Malaysian operator Yes made a 40% OPEX saving when launching its new 4G network with Sterlite Elitecore's RCM Platform in a major network transformation project in 2016.
The project involved the transformation of Yes owner YTL Communications' existing WiMAX network to handle high speed 4G LTE data services, VoLTE and data roaming, while not interrupting services to existing WiMAX Data and Voice Over WiMAX services. YTL Communications had been running its WiMAX network since 2010 and had several million existing subscribers.
Launched in June 2016, the Yes branded 4G LTE network has constructed over 4,200 base stations and achieved 85% national coverage in Malaysia with a reputation for fast and reliable internet and an aggressive pricing strategy. Yes is aiming to increase its subscriber base by 2 million customers per year. In order to achieve these ambitious targets Yes needed to meet a number of objectives through its network transformation project:
- Launch new types of services to take advantage of the all-IP 4G and WiMAX networks
- Improve customer experience by breaking down silos and simplifying support system architecture
- Cut costs through reduced support and maintenance from migrating to a modern single vendor stack
- Improve time to market for new products and services to better compete with larger incumbents
- Improve network utilisation through effective optimisation and monetisation
- Leverage its fixed and mobile infrastructure to offer customised bundles to improve customer loyalty and stickiness
The support systems used during the WiMAX deployment were nearing end of life and expensive to upgrade since it involved multiple vendors. YTL decided to adopt a best-of-suite approach to transformation and outsource the support operations as a managed service.
Sterlite Elitecore Project Execution
Yes's network transformation project required the ability to deliver on very aggressive timelines. The entire implementation was treated by Sterlite Elitecore as a Greenfield Project and was implemented in two phases. During the first phase YTL stationed its team at the Elitecore development centre in India to ensure project stayed on schedule and on scope. In the second phase, starting once development was complete, the teams moved to YTL's offices in Malaysia, where the testing took place. Since there was no plan to do a parallel run, YTL and Elitecore focussed on extensive testing with several hundred use cases.
The system went live in June 2016, within 10 months of project initiation. The new system has a single BSS/OSS stack for provisioning, policy management, mediation and billing. The new system simplified network and upstream routing while also creating a single repository for all customer information.
The deployment supports both LTE and WiMAX use cases and also hybrid ones that depend on both these networks. The solution was deployed on YTL premises as managed services wholly administered by Elitecore. Elitecore managed the entire lifecycle of the project with support from the YTL team and no SI was involved in the process. Elitecore has stationed around 25+ people in Malaysia to support the managed services on an ongoing basis.
The migration strategy was a critical part of the overall deployment of the new platform. The tight deadline that YTL was sticking to meant that migration of customers in phases where both the old and new systems would be run in parallel over a period of time was a non-starter.
Instead YTL and Elitecore went for the big bang migration approach, where most customers and their information were migrated onto the new platform in a single instance, followed by multiple runs of migrating incremental data until all current data and subscribers were fully on the new platform.
In order to ensure a successful migration, YTL and Elitecore worked together to trim down over 1,500 unique offers to 75 plans with 250 add-ons. Over five years of operational data (around 800 million CDRs) was migrated onto the new system.
Benefit to the Operator
The transformation of the supporting infrastructure has been very successful for YTL, allowing it to launch the highly publicised 4G LTE network on schedule. The user experience has improved, since customer support representatives are now able to view all relevant customer information in a single place. Moreover, having a single support infrastructure for both its 4G and WiMAX networks has helped streamline customer experiences across these networks.
YTL Communications has since launched the successful ‘Double’ plan, which offers one of the lowest data rates in the country and provides customers a single plan for both mobile and broadband usage. The new plan has been well received and supports real time tracking of customer usage across both networks, which was not possible before.
40% OPEX Savings Achieved
The transformation has realised substantial cost savings, thanks to the move from a complex multi-vendor environment to a single vendor model which has simplified the overall architecture. The day to day operations of the new systems is run as a managed service by the vendor, which has resulted in OPEX savings of around 40%.
About Sterlite Elitecore
Sterlite Elitecore is a leading provider of Operations Support Services / Business Support Services to telecom operators with customers in India and globally including South East Asia, Middle East & Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America. Elitecore was purchased by Sterlite Technologies in 2015 and the combined group offers a wide range of hardware and software services to meet the needs of global telecom operators.
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