Annual report 2012

Convergent core network

The convergent core network encompasses fixed-mobile core technologies that facilitate fixed telephony, mobile telephony, mobile internet and broadband access, fixed broadband access and other network services for managing traffic flows and the necessary signalisation. These technologies bring together all of the signalisation and traffic service flows of Telekom Slovenije’s network. It also includes the continuous control of the entire network and services, the development of control and support systems, and quality control. 

In the area of core networks , the Group focused on the achievement of objectives linked to the reliable functioning of the network and services, modernisation and development, cost efficiency, optimal functionality, and the development and participation of employees. In that context, we carried out the following:

  • activities to optimise and standardise the convergent core network at the Group level to facilitate positive development effects, enhance purchasing power and lower operating costs in the future;
  • the drafting of minimum standards for the planning, implementation and management of core networks; and
  • activities aimed at implementing measures in the convergent core network for the purpose of managing costs to achieve improved, globally comparable competitiveness – we succeeded in lowering costs by 10 % in 2012 relative to 2010, and consolidated and optimised operational teams for stand-by at home. 

We carried out a number of activities in the backbone section of the convergent core network to increase capacities, and improve reliability and security: 

  • we upgraded capacities in the core of the IP/MPLS network;
  • we consolidated the service delivery point (SDP) segment;
  • we set up a system for the correction and the rapid switching of IPTV channels;
  • we completed the first phase of modernisation of the BRAS/BNG segment of the MPLS network; and
  • we continued with activities to standardise Telekom Slovenije’s business (intranet) network with the aim of satisfying all of the Company’s business needs at all business locations.

On the mobile packet core network, we carried the general replacement of serving GPRS support node (SGSN) elements. We enhanced participation in the planning, preparation and implementation of the first phase of the project to introduce fourth generation LTE mobile services, which is one of the most important elements for ensuring the future competitiveness of the Company.

We also established new iPOP locations for access to the internet in Skopje and Priština, and completely upgraded the Vienna iPOP. We took additional measures to strengthen the IP/MPLS broadband network infrastructure and developed and set up a uniform system for remote VPN access. We also completely updated internet support systems for authentication and authorisation in the fixed and mobile networks. We successfully implemented several projects relating to managed services, including an ATM security project.

At the Telekom Slovenije Group level, we drafted minimum standards and supplemented the development strategy for the IP/MPLS network infrastructure. We also actively participated in the planning of network solutions for the needs of One and Ipko. We actively focused on managing operational risks and implemented measures to mitigate them.

The most important and demanding project in terms of service network systems was the migration of One’s prepayment system to the central system in Ljubljana. The project was successfully completed. In addition to managing the entire project, the Company also contributed everything necessary for the processing of traffic in the network core and for the implementation of traffic and signalisation links between Skopje and Ljubljana.

In addition, the Company also:

  • consolidated the OCMP platform, thus paving the way for the continued consolidation of Telekom Slovenije’s different IVR platforms; 
  • introduced an encryption system for cable TV; 
  • implemented additional measures to enhance the security of the SMSC environment;
  • introduced a video conferencing system that will be used internally and leased to users;
  • carried out activities related to cable TV, primarily aimed at implementing new functional locations;
  • updated the functionality of the consolidated missed called service, intended for mobile and fixed telephony users;
  • designed a platform for emergency services (so-called EMCY platform), on which the Company developed the SMS112 service that provides the deaf and hard of hearing an emergency call service, and on which the Company will develop other network emergency functionalities;
  • facilitated a BOFD service at One using the platform in Ljubljana, which is a common platform for Ipko as well; and
  • continued preparations for a common, updated platform for televoting and 090 services.

With regard to fixed telephony systems , the Group: 

  • modernised level IX international telephone exchanges, and thus mitigated operational risks associated with an obsolescent platform while reducing electricity consumption by 320 A;
  • set up a new level of the NGN SX network for national transitory telephony, routed VoIP traffic from the region to the IP network and established the conditions for migrating users from obsolete TDM exchanges to the NGN SX network system;
  • completed the project to modernise and establish uniform control over Signalling System No. 7 (SS7) and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) links within the Telekom Slovenije Group; and
  • standardised security backups in the scope of the disaster recovery plan (DRP) at the Cigaletova location and carried out a large number of upgrades at the same location.  

