OSS have long been used to enrich operator experiences in many different ways.
Raw alarms are cross-linked and enriched with inventory data to provide enhanced information (eg make/model, nearest neighbour, etc) to give operators in the NOC additional information to help them diagnose and repair.
Inventory data is enriched with GIS / map data to provide equipment location, map views of assets and connectivity views to provide network planners with a better sense of the networks they’re designing augmentations for.
Customer services are cross-linked and enriched with service performance data to graph against SLA targets and utilisation data to bill against.
There are many others of course.
However, there are two latent problem areas where technology innovation is just reaching a point where it can provide advanced situation enrichment to help network operators:
- Remote workers gaining an immersive awareness of the situation on site
- Field workers tapping into enriched information whilst on site, allowing them to make more informed decisions
1. Immersive Awareness of Site Situations
Remote workers such as network planners, NOC operators, OH&S coordinators, procurement and many others make decisions as best they can without being fully aware of the situation in the field. Our OSS and BSS record many useful details, but don’t record all of the site-specific nuances that might influence operator actions or recommendations.
Digital Twin platforms are now providing precision models of site, allowing remote operators to walk through 3D photographic representations of site. These models also allow remote operators to record accurate measurements and gain greater spatial awareness of the situation at site. More importantly, as we’ve demonstrated in our OSS sandpit, these 3D photogrammetric models can be enriched with vast arrays of information from OSS. In the example shown below, the 3D models are enriched with asset IDs (and much more):
Immersive Awareness Using Back Office Information
With the spatial world being cross-linked and enriched with OSS data above, we can now overlay and unlock a wealth of additional information for field workers, with the topology and attribute mappings shown below being just the tip of the iceberg.
Field workers had historically been given limited information, in the shape of design packs, A0 / A1 drawings, etc. For example, these design packs were unable to give field workers the current-state health posture of the network at time of arrival on site. If they needed additional information, such as nearest adjacent points to perform deeper diagnosis and testing, they would have to call a request in to head office. If there were any discrepancies between the design and the real situation on site, they also needed to engage with head office via “blunt instruments” like red-line markups on printouts and/or phone conversations.
Modern mobility applications are providing field workers with the ability to access whatever information they need, as well as a more direct, near-real-time interface to designers and other back-office staff as well as the wealth of OSS data available.
Further advances in augmented / virtual reality (AR/VR) provide field workers with enriched views of the sites they’re working in. Identification of hazards, assets, work instructions, current network health metrics, decision support and plenty of other OSS-based information can be overlaid onto what field workers are seeing on site, enriching their decision-making processes.
Apologies for the shaky video below, recorded through my phone, showing the projection of a tower site on our boardroom table.
The examples shown above are also discussed in two innovation reports that we’re currently finalising and will be released to market shortly. Further information will be made available about these reports soon.