Regardless of what industry you're in, you've heard the mantra, "Do more with less." Cost reduction while increasing value and productivity is what every business aspires to be able to accomplish. That includes network operators, who are faced with the same fiscal challenges as any other business, but also have to increase their network capabilities in order to meet the demands for new bandwidth intensive services and applications. And they have to be able to deliver them more reliably than ever to a larger user base than ever, as more and more subscribers adopt the latest generation of mobile devices to take advantage of next generation communications
features and services.
So, how can network operator lower costs
while increasing their coverage area - including how can they extend their footprints to include rural and under- or unserved regions. Of course, this is the impetus driving the Broadband Stimulus portion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which seeks to provide funding for broadband operators to facilitate broadband service delivery to these areas.
Certainly, one factor is deployment cost, which can be partially offset by funding from the Broadband Stimulus program. Alcatel-Lucent
, which has developed complete end-to-end networking solutions for network operators, regardless of which technologies they have chosen, has spent considerable time and effort providing consultative advice
to its customers as to how they can best benefit from the stimulus program, including how to balance accessibility, capacity, and affordability as they built out new or extend existing networks.
Alcatel-Lucent also understands that the most effective way to enhance network capabilities - including building out new footprint - is to ensure that appropriate relationships
are in place that will enable quick and seamless rollout of new, revenue-generating applications and services. The ability to build those relationships with content providers and application developers by adding value through access to network resources is a key component of its Application Enablement
strategy, which is designed to ensure that network operators are able to balance their investment in infrastructure with high-value services from their partners.
In order to develop those relationships, they need to first be willing to make that investment in infrastructure, building out what Alcatel-Lucent refers to as a High Leverage Network
A high leverage network
is designed to allow highly personalized applications, services, and content to be delivered, leveraging subscriber data, which is also made available to the service provider partners, allowing them to derive additional value from the relationships
and create even more appealing services - particularly those that users are willing to pay for
Fully converged, all-IP high leverage networks allow for easy scalability of bandwidth when and where it becomes necessary. They also provide application and service awareness, QoS, and packet optimization to ensure optimal network efficiency, reliability, and availability.
These are all capabilities that are necessary to extend an operator's footprint, while providing incentive for third-party partners to continue to develop new services and applications, which allow operators to offset CAPEX.
In addition, high leverage networks, which can be implemented in stages - again to accommodate budget constraints - allow for the convergence of network infrastructures both vertically (across network layers) and horizontally (across residential, business, and mobile users), allowing for a single infrastructure to support multiple access technologies, providing a lower TCO - ultimately driving down cost of operation.
For more on High Leverage Networks and how Alcatel-Lucent is helping is customers recover from the recession, read its white papers: