How do MicroNova's solutions support Telefónica Germany in configuring new radio stations and network modifications quickly and reliably? And how does the daily optimization for an ongoing 4G and 5G rollout work?
An interview with Reinhard Jahn, Head of OSS Engineering at Telefónica Germany GmbH in Munich
Telefónica Germany and MicroNova have been collaborating on the configuration of Telefónica Germany’s radio access network (RAN) for many years. In an interview with the MicroNova customer magazine InNOVAtion, Reinhard Jahn provides exciting insights - including the operational work of the employees who use MicroNova's Radio Designer to make Telefónica's radio network in Germany fit for the best possible operation.
Mr. Jahn, Telefónica Germany is the “midwife” of COM5.Mobile, what does its productization mean for your company?
With MicroNova as our partner, we have been very successful over the last two decades in implementing the possibility of daily delivery of radio configuration data to our Telefónica radio network. Thanks to this long-term cooperation, we have of course been able to provide feedback on what future developments should look like. The aforementioned productization of COM5.Mobile has given us the necessary flexibility and a very good time-to-market to support the introduction of new features to our network in a fast and reliable way. This plays a very important role, especially with the rollout of 5G now beginning and our extensive 4G rollout.
The introduction of the COM5.Mobile Optimizer and Integrator has also brought about a conceptual reorientation. What is it that you find particularly convincing?
With the Integrator, we now can quickly and reliably carry out the daily configuration of new radio stations as well as modifications within the network. This gives us the necessary freedom and the technical possibility to execute both our aforementioned continuing 4G rollout as well as the 5G rollout in a highly efficient manner. With the Optimizer, we have given our employees working to optimize the radio network an additional practical tool with direct added value. It allows them to make major improvements to the network on a daily basis, creating the best possible experience for our many millions of customers. It is a very significant step forward for us to be able to set essential parameters ourselves.
Despite the increased level of complexity, the size of your team and network configuration have remained relatively stable. Is that all due to COM5.Mobile?
Looking to the future, I would like to see further development towards zero touch integration. This capability will play an important role with the advancing “cloudification” of networks and the introduction of Open RAN. We expect fundamental changes in the entire software and network architecture, especially with a view to the future of 5G. The requirements and flexibility in mobile networks will need to increase significantly if the service classes standardized in 5G are to be used economically. In this respect, we are also focusing on future-oriented and expandable solutions. As complexity grows, the degree of automation in the integration and optimization process is becoming increasingly crucial in order to make the best possible use of the high network investments in the mobile communications market. This will therefore also be a key point in the catalog of requirements for such config systems.
With COM5.Mobile, Telefónica chose a solution that MicroNova customized very specifically to internal processes. What benefits do you think that this type of customizable solution brings compared with standard tools of the type offered by network providers?
The introduction of a new technology in particular is always associated with a variety of tasks and challenges for network operators, which is a completely natural process. However, an enormous amount of experience is required to ensure smooth integration into existing networks – our employees have that experience. What is more, a great deal of flexibility is also required when it comes to the efficient adaptability of the tool landscape. And that is what our partners and their solutions achieve. Introducing Radio Designer, part of the COM5 Mobile Optimizer, enables us, for example, to integrate new features and functions into our network and make them available to our customers faster. This configurability naturally saves us costs, but above all it allows us to take our customers’ network experience to an even higher level as quickly as possible, and to do so in a tangible and measurable way for all relevant areas of application.