As one of the largest capital line items in every operator’s budget, Network Capital Expense continues to drive large numbers every year. Re-purposing fixed line and backhaul assets, moving to complete IP backbones, migrations to newer technologies (e.g., LTE), and demanding more throughput from the same asset footprint have all contributed to consistent pressure on capital, regardless of previous years’ growths and efforts.
Each year, network capital planning and budgeting have repeatedly been baselined on factors that include:
- Growth planning and projections
- Network maintenance and replacements
- Decommissioning and retirement
- Previous year expenditures
Each of these factors contributes valuable intelligence that help planning activities determine and set budget levels, but critical gaps are also created in the process that strand capital indefinitely. Gaining visibility into the available capital assets, and acting on that knowledge are the primary keys to actually preserving capital, creating peak utilization efficiency, and generating the highest level of free cash flow in the business. But what aren’t operators doing today?
The ability to understand what capital is stranded in your network is based on visibility. ERP systems consistently lack views into deployed assets; similarly, inventory platforms have a good (yet almost always incomplete) view into what is deployed. What isn’t known are factors around capacity and utilization rates, lost or vacant assets, or status of all “tagged” assets. This, coupled with a clearly orchestrated and managed retirement and resale process, positions the operator to not only “connect” data from ERP and Network sources, but to also act on that data in a way that is poised to saved the average operator tens of millions of dollars in capital expense and increase free cash, all in the first year of such a program.
Without the ability to act, no realization of optimization and savings should be expected from any program – this is the difference between mere reporting visibility, and a program to drive the data through a lifecycle that culminates in tremendous operators gains. This is a unique set of capabilities for any operator, and it forms a program Subex calls ROC Asset Assurance.