He had it made until he shot off his mouth.

Early in my Telecoms career, there was occasionally lots of overtime. I worked in a dial-for-dial cutover crew turning up new 1AESS switches in the PSTN and there were times when you could pick up some extra money by working more.

Union rules required time and a half pay and even double time pay for starting a shift early, staying late, or working weekends. Like most systems of rules, there were ways to game it.

Apparently, one employee had worked out a long-term deal which gave him a steady extra income. He bragged about how much he was making to one of his coworkers. Another employee overheard him, and complained to the union.

The union intervened because the overtime wasn’t being offered according to Seniority rules. So the overtime stopped cold.

The First level supervisor in my group just shook his head and said “9 times out of 10 craft cause their own problems by opening their big mouth. When you’ve got a good thing going, shut up.”

Have you ever blown a sweetheart deal by talking about it?

👉 If you like this, follow me on LinkedIn, Russell Lundberg, for more updates, insights, tips, tricks, and tactics to love a career in Telecoms.

Are you responding to Latency slowly?

Reduced latency is one of the key benefits often cited for 5G. Improved latency allows for new apps, new use cases, new revenue streams.

But I have so many questions. For 5G latency to be clearly better, we have to know what it’s better than.

Do you know the typical latency in your network now? What are the important latency metrics to monitor? Are you currently tracking 4G latency? 3G?

Do you aggregate latency test results by technology or spectrum? Does carrier aggregation need to be disabled to get meaningful results?

Do you produce an “average latency” figure for the network? Is there a latency dashboard of performance, bottom sites, trends?

Is latency improvement included in your RAN team’s yearly Goals & Objectives? Do you have a latency SLA? Do you report latency in BOD meetings?

How do you collect latency data? Some speed testing apps include latency measures. But those are manual tests. Is there an automated way to test, one which doesn’t add to your tech team’s Site Visit Checklist?

Does your vendor-provided OSS report useful latency data? Are there 3rd-party packages for determining end-to-end latency? Which do you like?

What suggestions do you have about network latency?

👉 If you like this, follow me on LinkedIn Russell Lundberg for more updates, insights, tips, tricks, and tactics to love a career in Telecoms.

2G Network Decommissioning, Ready?

The idea of 2G Network decommissioning is hot right now.  Many operators still operate 2G networks.  They’re wondering when is the right time to turn it off.  I want to use this article to share my experience.  I did a 2G Network Decommissioning analysis for an operator awhile back.  It is a complex topic, with a many moving parts.  This might easily be made into a continuing series of articles. 

Zahid Ghadialy from the 3G4G Blog got me thinking about this with his article 2G / 3G Switch Off: A Tale of Two Worlds.  His write-up focused on differences caused by market demographics.  In this article, I’ve confronted that issue indirectly, through the impact on Churn a forced migration can have.  The magnitude of the impact will be different in every market. Continue reading “2G Network Decommissioning, Ready?”

Cool is an Expensive Word for Engineers

Not long ago I made a video about Excel-based reporting. You can read it or just watch the video. The best part, the sexy “Only 3-steps required to update the dashboard”, starts at 5:00, and the updated report is shown at 06:15.  This is a data-rich, comprehensive report, I call it a Dashboard, and once the whole scope is understood, I feel no hesitation to call it cool!how-cool-is-that

Cool is an expensive word for Engineers. A thing must be quite special for an Engineer to call it cool. Automated Excel reporting is one of them. It was many years ago when I began to appreciate the power of Excel for Telecoms. The first time I used Microsoft Excel was on a Mac in 1989. My first computing experiences had been using UNIX Computers, and once I had even been forced to use a Compaq luggable running CP/M. But I had never before used a Mac. Continue reading “Cool is an Expensive Word for Engineers”