As businesses start to take advantage of bandwidth-intensive technology, Tier 1 carriers in the telecommunications sector (telcos) need to ensure that they have the capability meet the ever increasing demand for bandwidth, writes Eckart Zollner, head of business development at Jasco.

Carriers are being driven to upgrade their infrastructure in order to handle the high volumes of traffic traversing their networks. But in this shaky economy, telcos are cutting costs and reflecting significant budget cuts – which does not bode well for network upgrades.

Unfortunately, in order for them to survive and remain competitive, these upgrades are essential; no business, no income. So how do telcos ensure their networks remain cutting edge while keeping costs down?

There are many elements to upgrading a network, from high-level network designs, to site builds with sufficient power systems, to rolling out connectivity, and making sure network security remains a priority. On top of this, customers still require quality assurances and service levels. Many telcos opt for outsourcing in order to drive down costs. By enlisting the aid of specialists, telcos can draw on their expertise and knowledge to build sites and rollout networks, freeing up their time to focus on designing the network to be as productive and efficient as possible.

It can prove costly and potentially detrimental to have multiple vendors. Not all vendors think alike, or are able to work together in the best interests of the Telco. One supplier may not know what the other is doing and, if not coordinated properly, they may work counterproductively, with costly results.

Choosing the right vendor is essential to the selecting a partner upon whom they can rely on to support them and add value. A partner that can not only supply the many components needed, but that can install them and maintain them too, while offering useful advice and supporting services.

Entering into a partnership with a service provider that offers many benefits beyond the supply of infrastructure. A partner that understands the telcos business will be able to work with the Telco constructively, in line with business objectives and budget constraints.

Partners offering supporting professional services which analyse a telcos business needs will be able to offer services that meet these needs while minimising unnecessary expenditure. Someone that is more than just a supplier or installer – a true business partner.

It is important to choose a partner that adds value, and eliminates the need to have multiple service providers. Partners who offer a wide range of services beyond simply supplying and installing will be able to reduce the number of contractors necessary and, therefore, reduce the overall cost.

They can assist with offering security services, both physical and virtual. They can provide power assurances, carefully planned in line with a Telco’s own customer assurances.

The ability to offer a host of services and value adds means that telcos are able to deploy networks speedily and without the complexity that plagues coordinating multiple service providers. Networks can be rolled out and sites can be built with common goals and holistic mind-sets, ensuring no corners are cut while reducing unnecessary elements.

Telcos need to select their partner with care, making sure that their chosen partner has an excellent track record and sufficient experience in every aspect of a network. An experienced and reputable service provider who aligns themselves with a Telco’s strategy, keeping their customer’s needs in mind, becomes a valuable – and cost saving – business partner indeed.