MTN Swaziland LTD, founded in September 1998, is a subsidiary of the MTN Group, Africa’s leading cellular telecommunications company.
MTN Swaziland’s existing infrastructure required complex reengineering to ease congestion and create additional capacity. Brute force provisioning of additional capacity was not feasible due to the excessive lead times and exorbitant cost structures in place for leased lines from the local incumbent.
To achieve these objectives demanded intelligent network planning strategies to address capacity challenges across the existing network, while facilitating future expansion to support new service offerings (including Edge, 3G, HSDPA, and 3.5G). The subsequent implementation strategy had to be evolutionary, introducing the technology in a phased-delivery approach to avoid disruptions to existing revenue-generating services.
Phase 1 consisted of a 60 day proof-of-concept trial to validate the robustness, general performance, and reliability of the hardware.
Phase 2 consisted of supporting the commercial deployment of the first 20 sites.
Phase 3 would eventually address a further 40 remote sites over the following 12-month period.
Existing infrastructure challenges :
Expansion Challenges :
- Optimize established bandwidth at regional centers to accommodate additional remote sites
- Reduce congestion on the Hluti link
- Activate Edge capabilities across all new and existing sites
- Improve backhaul usage monitoring
- Locate additional capacity to support roll-out of 40 new sites
- Upgrade backhaul capacity
- Accommodate capacity expansion at the existing Mbanane and Matsapha sites
MTN partnered with Transtech Africa Global (TAG) to manage the multiyear project. TAG is the preferred satellite and optimization integrator for MTN Group and its primary mission was to improve bandwidth allocation and reduce congestion across the existing infrastructure in order to accommodate and deploy new sites without costly capacity upgrades. After extensive evaluation of available solutions, TAG recognized Memotec’s AccessGate platform as the core element to achieving these objectives.
AccessGate offered MTN Swaziland significant business advantages to address their immediate and longer term objectives
TANGIBLE VALUE AND BENEFITS
- Price competiveness for capacity needs
- Performance in optimization
- No adverse affects on KPI including
- Short delay
- No increase in dropped calls
- No affect on voice call establishment
- Signaling stability
- Ability to support voice codecs and a variety of data protocols.
- Lead time to deployment
- Ease of installation and maintenance
- Easy access to spare
- Circa 800K OPEX savings
- A 5-month ROI
- Potential future network expansion costs have become self financing
- Alleviation of congestion
- Enhance network performance without any compromise on quality of service
- A future-proof network
The adoption of Memotec’s AccessGate solution has enabled MTN Swaziland to more efficiently and effectively contain OPEX costs, and optimize existing bandwidth utilization rates in preparation for their eminent expansion projects. Furthermore, MTN Swaziland recognizes the network is more suitably optimized to accommodate their 3G aspirations.
ACCESS GATE : A SUCCESSFULL DEPLOYMENT
Initially Memotec and TAG focused on optimizing the Hluthi link with Mbabane. The site was originally composed of 2 x E1 links that were routed through a system, preventing the links from operating at full capacity due to limited bandwidth
The installation of Memotec’s AccessGate introduced industry leading techniques that enabled MTN Swaziland to optimize performance and reduce bandwidth down to a single E1 freeing the second E1 entirely.
MTN Swaziland was extremely satisfied with the link capacity improvements which prepared the sites to seamlessly accommodate future 3G initiatives. A third E1 has been added as bandwidth usage savings of 55-60% were recorded during peak hours, allowing the additional E1 to be established without the need for a network expansion.
Nglangano (8:4 Configuration):
Nglangano is an existing regional centre with no new additional sites being added. The cost savings are on existing traffic, demonstrating the impact of AccessGate optimization. Following the implementation of AccessGate, backhaul monitoring during peak hours showed a 40% bandwidth usage reduction across all 4 links. Thus the capacity available for expansion has more than doubled at no additional cost.
Implementation of AccessGate liberated an estimated 4915, 2kbps of bandwidth, which can now be used to accommodate future sites/ technologies. Not all the new sites were operational at the time of this report, but no new leased lines purchases are planned.
Nhlume (6:3 Configurations, full site design implemented):
As the diagram illustrates, reconfiguration at the Nhlume site liberated 35% of the bandwidth (2150 Kbps) -- enough to accommodate the deployment of 3 additional sites without adding any supplemental bandwidth (i.e.no additional lines were provisioned). Detailed calculations of current savings and potential further savings was provided to the customer.
ABOUT MTN SWAZILAND
MTN Swaziland LTD is a subsidiary of the MTN Group, Africa’s leading cellular telecommunications company, and started operating in September 1998. MTN Swaziland is the only mobile telecommunications company in the country.
Transtech Africa Global(TAG) supplies, supports, installs and commissions a wide range of innovative telecommunication solutions. With distribution agreements with worldwide leading equipment manufacturers, TAG ensures an effective and sustainable sales and technical support to its customers. With a strong focus on the mobile operators TAG provides its customer with the most cost-effective backbone/ backhaul solutions (satellite and terrestrial) enabling operators to maximize the revenue earning capabilities of their networks.