Skip to main content

How an operator uses optical automation to fuel growth

Hands holding soil and plants

Ben Franklin famously wrote, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” But had he lived in the internet era, Franklin surely would have added network bandwidth growth to the list. Demand for faster and more reliable connectivity has been around since the days of dial-up—remember when a single image on a web page took 30 minutes to load? It continues today through the need to support applications such as the Internet of Things, Industry 4.0, cloud services, big data analytics, mobile network slicing, artificial intelligence and high-definition multimedia traffic.

In addition, many enterprises and organizations are now building out more optical network capacity to connect disparate office environments, datacenters and cloud-based resources. They often look to systems integrators (SIs), optical network channel partners or wholesalers for help to achieve their network growth goals.

These organizations seek outside assistance because they lack the required in-house optical networking expertise or have limited optical network resources to meet their growth targets.

The inherent strengths of optical network services—high bandwidth, high availability and ultra-low latency—make them an ideal choice for addressing these applications and changing network architectures.

To stay competitive, optical network operators want to turn their optical networks into CAPEX- and OPEX-friendly platforms that create value by enabling new service offerings, accelerating service deployment and improving the customer experience. But as networks become more complex and budgets shrink, it’s becoming more difficult for businesses to get more value from the network in isolation.

The Nokia WaveSuite Service Enablement (WS-SE) application helps network operators address these opportunities by allowing them to virtualize their network assets so they can more easily sell the high-capacity, low-latency and high-availability optical network services their customers demand. WS-SE also enables communication service providers (CSPs) to pursue new business possibilities using optical Network-as-a-Service (NaaS).

Real-world implementations of the WS-SE application and associated automation use cases are already underway, with successful deployments in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. A Tier 1 network operator in Africa has used WS-SE to offer new services and grow revenue.

"The network operator used Nokia WaveSuite to automate its enterprise business sales and order intake process and provide customers with real-time visibility into its network service inventory. Customers can now create solutions tailored to their own needs, rather than choosing a service defined by the network operator. This gives the operator an advantage in the competitive enterprise connectivity market."

More on this network operator later. Let’s examine the benefits of the WS-SE application.

Building on the capabilities of the existing Nokia optical network management systems (WaveSuite Network Operation Center), the WS-SE application introduces a paradigm shift in the way network operators perceive and interact with their optical networks.

The three main use cases for WS-SE give network operators greater flexibility and more opportunities to differentiate. The first use case allows operators to create virtual slices on physical networks and use them for business expansion (B2B2x) through wholesale distribution partners. With this innovative approach, operators can compile service offerings within their networks as shared virtual infrastructure. This creates new possibilities to provide optical layer connectivity services with very strict service-level agreements (SLAs) and real-time assurance reporting.

The second use case enables operators to introduce "subscriber connectivity on demand" to allow end subscribers (otherwise known as tenants) to research, fulfill and provision services through an intuitive graphical user interface. These capabilities streamline the service fulfillment process and provide subscribers with real-time access to critical metrics such as service availability, latency and bandwidth utilization. This transparency makes it possible for end subscribers to actively monitor their network usage and enables the network operator to upsell when utilization bursts beyond the end customer’s SLA.

The third use case allows network operators to build a more open and collaborative network ecosystem. By fostering partnerships and leveraging the programmable interface capabilities of WS-SE, operators can create a dynamic environment that encourages innovation and differentiation by seamlessly integrating with their IT billing system infrastructure. This use of automation and digitalization sets the stage for a new era in optical networking.

Now back to that Tier 1 network operator in Africa. Read this case study to learn how the company uses Nokia WaveSuite Service Enablement to gain insights and adapt quickly to changing business requirements.

David Charles

About David Charles

David is a product marketing manager for optical network automation with more than 20 years’ experience in technology marketing. He holds a combined honors degree in Journalism and Political Science from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. When not thinking about automation or his family, he’s planning his next bike ride.

Connect with David on LinkedIn

Article tags