Oct 9, 2020

TCS: Agile network configuration of telcos

TCS
Network
Technology
Automation
Janet Brice
3 min
Network
Four-step transformation plan for network automation of telcos to enhance customer experience outlined in White Paper from Tata Consultancy Services...

The telecom (telcos) industry must focus on superior network automation to become more agile and enhance the future customer experience, according to Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).

This new approach of network configuration is explored in a White Paper from TCS which reports it is an essential step in the evolution of telcos to prepare for the transformation of networks.

“The telcos of the future will be those that have built a strong, lean and automated network today,” say the consultants. By managing network configurations, telcos can optimise their capital and operational expenditures on the network but also become more agile and efficient.

The rapid use of smartphones and the adoption of cloud and Internet of Everything (IoE) technologies have triggered an unprecedented demand for communication services across global industries. 

A growing need for connectivity is focusing telcos to develop network capabilities that match up to the need for a high-quality service for the consumer. The importance of network configuration lifecycle management will also be key in measuring and improving the quality of service (QoS) in the telecom industry.

The evolution of Software-Defined Networking (SDN), Network Function Virtualization (NFV) offer significant transformation opportunities, the paper reports, but only to those that are ready to invest and explore beyond traditional services. 

“The IT spend forecast for the global telecom sector by Ernst & Young, set to rise and touch $85 billion USD by 2020, is an indicator in this direction,” states the White Paper.

A focus on keeping up with new developments is critical for telcos but core capabilities should not be ignored, says TCS.

“With the upcoming developments in 5G and the IoE expected to generate further demands on the industry, the telecom network will become the bedrock on which competitive success will be built…It is no wonder then that network has emerged as the single most critical priority for investments in the near future,” states the paper.

Upgrading network configurations, in addition to being a time burden on teams, can also result in errors on the networks that may go unnoticed. “Holding the power to regulate and govern the quality of the network makes network configurations extremely critical,” claims the paper.

TCS has proposed a four-step transformation for the management of network configurations. 

  1. Systematic backup of configuration files

Care must be taken to ensure configuration files are backed up for all the critical elements in the network. This should be automated with a provision to maintain version control and raise alerts in the case of failed backups. 

2. Identification of network parameters

The next step would be to study the various element configurations in the network to identify how they affect the security, performance, availability and other network service factors. 

  1. Automated network auditing

This is the most essential step in upgrading the network, reports TCS.

Whether developed internally or implemented through a third-party, such an audit tool will be irreplaceable. The audit system must be capable of monitoring the network elements at a regular frequency, either at a pre-defined interval or on a trigger immediately after a configuration change.

It must be able to estimate the impact any configuration changes will have on the identified service parameters and raise alerts for those that do not comply with the fixed set of audit rules that are established. 

In the event of a breach, the system should either alert the concerned authorities or be able to act by rolling back automatically and avoid similar incidents in the future.

  1. Automatic generation of configuration files

This may be taken to the next level through the automation of configuration file generation for different devices or elements in the network. This will be especially useful where many devices are deployed on the network every day. 

The paper concludes, “the telcos of the future will be those that have built a strong, lean, and automated network today.”

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Jul 30, 2021

First Solar to Invest US$684mn in Indian Energy Sector

FirstSolar
Energy
Manufacturing
India
3 min
First Solar will launch an advanced PV manufacturing plant in Tamil Nadu to support Indian solar independence

First Solar is about to set up a new photovoltaic (PV) thin-film solar manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, India. The 3.3GW factory will create 1,000 skilled jobs and is expected to launch its operations in Q3 of 2023. According to the company, India needs 25+ gigawatts of solar energy to be deployed each year for the next nine years. This means that many of First Solar’s Indian clients will jump at the chance to have access to the company’s advanced PV. 

 

Said Mark Widmar, First Solar’s CEO: ‘India is an attractive market for First Solar not simply because our module technology is advantageous in its hot, humid climate. It’s an inherently sustainable market, underpinned by a growing economy and appetite for energy’. 

A Bit of Background 

First Solar is a leading global provider of photovoltaic systems. It uses advanced technology to generate clear, reliable energy around the world. And even though it’s headquartered in the US, the company has invested in storage facilities around the world. It displaced energy requirements for a desalination plant in Australia, launched a source of reliable energy in the Middle East (Dubai, UAE), and deployed over 4.5GW of energy across Europe with its First Solar modules

 

The company is also known for its solar innovation, reporting that it sees gains in efficiency three times faster than multi-crystalline silicon technology. First Solar holds world records in thin-film cell conversion efficiency (22.1%) and module conversion efficiency (18.2%). Finally, it helps its partners develop, finance, design, construct, and operate PV power plants—which is exactly what we’re talking about. 

How Will The Tamil Nadu Plant Work?

Tamil Nadu will use the same manufacturing template as First Solar’s new Ohio factory. According to the Times of India, the factory will combine skilled workers, artificial intelligence, machine-to-machine communication, and IoT connectivity. In addition, its operations will adhere to First Solar’s Responsible Sourcing Solar Principles, produce modules with a 2.5x lower carbon footprint, and help India become energy-independent. Said Widmar: ‘Our advanced PV module will be made in India, for India’. 

 

After all, we must mention that part of First Solar’s motivation in Tamil Nadu is to ensure that India doesn’t rely on Chinese solar. ‘India stands apart in the decisiveness of its response to China’s strategy of state-subsidised global dominance of the crystalline silicon supply chain’, Widmar explained. ‘That’s precisely the kind of level playing field needed for non-Chinese solar manufacturers to compete on their own merits’. 

 

According to First Solar, India’s model should be a template for like-minded nations. Widmar added: ‘We’re pleased to support the sustainable energy ambitions of a major US ally in the Asia-Pacific region—with American-designed solar technology’. To sum up: Indian solar power is yet the next development in the China-US trade war. Let the PV manufacturing begin. 

 

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