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Case study spotlight: Streamlining HFC network management with GIS for a US-based Telecom Service Provider

HFC network management with GIS

GIS (Geographical Information System) has been crucial to the growth of the telecom sector, providing invaluable geospatial data that benefits even small-scale providers amidst rapid technological advancements and intense market competition.

Telecom service providers often find it challenging to meet increasing customer demands, while keeping up with new technologies and competing with other players in the market. While new players can adopt cutting-edge technologies faster, companies with established networks are burdened by legacy systems which puts them at a disadvantage. At 12th Wonder, we help Telecom Service Providers leverage GIS to maximize the ROI of their existing assets, strategically plan new networks, and efficiently adopt new technology.

One of our clients, a leading Telecom service provider in the US was facing a similar challenge. They wanted to create a centralized platform for managing and optimizing their HFC(Hybrid Coaxial Fibre) network infrastructure with GIS. 

Challenges 
The major challenge that the Telecom service provider faced was with their data. Accurate spatial data is essential to map and visualize the network topology correctly, which in turn is vital for further planning, optimization, and upgrades. 

  • The network data was scattered across various internal systems. The siloed data in non-standardized formats was a big hurdle in creating a centralized information management system.
  • Another challenge was that existing data lacked proper georeferencing. Without accurate data, it is impossible to create accurate network maps.

Our Approach 
We worked with the internal operations team to implement GIS and build a centralized, georeferenced network map that provided a comprehensive view of the HFC infrastructure. We collected and validated data from various sources, used advanced modeling tools to simulate the network accurately, and developed a user-friendly solution that helped them monitor, maintain, and optimize their HFC network infrastructure. 

Let’s take a look at the 6 key steps involved in the process. 

  1. Data integration 
    The first step was to collect and integrate HFC network data from various sources and internal databases. We used our in-house tools to extract the fragmented data in multiple formats and create a unified geospatial database.

  2. Georeferencing
    The existing data lacked precision and reliability. To ensure the accurate placement of network assets, we used advanced Geospatial techniques to Georeference the data, creating a foundation for precise network visualization.

  3. Feature relationship validation
    To ensure that the feature relationships within network components (such as cable connections, junctions, and nodes) were correctly represented, we used our in-house tool to automate the validation process by cross-referencing our data with external systems. 

  4. Data exported to GML
    We leveraged our in-house data conversion tools and automated export and conversion of the validated network data in different formats into Geography Markup Language (GML), ensuring compatibility with industry standards. This helped to easily integrate analytical tools and external systems for data-driven decision-making.

  5. Data management
    We modernized their data management process with a comprehensive geospatial database, workflow optimization, and automation to ensure they have up-to-date data on overhead and underground infrastructure, including data on customers, faults, repairs, marketing, and asset management.

  6. Web and Mobile app development
    We developed user-friendly web and mobile applications to assist network engineers, field technicians, and customer support, enabling them to access real-time network data and insights.
    Our team ensured the smooth integration of the GIS solution with the client’s existing IT infrastructure. We also provided training to their team on the new system and tools for efficient network management.

Outcomes

  • The centralized, georeferenced network map provided a comprehensive view of the HFC infrastructure and empowered the Telecom company to make informed decisions on network expansion, maintenance, and upgrades. 
  • The client was able to optimize their infrastructure, resources, and investments based on HFC accurate and reliable information saving considerable cost and time.
  • The GIS solution provided our client with a scalable framework for managing the network that could easily adapt to new technology or network expansion.
  • 30% reduction in outages with efficient asset management and average downtime reduced by 50% with faster responses using precise asset location information.