Manx Telecom Dials Up Empirix to Assure Network Service Quality
May 14, 2009
By Tim Gray, TMCnet Web Editor
The Isle of Man in the frigid Irish Sea is known throughout the world for many things – a famed motorcycle race and its relative isolation tucked away among the British Isles for starters – but it’s the self-governing Crown dependency’s extremely modern and extensive communications infrastructure that is getting attention and underpinning the main sectors of the Island's economy.
Now, Manx Telecom, part of the Telefónica S.A. group and the Isle of Man’s largest telecommunications and Internet provider, has upgraded the service quality assurance for the new IMS network the company is building out.
According to Jon Huyton, the technical officer leading Manx Telecom’s migration to IMS, when the company realized early it would need an independent monitoring system to manage the complexities that IMS introduces into any network it looked across the sea to the United States.
Ultimately, Manx Telecom selected Empirix (News - Alert), a Massachusetts-based VoIP testing and monitoring solutions company, to provide its Hammer XMS system to support the transition from the existing PSTN and ISDN infrastructure to the IMS network over the next 18 months.
“We were impressed with Hammer XMS because it addressed all of our needs in terms of functionality, working virtually ‘out of the box,’ and ease of use,” said Huyton. “Most importantly, Hammer XMS provided detailed, end-to-end reports on calls as they traversed from the PSTN on to the IMS network, which we were expecting to have to compile manually.”
Since 1992, Empirix’s Hammer testing and monitoring solutions have helped Network Equipment Manufacturers (NEMs), Service Providers and Enterprise Contact Centers transition to new technologies including Unified Communications (News - Alert) IP Contact Centers, VoIP, NGN, and IMS-based networks.
In addition Empirix will provide ongoing service monitoring throughout the network.
Manx Telecom chose to leverage the Hammer XMS following extensive system tests on its live IMS network and noted the decision was based on Empirix’s ability to deliver a comprehensive view of both TDM and IMS network operations, real-time monitoring of call flows, as well as fast set-up and flexibility to customize monitoring rules and reports.
“Manx Telecom is known as an industry innovator and its decision to focus on service quality assurance early on in the rollout of its IMS network is proof,” said Andy Belcher, managing director of Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Empirix. “Leading operators realize that proactively ensuring service quality is critical to their competitive differentiation and commitment to their customers.”
As one of the newest members of the European Competitive Telecommunications Association, Empirix aims to help the associations’ operator members better understand and address the challenges of service quality assurance in order to meet both regulatory requirements and their own service standards.
The VoIP testing and monitoring solutions provider has joined the ECTA as an ‘Associate’ member just as the organization is actively investing in next-generation networks throughout Europe.
In the Isle of Man, with a population of approximately 80,000, the Hammer XMS will enable engineers to drill down from high level views of the network to granular details of individual call paths. In addition, Hammer XMS will create snapshots of normal network activity that quality engineers can refer back to when errors occur, according to the company.
These capabilities will enable Manx Telecom to identify and rectify errors proactively, before they cause customer issues.
And because a large proportion of the operator’s revenue comes from businesses, including many financial services companies, the monitoring capabilities are expected to help Manx Telecom ensure that it continues to meet quality targets set out in Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
Tim Gray is a Web Editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Tim’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Tim Gray