There are so many web sites and news sources about telcos these days, it can be hard to know where to focus. For example, with all the stories about 5G, NFV/SDN and IoT devices, you may believe those are the areas that should be priorities.
That may be the reality for some network operators, but many are still devoting the bulk of their time to their legacy TDM-based assets. It’s something they can’t overlook, since many telcos want to offer services that will foster a migration to a next-generation IP network.
With its reduced costs, we understand why telcos think deploying a new, all-IP network is a no-brainer. But in our experience, migration isn’t always as simple as it may seem. Even more, because some networks have been patched together through multiple mergers and acquisitions, the telco has to manage a number of vendor platforms.
Another issue: Although you can easily migrate some network services between technologies, it can be just as difficult to migrate custom-tailored services. The challenge here is that these services, over time, usually shift based on new business processes, and the employees who helped to launch them most likely are no longer at the company.
Because of all these roadblocks and potential negative contingencies, we suggest that you simply stop offering those services. We understand that may be easier said than done, since those services typically bring in a good deal of consistent revenue.
Here are two potential solutions:
1- Implement specific services and run different versions on two distinct network architectures.
2- Migrate specific services on a platform that works with both network architectures. Doing so creates a consistent service for each of your customers, no matter how they might actually access the service.
Both of these options can greatly help telcom companies reach their business goals. They can take advantage of the power and integration options of 21st century system architectures, and continue to provide excellent service to those on their legacy networks.
But migration involves other issues like customer billing. How will you go from the legacy system to the new system? It’s hard enough to go from a TDM to an all-IP network. Performing both of these projects simultaneously might not be realistic.
Unfortunately, even if you perform one migration at a time, that might create challenges centered around compatibility.
This is where it’s critical to implement the correct platform. You should choose a platform that accommodates a spectrum of legacy and next-generation interfaces. This gives the network stability that allows legacy and next generation platforms to work together. Best of all, you will be able to perform both migrations without being hurried or forced into an uncomfortable timeframe.
It’s natural to be cautious about any migration that involves old and new technologies. But when you go with a flexible platform, you can easily manage each step and work easily toward 5G, NFV/SDN and IoT.