LIVE FROM OPERATIONS TRANSFORMATION FORUM 2017, HONG KONG: Huawei’s consulting services were spotlighted by keynote speakers from Viva Kuwait, Safaricom and 3GIS in discussions of how data analysis plays a key part in their transformation programmes.

Zarrar Khan, CTO of VIVA Kuwait, explained the operator turned to Huawei to aid with a programme designed to “optimise our operations and improve our financial position”. Khan said Viva wanted to streamline legacy operational structures established in the 2G era, noting most mobile operators still have multiple teams covering planning, deployment, operations and optimisation.

“The structure of the teams are more or less similar” to the early days of 2G, he said.

Khan explained the operator adopted agile planning which required a high degree of automation, and jointly developed a three-layered programme named CWR, which consolidated information about billing, usage and rollout planning in a centralised data warehouse.

Viva Kuwait’s goal is to reduce the number of planning teams by 90 per cent and operations teams by 80 per cent by 2020. It is “also targeting automation of all key business processes” and a “20 per cent improvement on return on new investment”.

Outsourcing options
Improving efficiency was also a key motivator for 3GIS, CEO Mats Comstedt told delegates. The company is an infrastructure joint venture between 3 Sweden and Telenor, a structure which created unique challenges in terms of ensuring only the right data is shared between parents which are essentially competitors.

3GIS already completed an initial round of outsourcing non-core operations, but Comstedt said it realised it needed to modernise its structure to prepare for future traffic growth.

“We took a decision to make a clean cut, to outsource all execution,” Comstedt said, explaining it tasked Huawei with assisting in network modernisation and expanding its outsourcing.

Comstedt said 3GIS is seeing clear benefits in terms of “quality, availability and cost”, with a global network operations centre (GNOC) in Romania acting as a data warehouse. However, the company plans to go further in terms of its transformation through further automation of its processes.

“Huawei is running a project together with us where we are collecting data from the network and trying to create rules,” he said. The goal is to enable all staff to easily analyse the information “to provide actionable insights” and then quickly query the database with any follow-up questions. Comstedt said the opportunities presented by “leveraging the data is huge”.

Fixed focus
Kenya-based Safaricom’s transformation involved a push into fixed line broadband services. Franklin Ocharo, director of products and services (pictured), explained data analysis played a key part in identifying which homes are best suited for fixed line services – a process which enabled the operator to identify 2 million prospects from a total list of 12 million homes.

Close analysis of the data also enabled Safaricom to overcome a lack of experience in connecting and marketing fixed line services, providing clear information on how homes would be connected, and the operator would “create a return on investment for us to continue our deployment,” he said.