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Case Study: AWTG

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Service Assurance and Service Creation Platform

Executive Summary

As part of the Future Networks Programme, Network Economics workstream, a series of case studies have been developed, exploring areas where Operators can potentially reduce their Operational Expenditure (OpEx) and Capital Expenditure (CapEX).

This case study identifies promising Automation and AI-based solutions and showcases success case exploring how AWTG’s integrated Service Assurance and Service Creation Platform enables the creation of new services and new revenues sources while providing excellent service quality which translates to significant operational savings and revenue growth.

The case study is executed together with TOT in Thailand who is transforming its services to be fully aligned to the countries vision of Thailand 4.0 using its existing network infrastructure. To achieve this there is a need for TOT to create new services specifically in the IoT sector on its existing network, this means supporting IoT devices with 3G connectivity. The new services are key to TOT’s growth using its existing network (without the need to build a new network-specific to IoT) and to enables TOT to expand in the following business areas:

  • Smart City
  • Smart Enterprises
  • Industry 4.0
  • Smart Home

The benefits of implementing the Service Assurance Platform at TOT saves the company more than 50% of its annual operational cost consisting of savings from engineering operations, customer care, licenses for service monitoring and operations.  Additional benefits include more than 2% savings in site operation and maintenance. The operational savings are achieved through lower cost of operational Hardware (HW) and Software (SW) licenses, reduced human resource requirements and less management and supervision.  The savings in capital expenditures are more than 80% derived from infrastructures that are no longer required due to the platform being used.  The savings are distributed as follows:

  • 90% savings on new features and capabilities
  • 80% savings on new sites and infrastructure
  • 50% savings on operational HW and SW cost
  • 18% savings on engineering resource cost
  • 24% savings on customer care services cost
  • 2% savings on-site operation and maintenance

The Service Creation platform by AWTG enables TOT to create new services and generate new revenue sources from its legacy network with an additional 250M US$ increase in existing revenues through basic smart city services and enterprise services. The 310M US$ projected increase in new revenue constitutes an increase of 50% in TOT’s revenue from its mobile network and a 17% increase from its total corporate revenue.

Introduction

TOT Public Company Limited is one of Thailand state-owned telecommunications company, established in 1954 and corporatised in 2002, TOT PLC had a 2018 revenue of US$ 1.58 Billion (47.57 Billion Baht. TOT is now going through restructuring process under Thailand’s State Enterprise Policy Committee (SEPO) with a plan of splitting into six subsidiary operations ( figure 1) that would partner with private firms i.e. Public-private partnership.

Figure 1: Overview of TOT’s plans to streamline its business into six key areas:

Furthermore, the Thai government has set TOT PLC  on course for a merger with another state-run Telecom operator CAT Telecomm and is set to be completed by mid-2020. Merging the units aims to eliminate redundancy of their business operations, as well as creating added value for their existing assets. After the merger, the new company will be referred to as The National Telecommunication Company.

AWTG is an end-to-end engineering services and technology solutions provider for public entities, local enterprise partnerships and private companies that employ digital technologies in markets such as wireless communications, smart cities, Industry 4.0, connected health, smart fashion and new media among others. AWTG’s technology solutions cover Digital Transformation, Rapid Prototyping, Artificial Intelligence, Internet-of-Everything and software development. AWTG has been deploying the first 5G testbeds in the UK since 2014 and continues to be the leading services company delivering 5G solutions for the various market verticals. More generally, AWTG has deployed thousands of network infrastructure elements across three continents over the last 14 years.

With more than 8 offices globally, AWTG delivers services and solutions for enterprises, cities and communities. Founded in 2006 by a group of industry experts initially to provide advanced professional services catering to the specific needs of the telecommunications industry, AWTG has built a strong reputation by focusing on customer satisfaction—utilising its considerable skills and expertise to deliver enhanced results and better returns-on-investments for its clients.

TOT and AWTG are working together to implement a Service Assurance Platform with the aim to reduce TOT’s current operational cost by at least 10% and increase revenues by at least 25%. Once the Service Assurance Platform is implemented the operational cost savings are expected to be achieved in the first 12 months while the increase in revenue achieved in the first 24 months of implementation.

