment choices that are optimal for your greenfield expansion plans, which can be seamlessly operationalized.  The paper also provides insights into some of the key factors that should be taken into consideration while planning greenfield expansion projects:

  • Before deciding on any network changes, the long-term impact should be analyzed. What seems preferable in the short-term can be sub-optimal in the long run.
  • Network expansion cannot be analyzed in a vacuum. Impact on existing network infrastructure and any broader transformation plan needs to be carefully considered.
  • Only a comprehensive Integrated network expansion planning approach across brownfield, greenfield and other network expansion initiatives can provide a full assessment and effectively leverage any cross-domain synergies.

In order to demonstrate the importance of taking a long-term integrated approach while planning network expansion, we have used our access network planning tool JibeTM to tackle three typical footprint expansion use cases service providers face:

  • Which technology should I use to build new greenfield areas?
  • How do I plan budget and resources for long term greenfield expansion?
  • How do I perform integrated access planning to create a comprehensive synergistic view of:
    • Short and long-term greenfield projects
    • Different lines of business (small cells, business etc.) expansion
    • Brownfield transformation projects

Jibe is used to analyze these use cases. The details and insights gained through integrated long-term planning are presented in the appendices. 

NOTE: The results shown in the example use cases are specific to the assumption used in these scenarios and should not be interpreted as a blanket solution preference in all cases.