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It’s great having the latest….

…but who do you call if something goes wrong?

Whilst the drive to adopt advanced connectivity is ramping at a significant pace, attention needs to be given to the training and development that is offered to create the support ecosystem that is necessary to develop, sustain and optimise advanced connectivity such as Private 5G.

Gavin James, Aqura Technologies Head of Delivery and Operations shared insights into an emerging trend of critical support requests from a number of customers, and more alarmingly, non-customers recently.

“The convergence of next generation connectivity, like Private 4G and 5G and associated use cases, with traditional narrowband is accelerating at a significant rate,” says James.

“Whilst I can’t predict a tipping point where Private 4G/5G will overtake legacy connectivity, what I can say is that the specialist support required through this transition period, and into the future cannot be overlooked.”

Traditional Support Needs a Re-Think

Whilst there’s great simplicity for users who look to the benefits of narrowband and wireless broadband, hybrid if you like, environment brings, there’s complexity under the hood which requires a completely new skillset and support architecture.

“We’re not dealing with technologies that have been in use for decades,” says James.

“Advanced broadband wireless for private enterprise use is approaching a decade of use, but the adoption by end customers has been exploding. There are over 60 private 4G and 5G networks now in use across Australia, with many more coming.”

“Whilst I can’t predict a tipping point where Private 4G/5G will overtake legacy connectivity, what I can say is that the specialist support required through this transition period, and into the future cannot be overlooked.”

Gavin James

Head of Delivery and Operations

Support Partners More Important Than Ever

Even with the high reliability of these next generation wireless networks, James asserts that support resourcing needs to adapt to meet the demands of modern connectivity.

“It’s an exciting time but there are basics that need to be covered off by your connectivity partner to ensure you’re not left hanging if something goes awry.”

James suggests a number of things to look for in a partner.

Track Record

“Make sure your partner has a solid track record in deployments. It’s not something you can just Google to resolve. Hands on learning by doing is a significant part of the process of knowledge development that goes beyond standard training by vendors.”

Standardise as much as possible.

Often the temptation is there to customise configs as a nice to have, not as a necessity. Every customisation adds risk and additional documentation that needs to be created to ensure that if something untoward happens, or makes things challenging if you want to integrate a standards based vendor or technology later on.

Make sure you’re getting the A-Team

It’s not possible to have every specialist on your payroll. That’s where leaning on your tech partner is important. Make sure the specialists who deliver the networks are also the ones who are available to help support it. And if your operations are 24/7, you’d expect to have your backup available when you need them.

Document. Document. Document.

Don’t skimp on the documentation for your connectivity environment. Post-delivery as-built documentation is your insurance policy to reduce risk if something should go wrong. If your partner doesn’t want to give you every piece of documentation you need, you know they’re the wrong partner.

James also suggested that new training programs in advanced technologies such as 5G like that offered by the Australian Critical Communications Forum (ACCF) were beneficial to raise general awareness.

 

Services review

“With more awareness, comes better understanding of the possibilities. And we love pushing boundaries with our customers,” says James.

 

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