Business Imperative

In recent years, the rapid advancement of digital technology, such as 5G technology and Internet of Things (IoT), data processing with Artificial Intelligence (AI), trust-building with Blockchain, free communications services with social applications and cybersecurity has widely impacted the telecommunication industry, especially customer experiences and the profitability of every telecom business.

In order to meet the needs of consumers in Thailand, and to create opportunities for continuous business operation TOT has to adapt its working methodology and services to cope up with the changing Telecoms landscape. Furthermore, along with the merger of TOT and CAT, TOT is implementing the Turnaround Plan to improve efficiency, reduce costs, earn additional income from an existing property and reduce redundancy between TOT and CAT operations.

To facilitate and realise all these plans, fundamental shifts toward automation and AI-driven platform is essential. This is because management and operation of future technology-based system will become difficult and cost-prohibitive when using conventional methodologies.  The Service Assurance and Revenue Generation Platform solution provided by AWTG to TOT aims to ensure TOT’s strategic and long-term vision and Plans can be achieved.

Figure 2: Matrix of  AWTG solutions to satisfy TOT’s strategic and long-term vision and Plans

Additionally, TOT is contributing to the vision of Thailand 4.0 as shown in Figure 3 using its existing network infrastructure. To achieve this, there is a need for TOT to create new services specifically in the IoT sector on its existing network; this means supporting IoT devices with 3G connectivity. The new services are key to TOT’s growth using its existing network and without the need to build a new network-specific to IoT and enables TOT to expand in the following business areas:

Smart City

  • Air quality management
  • Early warning system for flood, forest fire and other natural disasters
  • Smart waste management
  • Intelligent parking
  • Traffic management
  • Emergency response

Smart Enterprises

  • Energy savings
  • Building and perimeter security
  • Proximity advertising
  • Indoor navigation

Industry 4.0

  • Smart manufacturing
  • Smart factory
  • Lights out manufacturing
  • Industrial internet of things

Smart Homes

  • Home automation
  • Home security
  • AI assistant

Figure 3: Thailand 4.0, an evolution of Industries in Thailand

Service Assurance and Revenue Generation for TOT

AWTG’s Service Assurance and Service Creation Platform is an integrated solution that consists of several modules to create a service ecosystem that provides excellent customer experiences, deliver reliable services, enhance growth, create a high brand value and enhance profitability. The integrated platform is illustrated below showing a matrix of business requirements, platform components and benefits.

Figure 4: Matrix of business requirements, AWTG Service Assurance Platform components and benefits

The platform’s uniqueness is its capability to support multiple technologies and data sources then correlate those data sources. The data sources supported are from networks, devices, external tools and various connectivity technologies which are stored in specific databases well suited for each type of data. AWTG’s powerful APIs and agent collects and aggregates the data prior to post-processing, this enables the platform to monitor various network components from access to core. The analytics engine includes AI, Automation and Reporting where the AI uses machine learning, deep learning and reinforced learning. The stored information and calculated results are then presented and visualised using multiple touchpoints that include view, voice, touch and text interfaces using AWTG’s AI assistant EllA.

Figure 5: Matrix for mobile app used for monitoring, management, command and control of the platform

By using the platform, TOT is able to automate several time-intensive tasks through the use of AI, allowing TOT to up-skill and or to reallocate human resources to other areas of the business. The automation includes:

  • Adaptation of new services
  • Full automation of Site audit and acceptance
  • Full automation of network monitoring and management
  • Full automation of Fault and alarm management
  • Network optimisation
  • Full automation of Customer experience management
  • Customer support

Once fully implemented, this AI-based automation enables TOT to save more than 50% of operation cost on average per year.  The operational savings are achieved through lower cost of operational HW and SW licenses, reduced human resource requirements and less management and supervision.

The AI implementation is shown below:

 

Figure 6: AI implementation in AWTG Service Assurance Platform

More importantly, the platform enables TOT to create new services and generate new revenue sources from its legacy network with an additional 50% increase from existing mobile service revenues through basic smart city and enterprise services. The Service Creation Platform enables TOT to use is the legacy 3G infrastructure to deploy new IoT services. These IoT services can be implemented through various applications for Smart Cities, Industry 4.0, Smart Enterprises and Smart homes. The platform is powered by an AI with multiple interfaces that include voice, text, touch and view.

