FAQ on Elisa Automate

Read our Frequently Asked Questions and if you have more, feel free to get in touch with us.

What led to the development of automation in Elisa?

Already in 2007, Elisa understood that charging for data by the bucket doesn’t offer the best value for its consumers. It made a brave decision to offer unlimited data with different speed tiers for its customer base. While data consumption grew rapidly, Elisa’s aim was to maintain a stable CAPEX-to-revenue ratio and to control the OPEX. The company decided to decouple its costs from network traffic. Moreover, Elisa foresees that network automation will be increasingly important in the coming years.

What areas of mobile network automation has Elisa worked on?

Elisa has worked on automation solutions for the past ten years. All of its automation solutions have been developed for use in network operations at Elisa Finland and Estonia. Elisa’s automation solutions include
1. Automated base station integration, configuration, and testing
2. RAN operations, predictive maintenance and alarm handling
3. Radio network optimisation

Why was Elisa SON developed?

Elisa’s software engineers tried out various SON vendor solutions, but did not find anything that suited Elisa’s needs in terms of use cases, the level of performance and quality improvements. Elisa engineers required agile tools that could build and adjust algorithms on demand. Elisa’s culture has always been innovation, IT and software-centric. It was therefore only natural for Elisa’s engineers to code and develop their own solution. This became Elisa SON – built, implemented and tested over the past years.

What did Elisa gain from automating mobile network optimisation?

Elisa still runs a lean network with the same manpower as in 2007, although data traffic has grown 20-fold. During this time 75% of fault management has been fully automated in its network operations centre. Busy hour throughput has improved by 40%. NPS scoring, indicating the level of customer satisfaction, has improved by 3 points, due to Elisa SON automation alone. But most importantly the company has met its goal – set in 2007 – of maintaining a stable CAPEX-to-cost ratio, while mobile data consumption has grown to an average of 16.2 GB per month (H1 2018, Tefficient)!

What does the Elisa SON product include?

Elisa SON is a dynamic and agile cloud-ready mobile network optimisation solution and built using microservice architecture. It enables fully-automated closed-loop optimisation for mobile networks with a suite of tried and tested algorithms. All algorithms are multi-vendor compliant and have been developed for true carrier needs in Elisa’s network operations. The suite of algorithms focuses on automatic management of network faults, increasing busy-hour throughput and minimising vendor license fees.

Beyond the standard suite of use cases, Elisa SON also includes the Elisa Software Development Kit (SDK) that allows the operators to code and develop their own algorithms specific to the needs of their network operations. It includes the opportunity to create visualisations of the geographic network and do analyses of the KPIs.

What is unique about Elisa SON?

Elisa SON is the only automation solution that has been developed by an operator for operators. From the very outset, the automation product was designed to meet the true needs of carriers and has been tried and tested in a multivendor environment over the past years.

An OpenShift cloud computing microarchitecture, with the user of Docker modularity, makes it lean and easy to scale. Operators can choose whether to run Elisa SON in a cloud environment or on-premise – the choice is theirs. Regardless, Elisa SON can be deployed within days.

Besides deploying off-the-shelf use cases, operators can develop their own algorithms. Elisa hands over the keys to the full Elisa Software Development Kit to its carrier customers, which enables an operator to develop automation algorithms agile and truly tailored to their needs. Elisa also offers a joint development of new use cases with experienced Elisa SON engineers.

Elisa has measured and proved the impact of Elisa SON, therefore the company guarantees the benefits of the solution for its customers.

You claim that Elisa SON leads to both OPEX and CAPEX savings. Why is this?

Using Elisa SON leads to OPEX savings. This derives e.g. from the effect of automation on headcount and workload. Additionally, the SON use cases result in CAPEX savings. Operators can “sweat the assets” more and manage the traffic load in the network so that CAPEX investments can be postponed. An example of an untraditional use case is the “vendor license fee optimiser”, which allows carriers to allocate vendor licensees based on network needs. Depending on an operator’s financial allocation this can lead to both CAPEX and OPEX savings.

Why have you decided to offer Elisa SON commercially to other operators?

We have nearly a decade of experience in automation and the related process transformation. We are in a unique position to transfer this knowledge to our carrier partners who are looking to achieve the same benefits – regardless if it is driven by the desire to save costs, improve customer satisfaction or launch unlimited data offerings.

Who develops and delivers Elisa SON?

Elisa SON is built by a team of experienced software developers in collaboration with leading experts on network operations and optimisation. To ensure the product meets the needs of each individual customer case, Elisa SON has a dedicated delivery organisation, Elisa Telco Efficiency, that is part of Elisa’s innovation and start-up business Elisa Automate.

How is Elisa SON deployed into a new operator environment?

In general, this depends on the customer requirements. Elisa SON with its off-the-shelf use cases can be set up into a carrier’s network operations in 3 days from the working VPN connection, with the first pilot use case implemented overnight. On average, ready-made use cases can be taken into use within 3 weeks.

For large-scale deployments, that include both operator-specific and joint use case development as well as organisation-wide process and people transformation to fully embrace the benefits of automation, the estimated deployment can vary from three to nine months

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