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Issue of December 2002 
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Better Network Management with OSS

With growing competition in the telecom area there is lot of pressure on the operators to compete, and from the customers perspective, they have to roll out services quickly and at a low cost. An operator needs to have a strong operational support system (OSS), as the entire network is controlled by it. And it is important that the OSS can ensure low call drop rate and low packet and data loss.

According to Ian Johnston, Marketing Manager, Asia-Pacific, Agilent Technologies, telecom networks need OSS for better network management.

An OSS is a new generation of back-office operations support solutions that can create, deploy, manage, and maintain new packet-based services. New OSSs will enable carriers to meet faster time-to-market objectives, organize complex wholesale/retail relationships, and manage relationships with customers.

The investments required to sustain a transition from a narrow-band circuit-switched network to a broadband packetized network have no historical precedents. Moreover, the shift to a data-centric world where voice 'rides free' on the new packet-based networks implies a tectonic shift in service provider business models. Service providers are betting that the future belongs to broadband, and global society shares that vision. Substantial investment needs to continue in the short term if the transition to the broadband network is to take place smoothly and quickly.

With new technology frequently entering the market, operators need to have flexible systems that can keep up and incorporate new technology in order to offer customers new services.

According to Johnston, customers in India are not very rigid and want a mix and match of modules. Saving cost is the driving factor for these customers as they would have some modules and would not want to go in for an entirely new suite of solutions, but add to existing modules.

"Traditional OSSes managed the network; new OSSes respond to, and in many cases manage the service providers total relationship with the customer," says Johnston.

Minu Sirsalewala can be reached at

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