The management of customers in default was introduced in the scope of the programme to automate the administration of fixed telephony subscribers. The numbering space was also optimised, which represents an important element of cost control.

The cumulative number of hours of VoIP system failures was more than halved relative to 2011. However, we intend to further reduce that number.

With regard to mobile telephony systems , a number of upgrades were made to improve functional reliability. Activities included:

  • the upgrading of one of four media transitions in the network (MGW31);
  • the upgrading of software for the service of managing telephone calls via the internet; the Komunicator (Communicator) for Android and iOS platforms;
  • the testing of equipment and the execution of a tender for fourth generation LTE mobile broadband services;
  • security upgrades;
  • participation in the drafting of a tender for the GSM-R telecommunications and railway infrastructure and the maintenance of the TETRA radio connection system;
  • the development of additional security services to limit incoming international calls with the potentially misused identification of the calling user;
  • the launch of new multimedia mobile call centre services; and
  • interventions linked to changes in network interconnection and the management of international roaming. 

All parameters exceed target values, with the exception of GSM connection time, which lengthened due to the tightening of security settings in the authentication section of the GSM network.

Key functionality indicators for convergent core networks in 2012

Backbone network

Fixed core network

Mobile core network

  • Functional availability of the core IP/MPLS network: 99.997 %
  • Maximum number of PPPoE users: 201,470
  • Maximum bit rate: 33.68/26.59 Gbps
  • Functional availability of the mobile packet core network: 99.998 %
  • Maximum number of PDP contexts 119,380
  • Maximum bit rate: 1.5/0.28 Gbps
  • IX availability: 99.999 %
  • SX NGN availability: 99.999 %
  • si3000 Dravlje availability: 99.957 %
  • IPCTX Mediator availability: 99.999 %
  • IPCTX BW availability: 99.996 %
  • SBC availability: 99.952 %
  • CP availability: 99.990 %
  • Functional availability: 99.999 %
  • Success rate of incoming connections: 95.6 %
  • Success rate of outgoing connections: 99.7 %
  • PESQ GSM: 4.2
  • PESQ UMTS: 4.1
  • GSM connection time: 6.8 s
  • UMTS connection time: 3.7 s

Effective IT support systems are necessary to control, manage and maintain the telecommunications network and services. They also ensure the smooth inclusion and elimination of faults in services, which are becoming increasingly complex with the implementation of new technologies. In terms of controlling the functioning of the network and services, we were active primarily in the areas of operations, maintenance, testing and verification of new systems and the management of control and support systems.

Key medium-term activities include the standardisation of standard and emergency procedures with regard to controlling the fixed and mobile network, centralising control for the entire Group, the expansion of SLAM to facilitate further differentiation of the Group’s range of products and services, and the implementation of an overall control system.

The following were among the most important activities in 2012:

  • the continued provision of support for the network inventory system for new services and technical solutions (WiFi, IX, FTTH, OBN, cloud services, WFM, etc.), and the upgrading of the system to version 7.2;
  • the continued optimisation and standardisation of the fixed and mobile network inventory system with the termination of old mobile HW applications; 
  • the integration of the network with SAP, MRTG and the Nagios control system, which was upgraded for the purpose of monitoring the functioning of the entire IP network, including control over the quality of subscriber lines;
  • the inclusion of new power supply and air conditioning system locations, and the standardisation and upgrading of control over power supply and air conditioning systems; 
  • the implementation of a centralised solution at One for the management of HDM modems (TR-069) and for SLAM, which facilitates the management of SLAs for end users, in particular business users;
  • the assumption of control over the entire IPTV production chain;
  • continuous improvement in the process of detecting and managing fault clearance, despite an increase in new elements and services in the network;
  • the organisation of the fault clearance process between service and system incidents and the STPU-NOC, including the transfer of difficult users to the new VDSL2;
  • activities to improve the quality of triple play packages, with which a 13 % decrease in the number of incidents was achieved relative to the previous year.

A total of 130 authorisations were issued to connect electronic communication equipment to Telekom Slovenije's network. Technical experts also participated in various activities linked to regulatory and judicial proceedings involving Telekom Slovenije.