Telenor’s on-going network modernization project, which has reportedly caused disruption in service quality and availability – as we discussed in the past – is going to get completed by year end, said Gyorgy Koller, Chief Technology Officer, Telenor Pakistan in an interview with ProPakistani.
During this interview with Gyorgy Koller, ProPakistani tried to figure out the current state of the network up-gradation project, its scope, impact on service quality, complications and the out comes.
ProPakistani: Please tell us about Telenor Pakistan’s network up-gradation project?
Gyorgy Koller: Telenor Pakistan’s network modernization is a highly complex yet a very important project. At the end of this project, we not only see a most modern network capable of offering advanced services with excellent quality to the consumer, but also see a network of equipment which is environment friendly and ensures least possible strain on energy resources.
I call the project highly complex because live network equipment modernization with 30 million active subscribers is not an easy task and require extremely efficient processes and extremely competent teams.
To understand the complexity of the project, it is like running in a sprint race while having an open heart surgery at the same time; you can’t afford to lose out on the race but you have to be mindful of the ongoing surgical procedure as well.
ProPakistani: What difficulties customers are likely to face during this up-gradation?
Gyorgy Koller: As I mentioned earlier, the network equipment modernization on a live network is a highly complicated exercise. We try to schedule the modernization activities at a time and in a way that will have minimum possible impact of potential service degradation for the customers.
However issues like call connectivity lag and call clarity is likely to arise due to the complexity of the project. My team has done well to minimize the impact and is actively engaged in keeping it that way.
ProPakistani: How customers were communicated for any troubles in accessing network, and what incentives (if any) are offered to customers in case of any down-times?
Gyorgy Koller: We do make sure that customers are aware, to the extent possible, of network modernization activities; the regular measure taken for that includes SMS’s to customers of the region where that activity is about to take place. Other than that, for more important equipment swap, where some of the services may become unavailable, the communication takes place through advertisements in addition to the regular SMS channel.
Our emphasis remains on establishing the future benefits in terms of quality that our customers will get by staying with Telenor during this challenging period.
ProPakistani: What benefits this network modernization is likely to bring for Telenor Pakistan customers?
Gyorgy Koller: We are replacing most of our old equipment with modern and enhanced versions therefore it is expected that in the future, once the optimization activities are completed, our customers will experience improvements in coverage.
There are also two major advantages of this exercise for stakeholders; first and the most obvious one being the 3G ready network, which will obviously be superior in quality due to use of latest technology and will optimize bandwidth provision.
Secondly, the overall benefit of the modern equipment in terms of it being energy efficient and less resource taxing on already scarce energy resources of Pakistan. Finally, the “state of the art” network after the modernization will give major advantages in terms of quality and other number of benefits to our customers.
ProPakistani: What hurdles Telenor Pakistan is facing (if any) during the up gradation of its network?
Gyorgy Koller: Network modernization on a live network is obviously a resource intensive and complicated process as mentioned before. I wouldn’t call them hurdles but there are numerous unique local challenges in Pakistan like for example site access and security issues that do cause certain delays in our activities.
However challenges always exist when trying to carry out a project of such mammoth proportions. Having said that, I would like to take a moment to appreciate our customers for their endurance and patience during this process, all this wouldn’t have been possible without their tremendous support.