Multi-year telecommunication projects need to be efficient, cost-effective and meet the current and future needs of network end-users in order to be successful. It is important to understand the complexities of the design phase pay attention to key considerations in these critical areas.
Identify Stakeholders and Optimization Goals
It is necessary to first understand your optimization goals based on your priorities and challenges. This is primarily dependent on each organization’s internal structures and processes, as well as the utility’s overall priorities and operational targets. While Telecom engineers readily agree to the importance of a high-speed, highly reliable backbone network there are other valid infrastructure and operational priorities that can take precedence. It is very important to communicate around the utility with all potential network application end users who can often assist in assigning optimization priorities.
Identify Critical Design Characteristics
Once these goals and priorities are established there are seven areas to consider to successfully design your project.
1. Application Delivery Points
One of first things to consider in when optimizing the design of any telecommunications network is where you need to provide service for the various applications to be supported. It is essential to know where service is to be delivered and where the traffic will originate within the network.
It is important to design your project from the start with both physical and cyber security because telecommunication networks are often targeted by cybercriminals. As you characterize your network delivery applications, make sure to account for risk at each communication end point.
3. Bandwidth and Capacity
Your network should have enough bandwidth and capacity to handle the expected traffic. Consider what bandwidth you need and how much communication is going to take place to determine how much you will require. Also, carefully plan for the applications and services that must be (or could be in the future) supported by the network.
4. Quality of Service (QoS)
QoS is necessary for ensuring a consistent and reliable telecommunications service that meets the needs of users. Diverse types of traffic may have different requirements for latency, bandwidth and packet. Designing the network with QoS in mind can help ensure that critical traffic (such as voice or video) is given priority over less important traffic or less critical applications.
5. Network Architecture and Construction
The design of the overall network architecture is an important and complex optimization step. A well-designed architecture can help minimize latency, increase reliability and improve scalability. You will want to determine what technology options are available to serve this architecture, where redundancies are needed and where to implement “skinny routes,” or low bandwidth links from the network backbone(s) to communicate to end devices.
6. Availability, Reliability and Resiliency
Availability, reliability and resiliency each represent a different performance aspect and must be considered carefully during the planning and optimization of the design. To maintain high network availability and minimize any potential downtime, it is important build redundancy and resiliency into the network design. This includes considerations for availability, architecture choices for reliability and full redundancy with automated outage response for resilience.
Although the end users care little about the cost of the network, as utilities migrate through Digital Transformation, the cost of a network outage can be extremely high in both lost revenue and brand impact. A good engineer and project manager will ensure that upper management understand that the bottom-line cost of the network construction is not the most important aspect. However, making sure to balance upfront capital costs and ongoing operational costs with performance and reliability is an important consideration for any telecommunications network design.
Partner with a Trusted Advisor
Given the many complexities inherent in designing a successful long-term telecommunications project, it is helpful to partner with trusted experts who can guide the optimum deployment of your network. TRC can help you implement customized solutions that embrace innovative approaches, maximize benefits and control costs.
To learn more about the key design considerations for high level telecommunications project success, download our comprehensive white paper or contact us to discuss your specific project needs.