On the other hand, network operators are often contractually bound or otherwise motivated to ensure continuity in service provision, including functions typically delivered through existing legacy network infrastructure.
Telecommunication network operators running traditional fixed voice networks are faced with far reaching decisions on whether, when and how to migrate existing infrastructure to the latest all-IP technology.
On the one hand, future need for an entirely fixed-network telephony remains uncertain. Reduced demand due to substitution by mobile communications providers as well as the potentially high acceptance of all-IP based triple- or quad-play offerings are but a few of the moving parts of a sound infrastructure upgrading investment strategy.
The market demand for these ‘old style’ products is driven by a multitude of good reasons, including:
- Residential ISDN/Voice: just by emotion/image/tradition
- SME ISDN BA/PRI: legacy PBXs still in use and advanced features to bundle ISDN lines
- Enterprise ISDN PRI: Cost to completely exchange legacy PBX / communication infrastructure
- Specific voice/data services: long life-cycles of attached (building technology) infrastructure
- Inter-carrier transit: lack of readiness of SIP connections (compatible with required features)
While needed, the maintaining of aging legacy systems incurs specific costs which – depending on the level of organisation and know-how of the maintenance services involved – may vary greatly.
Scope of Services
- Telco operators can focus on new topics while Atos takes care of the ‘old’ aged, but still needed, technology – all tasks associated with that technology will be carried out providing the services to the end customers based on well-defined SLAs.
- Adapting and improving the systems is possible thanks to unique know-how, for example by virtualization of management systems.
- Support for services and processes ranging from the complete implementation of an overall concept to any parts thereof, depending on the operator’s needs.
- Vendor independent support
- Handing over responsibility while retaining full control
- Be able to react more flexibly to changes in the telecommunication market
Costs are not the only factor influecing the operational strategy, another highly relevant aspect are the risks connected to the employment of aged technology:
- Vendor lock-in concerning maintenance and HW leading to a risk of strong price increases
- Risk of loss of own know-how, since staff is realigned to new technologies in focus
- Risk of loss of externalized resources due to short term contracts
- Risk that required SW changes and corrections are not available any more (from vendor)
- Risk that required HW spares and extensions are not available for the next up to ten years
- Risk of decreasing quality of documentation concerning physical and logical inventory
- Risk that changes and migration to e.g. all-IP become increasingly costly
- Resulting from the above the risk of lower service quality and even outages