Strategies for avoiding a telecom network outage

Posted in on 2 September 2020

Network outage

Can you afford a network failure?

Those who’ve experienced telecom network downtime know how frustrating it can be. The best way to deal with network outage is to proactively prevent it to avoid the serious consequences.

According to Avaya, a  multinational technology company,  the top 3 causes of communications outage is power outage, lack of routine maintenance and hardware failure. Experiencing any of these causes can lead to penalties that can seriously affect your business, including:

  •       Lost revenue
  •       Damage to reputation
  •       Missed SLAs

 

Here are some downtime preventing strategies we can support you with:

Successful spares management

Equipment spares management is absolutely crucial for preventing interruption to your network. As we know, no part lasts forever. A good practice is to take note of when parts need replacing so that you can prepare. Forecasting your requirements for the year ahead is also good so that you can source the parts needed and keep them stored and ready for when required. Failing to do this will mean that replacement parts will not be available immediately if equipment in your network fails. If the network goes down and there is no replacement, the length of the outage could be extended significantly while the replacements are sourced and acquired. This time could result in massive fines.

Another reason to keep spares on hand is that supply and demand levels are very unpredictable in the telecoms industry, particularly from the used market. Equipment that is easy to source one month could become extremely rare the next month if something changes in the market e.g. if parts go end-of-life (EOL) or end-of-support (EOS). A real life example of this is the result of the ongoing Huawei 5G equipment ban that is shaking the industry. Although we don’t yet know the effect of this ban globally, equipment buyers are preparing for supply and demand of Huawei 2G, 3G and 4G equipment to rocket due to Huawei equipment becoming harder to get hold of. To prepare for such events, work with an expert in sourcing telecoms equipment who has a global network of partners to ensure you are not left hanging and responsibly help you to manage your network. To talk to such a sourcing expert, and discuss your requirements, please do reach out to a member of our team. 

In addition to this, keeping spares in storage for active replacement is just as important in case your forecast is below what is actually required. A good asset management partner can store these parts for you in external warehouses so that they don’t take up needed space in your own storage facility.

 

Hardware repair

Repairing your faulty equipment is another option to consider in order to avoid network disturbance. As mentioned previously, it is not unusual for networking equipment that was once widely used to become EOL and therefore sourcing spares can become difficult. Choosing to repair is beneficial to extend the life of such equipment and can also be more cost effective than replacement.

We understand that you may not have time to wait for equipment to be repaired in times of network disruption. This is a strategic option to keep in mind for the right circumstance.

 

Network maintenance

It’s no secret that a neglected network can fail from the lack of care for the equipment. According to Avaya, 78% of remediable network outages were attributed to poor maintenance. It is absolutely essential to have an on-hand maintenance team to support any fault-fix requirements fast. Your equipment will usually send tell-tale signs that something is not right, and your maintenance team will no doubt respond immediately to these. In addition, they should be performing proactive health checks to prevent anything going wrong. This collection of prevention and cure will help improve the reliability of your communication assets.

Another service to take advantage of from your maintenance partner is an outsourced Network Operations Centre (NOC). This facility offers real time monitoring of your network so that you can immediately respond to faults if/when they arise.

Here at TXO we recognise that efficiently and effectively fixing mission critical system faults and failures with your communications network is essential to business success. This is why we offer 24/7 network maintenance services as well as operating a 24/7 service desk and NOC.

 

It’s clear that prevention is the best way to deal with network outage. By taking advantage of the avoidance strategies outlined in this article you can optimise your communications systems and rapidly resolve any faults as they arise before they become bigger problems for your organisation.

To talk to a member of our team about any of the services mentioned above, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us using a contact form or call your local TXO office.

 

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