Auditing – As important for Mobile Networks as for Finance
The Oxford Dictionary defines the word audit as “A systematic review or assessment of something”. Globally, companies are aware of the obligations, needs, and benefits of independent financial auditing, which are regularly conducted to provide an objective examination of the company’s financial statements. Independent auditing promotes transparency and accuracy, reducing the risk of error, concealment and unscrupulous dealings. Independent auditing also increases the value and credibility of the financial statements produced by management, reducing investor risks and consequently decreasing the cost of capital.
Network Audits Increase Revenues, Reduce Costs and Simplify Operations
By applying the principles of financial auditing to the technical attributes of a telecommunications network, similar benefits can be derived from auditing the network. From processes and procedures to assets and systems, independent audits from 3rd party providers can offer useful insights into a complex environment and the results of these audits can assist an operator in identifying areas of the network that can be improved, to ultimately increase their bottom line.
Challenges to Comprehensive Mobile Network Auditing
Planning, building, operating and optimising a telecommunications network is quite a complex undertaking as myriad network elements are managed by multiple systems, across multiple technologies, in multiple domains, each with their own way of presenting and managing the various data sets and parameters. There are also thousands of different settings per network element, making network auditing a rather tedious and laborious task.
The Solution – An independent, automated auditing system (vendor-, domain- and technology-agnostic)
The key to comprehensive network auditing is a centralised system connected to all telecommunications network elements, automatically extracting network information, allowing repeatable, automated, auditing checks-and-balances, performed across the entire telecommunications network, irrespective of vendor, domain or technology.
Although a once-off network audit may highlight anomalies and/or improve network performance temporarily, regular automated audits are vital to ensuring that the network maintains a consistent level of performance.
At Digitata Networks, our offered products, services and solutions are designed to assist telecommunication operators to regularly, automatically and independently audit the technical attributes of their network, leading to increased revenues, reductions in operational costs and simplification of operations.
Network Audit Use Case – Discovering Hidden Assets Worth Millions
Not only can automated audits highlight incorrectly configured elements in the network, but they can also discover assets that are not configured at all. These unconfigured assets are sitting “idle” in the network and not contributing to revenue generation. Network equipment is costly, with operators spending millions of dollars every year buying new assets to upgrade their networks.
Although it is possible to manually detect inactive equipment in the network through querying each node individually via the various OEM’s NMS systems or conducting physical site visits, it would require significant regular effort from the operational and engineering teams, adding additional workload to an already resource-strapped workforce.
An integrated and automated audit solution, regularly highlighting and correcting inactive assets in the network ensures that each asset deployed is active and correctly configured, contributing to the revenue generation within the operation.
At Digitata Networks, we assist operators around the globe to discover their “hidden” network assets. During an automated network audit project for a Tier 1 mobile network operator in Africa, we discovered 519 unconfigured UBBP and WBBP boards. These boards, combined with the relevant licences, provide the channel elements for the NodeB’s, which are needed to assign voice and data resources to the UE.
Based on the unit cost of each UBBP and WBBP board, it meant that we had “discovered” some $1.35 million worth of equipment sitting “idle” in their network. The detection of these unconfigured boards, in conjunction with CE congestion stats, allowed the operator to correctly configure these boards where additional capacity was required, and redeploy or recover the remaining boards, thereby making effective use of all these purchased assets.
If you are concerned that you may have unused equipment sitting idle in your network, contact us for an independent audit of your live network assets.