Winds of Change for MNOs: How Digitization is Helping Change Agents to Improve Processes in the Organization

Winds of Change for MNOs: How Digitization is Helping Change Agents to Improve Processes in the Organization

6 Feb 2024 Written by Sharon

In the rapidly evolving Mobile Network Operator (MNO) landscape, visionary leaders are at the helm, steering their organizations towards a future defined by decisions and strategic foresight informed by quickly accessed and accurate data. This blog post is a testament to the potential of such leaders as change agents, shaping the future of their organization through digitization.

In this era, technology is not merely a tool; it serves as a catalyst, fostering a sense of agency in people, processes, and systems. Strategic enablement is about leveraging the capabilities of technology to create an environment where every stakeholder benefits from improved processes.

Leaders are at the forefront of innovation, driving the adoption of forward-thinking solutions like digital twins of their assets. These solutions not only address current challenges but also prepare organizations for the future, ensuring they stay ahead of the curve.

What sets true leaders apart – and enables them to implement change – is their focus on measurable outcomes. It’s not just about implementing transformative initiatives; it’s about ensuring these initiatives deliver tangible, measurable results. This blog post underscores the effectiveness of such initiatives, highlighting how digitization can help to improve processes within organizations, to the benefit of all stakeholders.

vHive’s digital twin platform is ushering in a new era of digitization for MNOs, where stakeholder empowerment and process improvement are at the heart of organizational success.

The Top Challenges facing MNOs: Evidence from the Field

vHive has demonstrated our digital platform many times for transformational teams tasked with the difficult challenge of uncovering cost savings, and these demonstrations have revealed some of the substantial challenges MNOs face within traditional tower operations.

These challenges, if unaddressed, pose a significant threat to the efficiency and performance of an organization. vHive analytics have shed light on the stark disparities between the reality in the field, RFDS (Radio Frequency Data Sheet) reports, and construction drawings.

In one dramatic case, a vHive survey and analysis revealed that azimuths – the horizontal angles in a compass direction – exhibited significant discrepancies. Antennas were found to be misaligned, with deviations of up to 150 degrees compared to the construction drawing. Azimuth discrepancies have profound implications on network performance and coverage.

Antenna positioning also emerged as a critical issue, with vHive’s analysis indicating a lack of alignment among antennas in the same sector, negatively impacting coverage and network performance. The misalignment in antenna positioning not only affects current operations but also jeopardizes the potential for seamless future expansions.

vHive’s visual data and analysis of antenna inventory highlighted further discrepancies that could have lasting repercussions. Discrepancies in inventory management can lead to inefficiencies in tower operations, hindering the ability to respond swiftly to maintenance needs and network optimizations.

The consequences of these inconsistencies extend beyond the immediate challenges, affecting RF optimization strategies. While this survey revealed stark differences between records and what exists in the field, broader surveys of a portfolio reveal consistent differences, jeopardizing not only current RF optimization efforts but also casting a shadow on the feasibility of future site builds.

In essence, the traditional methods employed by MNOs are susceptible to inaccuracies and inefficiencies. vHive’s findings underscore the need for a paradigm shift in tower operations: and that need is one heard expressed with increasing urgency throughout the industry. Digital transformation is not merely as an upgrade, but a revolutionary step toward addressing these challenges and ensuring a more accurate, efficient, and future-ready approach to tower/MNO operations.

The Digital Transformation Solution

In response to the challenges faced by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in traditional tower operations, vHive has introduced a digital transformation solution that fundamentally changes how data is collected, analyzed, and leveraged.

Autonomous Data Capture: The solution begins with a comprehensive drone cell tower survey powered by autonomous auto-discovery™ drone technology. By focusing on specific levels of interest (RAD), this approach optimizes data capture systematically and at scale. This method eliminates the complexities of manual data collection, utilizing low-cost, off-the-shelf drones controlled by a powerful software platform. The result is an accurate and efficient foundation for creating digital twins.

Analytics: The value of the 3D reality model is significantly enhanced through the application of AI-powered analytics. The platform identifies installed equipment, such as panels, RRU, MW, and more, providing a detailed inventory while highlighting empty mounts and spaces. AI algorithms optimize coverage aspects, detailing skews, distances between equipment on the same level, and comparing ‘As-Built’ vs. ‘As-Planned’ configurations. This wealth of insights enhances network performance and informs strategic decision-making.

Simulation: Equipment simulation capabilities usher in a new era in planning and installation. Users can leverage a 3D simulation environment to visualize “as planned” scenarios, allowing for the addition, removal, and modification of equipment from flexible libraries. This not only streamlines co-location processes but also substantially reduces the need for expensive site visits. The simulation environment ensures precise installations, thereby optimizing the entire process.

vHive’s Digital Twin platform delivers transformative benefits to MNOs, addressing key challenges and providing measurable value from day one.  The technology is a digital transformation solution offering a comprehensive and impactful strategy for reshaping the landscape of tower/MNO operations.

Broadening the Perspective: Digitization is Reshaping the Industry

Digitization has a transformative and multifaceted global significance. The implementation of digitization varies across the globe, with each region having different circumstances and starting points. 

With new 5G rollouts, diverse network technologies, and emerging business models, companies need to be more agile, data-driven, and focused on pursuing new revenue streams. Digital transformation is the catalyst for these changes. Digitization provides reliable visibility into what’s installed on the structures and what capacity for installing additional equipment remains.

The shift from static reports to dynamic digital twins represents a fundamental shift in how data is viewed and utilized. This allows for a timely and comprehensive assessment of the tower’s condition, equipment, and potential optimization. 

Digitization is truly reshaping the industry, and it is now imperative for organizations to continually adapt and integrate emerging technologies into their operational framework. Failure to do so may result in a competitive disadvantage, potentially jeopardizing market position and growth prospects. Proactive digital transformation is not merely an option, but a strategic necessity for ensuring business sustainability and competitiveness.

Change Management

The shift towards digitization is a crucial step for MNOs. It’s understandable that this transition may cause apprehension among teams, as the fear of job loss due to automation is a common concern across various industries globally. However, the move to digitization is not about replacing people with machines, but about enhancing processes and performance in a way that makes all stakeholders more successful.

The transition from the traditional, often inaccurate close-out reports to precise, reliable digital data can have a significant impact on optimal coverage and RF optimization. This change can be seen clearly in vHive’s offering, which focuses on data verification and error reduction.

vHive’s capabilities ensure that installations match reality requirements, moving away from reliance on paper records. This encourages scrutiny from turf vendors, leading to improved accuracy and efficiency. It’s important to note that the goal here is not to expose mistakes, but to improve processes.

Digitization is a collaborative effort aimed at enhancing overall performance, not pointing out individual errors. By taking a bottom-up, person-by-person approach, companies can ensure that individuals realize specific gains, and build key players as change agents in their organizations. This approach can help transform the fear of change into excitement about the possibilities that digitization brings. The future of MNOs is digital, and embracing this change is key to staying competitive and relevant in the evolving telecommunications landscape.

vHive extends an invitation to all Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to experience a demonstration of our digital twin platform and see how digitization can meet the challenges of your organization and provide benefit to all members of the team.

We look forward to facilitating this transformative journey.

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