Total cost of ownership for 5G links [video]

By Dr. Dahlit Brin 6 min read

To get the maximum value for money, operators must look beyond the price tag. Adekunle Adebisi, Ceragon’s Director of Professional Services (Africa & APAC), shares his experiences from the field with Dr. Dahlit Brin about how Telcos look at TCO (total cost of ownership) along the lifecycle of wireless 5G transport networks.

Beyond The Price Tag - 5G Links TCO

 

Full interview transcript:

Dahlit Brin:

Hello, welcome to the Backhaul Lounge. I'm Dahlit Brin and today I'm joined by my colleague, Adekunle Adebisi who's the director MTN Key Account and Professional Services for Africa and AsiaPAC. In addition, he's also our Value Leader for Africa and AsiaPAC.

So Kunle, you and I, we've been working together very closely for a long time now and literally every day, we're meeting with operators who are wanting to rollout their 5G networks as quickly as they can and prepare earlier generation networks for 5G. Now, at the same time, they're all very pressed for CAPEX and OPEX, and naturally, the conversation very quickly focuses on the price. But it's not just about the price tag, is it?

Adekunle Adebisi: 

No, it's not, and what we see in the industry is that a lot of the operators - they want to make sure that they cut down the price, yes, but they also want to
make sure that they...the overall total cost of ownership across all of the various elements of the network lifecycle. So, what we do is to look... at the...the...what the cost the... the operators are looking at. And we look at, from the beginning, which is the design part of it. So when we're designing the systems, we're looking at how these are going to play out across the lifecycle. So we start from the design part and then we move on to the deployment areas and then we focus...and then in the end, you look at how we...the operations and maintenance is also going to be run.

Dahlit Brin:

So I'm hearing from you footprint, which means tower load, size of the equipment on the...on the tower... which then feeds into tower rent, if they don't own the towers. I'm hearing operational costs such as power consumption, installation and labor time and costs. I'm hearing upgradeability and quality of our products or any solution that is then implemented. So can you tell us how we, as Ceragon, can actually help? What do we have to offer that helps our customers, the operators, to reduce the total cost of ownership throughout all those stages that you've just talked about?

Adekunle Adebisi: 

Yes. So what we...and I'll talk about a little bit of the features that we have that really, truly help the operators. So from the beginning, I talked about the design part. So, it means that we have, first of all, we have the really super high, ultra high powered radios, right, which means you should be up to 30 plus Dbs in terms of power. What that means is, when we're designing with such radios, the design allows us to use smaller antennas.

Dahlit Brin:

OK, and that will reduce space on a tower and tower rent. OK.

Adekunle Adebisi: 

Absolutely. And then on top of that, you are also able to use more advanced features like the Advanced Space Diversity, which allows you to use three antennas instead of four.

Dahlit Brin:

So that's a 25% CAPEX and OPEX reduction.

Adekunle Adebisi: 

Absolutely. Absolutely. And then the key thing is, when you save on the CAPEX, you automatically save on the OPEX over the entire life of the link.

Dahlit Brin: 

Right, it has a knock-on effect. OK. OK, so we're also talking in
certain areas, wideband channels, which, again, will help solve save spectrum costs. Well, depending on the locals spectrum regimes. We can also save boxes, et cetera, et cetera.

You did talk about MTBF and quality, which also kind of lets me think about the
after-sales support and maintenance that that we can … that we can offer. So I'm thinking, for example, Ceramonitor, Inside. How can those help reduce TCO?

Adekunle Adebisi: 

Absolutely, so on the first part, when we talk about the wider channels, this is extremely important, especially when you talk about 5G rollout, all right. What happens is that when we're deploying and there's wider channels available in the in the country, so we are able to put in the radios out there and then, from an upgrade part, all they need to do is click and upgrade it, as is required, as the 5G demand starts to grow.

Dahlit Brin:

No more truck rolls, no more equipment,

Adekunle Adebisi: 

saving on truck rolls in terms of going to the field. That's saving on the cost of a physical installation at the time. And so many things,...that the flexibility of being able to do it when you need it, you know, that's really very, very important. And then we talk about also... That's on the upgrade side. And then when you move further on to the operations and maintenance, with the likes of Ceramonitor - it's a multivendor operations, the maintenance tool. So what we do is, before now, a lot of operators are looking at how to maintain their networks and they are looking in silos, one operation maintenance tool for one product. What we have is a multivendor tool that allows you to do predictive preventive maintenance, which is super important. And you don't want to fix the problems when they're broken. You want to fix them before they are broken.

Dahlit Brin:

Right, because then you can plan ahead, budget planning and reduce costs. So really what we're saying is that there are so many ways in which we can help reduce TCO. And while price is always important, we do need to widen our vision. So, Kunle, thank you so much for the insight that you've given us. It's a very fascinating and very relevant topic. This is Dahlit from the Backhaul lounge. Till next time.

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