From connected VR goggles to truck fleet monitoring to teledoc services, the expectations of 5G are ever-increasing in our COVID-changed world. Three Rizing experts recently joined an SAP® virtual learning event to discuss the asset management challenges telecommunication providers face and how an SAP implementation can help.

A virtual reality tour of the Louvre in France. Saving fuel by centrally monitoring truck routes. Running a business from a smartphone. Getting medical test results from another country.

All potential snapshots from a day in the life of someone living in 2021.

And all dependent on a telecommunication infrastructure that most of us only think about when it doesn’t work.

Keeping mobile customers happy, according to David Harrison, Rizing’s Director of Business Development in Asia, requires three things:

“5G will create happy customers if it’s high speed, reliable, and affordable,” he says.

Harrison recently joined the panel of an SAP virtual learning event panel that also included:

  • Gary Pan, Global Solution Expert at SAP
  • Martin Greaves, Senior Director, EAM Business Development for Rizing
  • Siew Wei Goh, Manager, Geospatial Services at Rizing Geospatial
  • Dhiren Doshi, Vice-President, Head of 5G, Regional Industry Lead at SAP

During the discussion, the panel covered challenges that would ultimately lead to a telecommunication provider’s customers from being happy with the service:

#1. Low Data Quality

“Many telcos are suffering because there’s a gap between what is actually onsite and what is in the accounting books,” says SAP’s Gary Pan. “We talked to one customer who only had a 28% matching rate between the physical presence of the asset and what’s in their asset register.”

Pan went on to discuss how that mismatch would cause further issues for the telecommunications provider including:

  • Decreased asset utilization
  • Difficult inventory control
  • Increased inventory costs
  • Increased maintenance costs

How does telecommunication provider data become so mis-matched?

#2. Multiple disconnected systems

“Some of the telcos have different asset classification and asset handling processes for their fixed network and their mobile network,” Pan said, “due to historical reasons including mergers and acquisitions.”

Mismatched data can cause the business to have issues in areas other than inventory.

“You’ve got duplicate people managing duplicate effort to have the same amount of information,” says Rizing’s Martin Greaves. “Therein lies lots of problems and lots of potential for inefficiencies.”

#3. 5G requires more towers

Rizing’s Siew Wei Goh highlighted one of the reasons asset management is more difficult for 5G providers:

“With 5G deployments, you’re going to have more assets because they have short transmissions,” she says. “The increased number of assets are going to require increased management and maintenance.”

#4. COVID requires more 5G bandwidth

5G needs more towers, and with the new realities of remote-working and social distancing, we need more 5G service.

“The 5G network is not a luxury,” says David Harrison. “It will become as critical to life as electricity and clean water. Our customers expect more from 5G than they ever have before. If an emergency vehicle uses 5G to talk to the traffic lights what happens when the nearby tower is down? What if you are having surgery, it’s being performed by a surgeon half a world away, and the network is laggy? You won’t be a happy customer.”


Single system of truth

Knowing at least some of the challenges facing telcos, what’s the solution?

“We need to rethink how we look at assets and how to transform data into actions that produce outcomes. We need this information in a unified single system of truth like SAP,” says Harrison.

Traceable, verifiable, and complete

There are additional benefits that telecommunication providers can enjoy once they have established a single source of traceable, verifiable, and complete data.

“When we have this structure right, the asset hierarchy and functional location gives us the asset history, the criticality and the trackability of the equipment.” says Harrison. “By knowing exactly where an asset is geospatially it improves our response time. We know which towers are affected by bad weather. Repairs can be more efficient by using teams already in the area.”

By capturing more, high-quality data telecos can enjoy another benefit:

Predictive maintenance

Fixing issues before they become issues.

“With so many towers out there,” says Harrison, “With so many duplications of the equipment we can now use analytics across the fleet to find and predict faults and failures.”

And that takes us back around to where we started.

To happy customers.

Which is also a focus for Rizing.

“Our focus on happy customers is underpinned by our integrated platform, our people, our operational information,” says David Harrison.

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