A new C&I approach for 5G deployment

The arrival of 5G networks will enhance connectivity and enable innovative technology advancements to businesses and end-users alike. Factories can improve efficiency with ultra-reliable, low-latency communications. Logistics can be streamlined with millions of devices connected to the internet through the Internet of Things (IoT).  Hospitals can speed patient care by moving MRIs and CAT scans in seconds from radiology to the ER.  However, before we can reap the benefits of 5G, the wireless industry must address several key challenges.

One challenge is network densification. To achieve the high throughput and low latency requirements of 5G, America will need an exponentially greater number of mobile cell sites in every geographic area.  There are hundreds of thousands of cell sites1 in the US today, with hundreds of thousands more needed for 5G to work correctly. In addition, each of these 5G-enabled cell sites must be rigorously checked through commissioning and integration (C&I) to bring them online and integrate them into the carrier’s network.

Streamlining C&I

Traditional cell site C&I involves a time-consuming series of steps and takes about three or four hours on average to complete. Experienced engineers may be able to handle two or three sites at the same time, but the tedious procedures involved often lead to errors, which necessitate rework or distorted parameter settings. Work is scheduled around the clock to ensure the enormous workload – upwards of a thousand sites per project — gets done.

TeleWorld Solutions has turned the inefficient and costly C&I process on its head with “OneClick C&I,” which automates highly repeatable tasks such as updating software and firmware or checking alarms. OneClick C&I allows us to bring thousands of cell sites online quicker, more efficiently and less expensively than traditional Commissioning and Integration.

OneClick C&I exploits machine-to-machine communications using Representational State Transfer (REST) APIs to follow a strict set of rules that have been rigorously tested in the lab to automate these tasks. By using REST APIs to automate these tasks for C&I, never previously done in the US, TeleWorld Solutions can test roughly 100 sites in parallel, and they can be scheduled to run during maintenance windows or business hours.  By updating C&I procedures, TeleWorld Solutions has cut the average person-hours per site from 3.55 hours to 0.73 hours, an increase in productivity of 437%.

Samsung and TeleWorld Solutions are in the midst of a nationwide program for a large MNO to replace one vendor’s hardware with Samsung’s line of 5G equipment. During this project, TeleWorld Solutions’ innovative tools and procedures have helped speed up site installations and are bringing the next generation of wireless networks into our lives at an astonishing pace.

1 Number of mobile wireless cell sites in the United States from 2000 to 2019
(statista.com)