Spotlight on Tech

Workflow based automation and a data-driven approach will overcome the worries of mobile network swap

Ashish Shukla
Sr. Training Manager
Rakuten Symphony
December 1, 2022
minute read

New 5G network deployments will include adding 5G elements along with various upgrades and swaps of the existing 4G and legacy equipment.

These network adjustments typically involve swapping gear from legacy technology to new ones; this is referred to as network swaps. However, these situations are typically complex from a technical and operational standpoint, as CSPs need to ascertain performance stability and certify network service continuity during the transition process.

Complexities of mobile network swaps

The network upgrade and site swap processes are more convoluted than a new deployment. They entail equipment de-installation, feasibility check of passive infrastructure requirements, surveys, new material movement to site and legacy equipment back to the warehouse. In addition, there is new equipment installation and connection changes in existing ones, performance testing and optimization, to name a few.

Although CSPs have the skills to manage a network swap project, the legacy manual approach will find it hard to meet demands which in turn has led to an increased number of RFPs from the vendor community for the operator to request assistance.

You must recognize the potential of things going wrong in the case of a network upgrade and swap that could seriously impact existing service and even cause regulatory concerns. The process is complex and requires a solution that understands the multiple permutations and deployment scenarios.

“Replacing legacy infrastructure can be done without disruption if you invest in the right solution.”
- Kiren BR, Director of Products, Symbuild, Intelligent Operation

An easy network swap calls for a solution that allows the workflow to orchestrate each deployment, network update, and swap scenarios, plan network deployment centrally, track field execution tasks, and monitor deployment bottlenecks. These capabilities provide end-to-end insights into the overall network deployment progress.

Automating mobile network swap workflows

Rakuten Symphony Site Management solution offers centralized tracking of all relevant project data enabling holistic use of data, analytics, and automation throughout the project to ensure efficient migration and alignment of teams on what needs to be done.  

Its proven workflow process methodology provides automation tools to formulate a comprehensive network migration plan that includes a map of all aspects, interdependencies, and the operations associated with the network swap for each deployment scenario. It helps them formulate steps logically to isolate and undergo migration with minimal business impact. The solution’s ability to manage the network swap operations under one roof streamlines and optimizes the overall network swap process.

Rakuten Symphony's Site Management Solution comprises Site Manager, Symconnect, and Sympulse.

  • Site Manager: Enables CSPs to outline a step-by-step approach for the full scope of migration and to automate legacy workflows to ensure an optimally efficient process. It facilitates program management, process automation, and centralized tracking, which enhances project visibility and minimizes inefficiencies. In addition, this approach can help labor resources coordinate and orchestrate workloads to achieve their tasks optimally.
  • Symconnect: Enables streamlined collaboration between deployment teams and field technicians, supporting them with better visibility of pending, ongoing, and completed swap tasks. It also easily enables site-based data collection for acceptance and task validation with the help of dynamic forms associated with the task.
  • Sympulse: Network performance testing ensures optimal network performance after the network swap. It mitigates any issue that arises as part of new deployment on the 5G and the legacy networks combined.

The Site Management solution provides workflow automation, customized process-building abilities, and centralized data management, enabling CSPs to complete the migration process within their budget and much quicker than they could have. Additionally, the improvement in process efficiencies via automation applies to subsequent stages of the project and all future migrations, helping CSPs optimize operational costs and maximize return on investment (ROI) consistently.

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