Ericsson, Motorola, NEC, Nokia and Siemens join forces to drive implementation of a common architecture for mobile network management
The world’s largest mobile network equipment providers - Ericsson, Motorola, NEC, Nokia and Siemens – have announced that they have initiated a Co-operative Open OSS Project (CO-OP) under the framework of the TeleManagement Forum.
The CO-OP members will work together on architecture specification, testing and verification of mobile network management systems (NMS). The goal of the CO-OP is to reduce the complexity of integrating network equipment and management systems from multiple vendors in mobile operator networks.
“The TeleManagement Forum is very excited about this new initiative, as it is a significant step by the mobile industry to support the ‘Lean Operator’ concept of highly flexible operations, lower operating costs and faster time-to-market,” said Keith Willetts, Founder and Chairman of the TeleManagement Forum.
“We are extremely pleased to see these major suppliers putting their combined weight behind a very practical implementation of the TeleManagement Forum’s New Generation Operations Systems and Software (NGOSS) framework, and actively working together in the spirit of openness,” he continued. “We expect this to drive down the ‘integration tax’ of the systems integration effort and encourage other suppliers, software vendors and operators to study this initiative and give it their full support.”
The collaboration will start as a TeleManagement Forum project. Some of the key focus areas of collaboration are: common OSS system specification; standardized interfaces for peer-to-peer element management and out-of-the-box functionality; and agreeing on common testing and verification practices.
Service providers are expected to benefit through cost savings as OSS systems develop more ready-to-integrate functionality, a clearer set of interfaces and become pre-tested for interoperability. As the TM Forum CO-OP Project is defined, it will become easier to integrate OSS elements that offer greater flexibility and stability in a multi-vendor environment.
The initial goal is to build on the TM Forum’s NGOSS foundation and drive the implementation of a common system architecture for interoperable network management systems. Later, the project will present testing and verification procedures and reference implementations based on the agreed standards.
Network equipment providers who can contribute to this work are invited to join the TM Forum CO-OP Project, which will engage operators to ensure that the work is aligned with their requirements. The Project will work closely with other key standardization initiatives such as OSS/J, 3GPP, 3GPP2 along with the TeleManagement Forum’s Service Provider Leadership Council (SPLC).
Phil Holmes, Chairman of the SPLC, an influential group of operators, said, "We strongly welcome this initiative from the TeleManagement Forum and these major mobile equipment suppliers to help make New Generation OSS a reality in the marketplace. The SPLC consists of major operators such as Vodafone, Orange, BT, NTT and AT&T, and is a forceful group of buyers and thus customers of the companies backing the TM Forum’s CO-OP initiative.”
Holmes continued, "Reducing integration problems and strengthening the operators’ business capabilities is a welcome aim of this new group. The SPLC will take a strong interest in encouraging this group to succeed.”
Karl-Wilhelm Siebert, Director of General Process and Project Coordination at Vodafone D2, agreed, “We believe this initiative holds the key to a more cohesive, streamlined approach that promises a best practice OSS framework for us to follow. The economics of the current market mean that mobile operators such as Vodafone have been searching for dramatically simpler OSS implementation for some time, and we’re pleased that the TeleManagement Forum is driving this forward.”
“This is an obvious next step to extend cooperation between network equipment providers, and we believe operators will benefit from this through reduced cost of ownership and short time-to-market for new services,” said John Montgomery, Vice President, Ericsson OSS Products.
“Motorola is committed to the CO-OP initiative and to tapping our technology expertise to help reduce the complexity and costs of network operations,” said Tom Shirley, vice president and general manager, OSS Division Global Telecommunications Solution Sector, Motorola. “We fully support this effort to fuel the success of operators and the industry through open collaboration with other major OSS suppliers.”
"NEC is the leading mobile solutions company of Japan where the most advanced mobile internet, such as WCDMA and i-mode, both technology wise and service-wise, is operating in a very large scale,” said Tsutomu Kunita, General Manager at Network Software Operations Unit. “With the experience and technological capabilities, NEC will contribute to the realization of CO-OP objectives. Through CO-OP activities, NEC anticipates a higher performance and easy-to-use NMS for operators and efficient system integration of OSS to accomplish high-level services in quick and prompt manners."
“Nokia has seen this systems ‘integration tax’ pressure on operators and service providers for some time now, and we are very excited to work together with other major OSS vendors to provide practical solutions for improving the overall performance of the OSS industry,” said Juha Lipiäinen, Director, OSS Middleware Business, Nokia Operations Solutions, Networks, Nokia.
“We strongly support this major step in the industry to drive solutions that address the demand on lowering OSS integration tax by applying the practice of peer-to-peer integration - as we have seen it for many years in the network infrastructure business - to network management,” said Christoph Caselitz, President of Mobile Networks at Siemens Communications.
“TM Forum members will benefit from this initiative, and I am glad to mention that the TM Forum has received additional interest in the CO-OP initiative from major equipment suppliers from Europe and North America including Alcatel, Cisco Systems and Lucent Technologies,” added Keith Willetts.