Some of the visual displays for the platform and AI assistant is shown below:

 

Figure 7: AI Assistant in the Mobile App for the Service Assurance Platform

Figure 8: Visual display of the platform on different devices

Economic Benefits

By using AWTG’s Service Assurance and Service Creation Platform, it is projected that 80% of the CAPEX attributed to new sites and infrastructure is no longer required to support new services.

Additionally, the same network infrastructure is used to generate additional revenues through the creation of new services. The new service platform component of the solution furthermore can generate on average 50% increase in revenue on basic mobile services through smart city services for enterprises with the possibility of more than 100% projected increase in revenue from services provided to consumers for Smart Home services.

 

AWTG’s Service Assurance and Service Creation Platform can be provided at virtually zero CAPEX, the cost is charged as a portion of the savings achieved and revenues generated, which ensures an immediate Return on Investment for TOT.

 Cost Reduction

The cost savings are calculated based on TOT’s existing cost of technical operations, engineering resources and customer care resources. The projected cost savings that are achievable are:

Cost Savings Achievable
Lower cost of licenses, hardware and software used to operate the network 50%
Use of AI for automation of time-intensive and repetitive tasks such as network management, fault and alarm management 20%
Less engineering resources due to AI-led fault management, service monitoring, reporting and optimisation 18%
Use of device-based AI-customer agent, reducing the number of human customer care agents. 24%
Automation of customer service processes 24%
Deferred investment on new sites due to better performance and freed up capacity 80%
Deferred investment on new features and licenses since the platform enables TOT to use its legacy system and network to support new and advanced services 90%
Lower cost of site maintenance and operation from better monitoring of site operations, power usage, and fault management 2%
Use of AI for predicted maintenance with sensors that monitor the health of the physical sites. 2%

Implementing the Solution

The Service Assurance and Service Creation platform in TOT is currently in a pilot phase with a view towards commercial expansion. With the platforms running in AWTG’s private cloud environment the implementation time is mostly down to physical delivery and installation of the sensor hardware required for Service creation. The platform is currently commercially deployed in existing AWTG customers in the Middle East (including an MNO), the same platform is currently in use in various UK 5G testbeds (service assurance and service creation).

For an expanded deployment there is a need to deploy the solution in TOT’s private cloud to ensure all security requirements and regulatory requirements are met. Deployment of the solution typically takes 1 to 2 weeks. Integration of new data sources, reports and dashboards typically takes 1 week for each new data source.

Lessons Learned

By deploying AWTG’s Service Assurance and Service Creation Platform, it was established at TOT that it is possible to re-use existing infrastructure to create new and innovative services that save on OpEx and generate revenue growth for TOT. The new services bring new revenue sources that were not available before the implementation of the AWTG’s Service Assurance and Service Creation Platform.

Conclusion

The case study for TOT’s new revenue generation and cost reduction using AWTG’s Service Assurance and Service Creation Platform established that TOT is able to create new revenue sources with its existing 3G network while at the same time reduce the cost of operations. The projected average cost savings are around 89% of the current operational cost while the average revenue increase is around 50% of current revenues with the potential to generate more than 250M US$ in new revenues in 5 years.

The operational cost savings are achieved through the implementation of AWTG’s Service Assurance Platform. The operational savings are achieved through lower cost of operational HW and SW licenses, reduced human resource requirements and automation of the network. The savings are distributed as follows:

  • 90% savings on new features and capabilities
  • 80% savings on new sites and infrastructure
  • 50% savings on operational HW and SW cost
  • 18% savings on engineering resource cost
  • 24% savings on customer care services cost
  • 2% savings on-site operation and maintenance

An additional 100% projected increase in existing mobile services revenues through smart home services could constitute 17% of TOT’s total group revenue in 5 years’ time. The new services are key to TOT’s growth using its existing network and without the need to build a new a network specific to IoT, enabling TOT to expand in the following business areas as planned:

  • Smart City
  • Smart Enterprises
  • Industry 4.0
  • Smart Home

To find out more information, please contact AWTG below.

Website Email

 

Disclaimer

The GSM Association (“Association”) makes no representation, warranty or undertaking (express or implied) with respect to and does not accept any responsibility for, and hereby disclaims liability for the accuracy or completeness or timeliness of the information contained in this document.