Many countries especially in Africa are or have been through civil wars which damages the ICT Infrastructure. For example Libya’s civil war in 2011 crippled its economy and disrupted its telecommunications sector. It is estimated that more than US$1 billion worth of telecom infrastructure was destroyed, including about 20% of the country’s cell sites. Massive investments are now required into a next generation national fibre optic backbones, the expansion of ADSL and LTE / WiMAX broadband services, new international fibre connections etc
Fundamental to providing and sustaining a broad range of applications and services is a thorough needs analysis, business case and versatile management model to guide the community toward a maximum benefit from the network producing real positive change in people’s lives. We would need to interview Govt stakeholders to derive a comprehensive list of requirements and concerns ; conduct an infrastructure audit to identify network elements , telephony systems , core switching and routing architecture , various software and hardware platforms in use and planned in order to identify the capabilities of those systems and finally Coordinate an agreement on quick wins to rehabilitate the country’s ICT in terms of technical , commercial , human resource and finance parameters
Some of the skills that will be brought to bear include :
Business Consulting : market strategy development, customer experience strategy, business performance measurement, best practice benchmarking, strategic market research, business modelling and appraisal of telecoms investments.
Technology Strategy : existing system review, business requirements capture, solution option development and analysis, migration and implementation planning.
Procurement : fully managed sourcing of systems and services for telecoms businesses, including vendor selection, contract negotiation and ongoing contract management.
Programme and Project Management : expert programme and project management consultancy, programme management, project management and provision of interim managers.
Engineering Services: radio and site surveys for all radio technologies. Installation , integration , configuration and maintenance of converged ICT networks.
Some of the key initiatives would include :
Align the national strategy with the overall vision for E government and E Education objectives : Telco operators around the world are beginning to refresh their wireless / wired telco infrastructures by migrating to Next Generation Networks so as to provide their employees, businesses, and citizens with access to information and services at affordable prices. As broadband infrastructures are deployed, state and local government agencies and departments are finding exciting new ways to improve process efficiency, respond to citizen needs, enhance public safety and security, encourage tourism , reduce costs and enhance property values ( E Government programs ) . A knowledge-based economy is characterized by the availability of highly-educated youth and workforce as well as the proliferation of R&D centers.
Provide insights on how best to refresh ICT Infrastructure to an all IP Core through a collaborative negotiation process with selected vendors as well as achieving Universal Broadband : 21st century management is about the management of outcomes from , so more management time must be devoted to driving value from external spending from vendors and suppliers. It is important that the procurement governance model recognizes that different categories of spend demand different approaches to spend management and the dependence of the business on them .
Secure and protect the existing network infrastructure from physical and digital perspective : Core networks have a multitude of interconnection points, which mean different security requirements and possible exposure to a wide range of threats and vulnerabilities. Attacks on the core would lead to larger impacts on the different services and stakeholders, such as end users, service and application providers, and the operator itself. Stealing passwords and accessing the management ports, attacking the signaling layer, targeting databases of subscribers, HLRs, OSSs, network elements, gateways, and application servers could lead to security violations, fraud and service interruption.
Refresh and extend the existing national fibre optic backbone : Optical fibre is the ‘golden resource’ of the telecommunications industry, with a single strand capable of connecting every single person on the planet in a phone discussion with someone else. Because of its capacity, it is the technology of choice for carrying high volume traffic between major nodal points in a telecommunication network. Taking optical fibre closer to the end-user is the key to boosting the performance of end-user connections, irrespective of the technology that is used for the final link from the end of the fibre to the customer. It follows that FTTH or fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) offers the ultimate in performance.
The Final Analysis
Conduct a careful and thorough analysis of the current and future telco architecture from business, functional, technical, and implementation viewpoints. We have to review the business drivers, internal business policies, and applications.
• Examine current and propose network architecture and services to evaluate the interdependencies among all these key components and how best to integrate the technology choices without disturbing the stability of the network
• Evaluate the application of wireless and fibreoptic technology to operations , to improve communications , the expansion of Data under a Unified Communications architecture.
• Assess the impact of wireless capabilities and mobility solutions network transport, enterprise management, security and data centers.
• Align the national broadband initiatives with strategic business goals and establish a business case methodology that withstands stringent financial scrutiny.
We live in an age when our working and home lives are inextricably bound up with the application of Information and Communications Technology (ICT). The ability to do anything, anytime, anywhere is rapidly becoming a reality, and our expectations about what is an ‘essential’ level of connectivity and services is rising inexorably.ICT can also be a major contributor to creating sustainable communities. For developers, this means that ICT infrastructure and services have become a vital component of any successful new development alongside networks for waste, water, energy and transport.
Sadiq Malik ( Telco Strategist )