OTA2 Update for May 2009

At the end of May, the number of unbundled lines now stands at 5.90 million. There are 5.87 million WLR lines and the number of telephone numbers using CPS is 3.97 million.

Systems Developments - Prioritisation Review

Openreach presented their final Roadmap proposal to all CPs via an industry wide conference call on Wednesday, 13th May 2009. This proposal has now been submitted to Ofcom and is a key component of the wider consultation process regarding the TSR Undertakings Review.

Ofcom’s consultation document has now been published (29th May). The conclusion of this consultation process is planned for the end of August.

In the meantime, since the initial roadmap developments are scheduled for delivery in the new EMP release in November 2009 (Release 1200), Openreach have decided to commit the necessary development resources, at its own risk prior to the outcome of Ofcom’s consultation process, based on the fact that the development prioritisation is in line with the things their customers have asked for.

Change Control - As Openreach seeks to implement a rigorous C2M (Concept to Market) model, the Change Control process for the Roadmap commitments will follow the same mechanism as internal changes to ensure consistency within the Openreach business

However, any changes relating to the Roadmap commitments will not be subject to prioritisation against the business as usual activity and will be treated as a very high priority self contained group of items.

The criteria used to make any change decisions will be defined as follows;

  • Solution can be delivered in the timeframe that meets customer requirements
  • Complexity and cost expectations are materially met
  • Acceptable commercial parameters agreed for new product developments/enhancements (volume/price is sustainable in the market)
  • Commitment to consume within two releases – Industry
  • Still industry priority

Minimum Security Standards

In a previous update we reported on an initiative regarding the improvement of security processes within the UK’s telecoms infrastructure. Telecoms networks form a vital part of the national infrastructure and their importance is growing as they are increasingly relied upon by other networks, consumers, businesses and Government for their ongoing function. There is an assumption that each network operator should be free to offer services with whatever level of security and resilience they feel is appropriate. However, in the case where different operators make use of shared network elements and facilities, such as is the case in LLU-based competition, there are other factors to consider. It may be the case that the action, or inaction, of an operator offering low levels of service security and/or resilience may seriously undermine the ability of sharing operators to offer higher levels.

A “minimum standard” for security, developed by NICC was published as a baseline but set at a level which seeks to ensure that the associated costs do not become disproportionately high and that competition between operators is not affected. A Code of Practice has been agreed amongst LLUOs which commits these operators to implementing and maintaining the minimum security standard. This standard was distributed to LLUOs during April and the majority have now been signed and returned to the OTA2. The remaining LLUOs have not indicated any objection to signing the code in the near future but are simply completing assessments of the work involved to comply. We will now commence work on implementation planning with the LLUOs and will develop an agreed form of certification testing. Work has also commenced on widening the range of signatories amongst other CPs.

Displaced Mobile Emergency Calls

As previously reported the OTA2 are engaged in managing this project.

In analysing the end to end process of getting an emergency mobile call to the correct emergency authority (EA) we have identified the role played by the call handling agents (CHA) as being critical especially when the call is from a caller not registered to the network. These calls are described as Limited Service State (LSS) where they enable the calls to be made but have none of the CLI and location information associated with a home network emergency call. Due to the limited amount of information available, it is most important that the CHA hands the call over to the EA with a clear indication that the call is LSS and that the EA needs to handle it appropriately.

The functionality changes required to alert the Call Handling Agents that the call is Limited Service State (LSS) have been identified and scheduled to be delivered in July/August. Once firm delivery timescales are determined the actual date for commencement of the trial can be agreed.

The determination of a suitable trial area has been very complicated. All of the networks have different topologies and employ different switching structures – some map Mobile Switching Centres (MSC) to a specific geography and some use a pooling of MSCs to cover a large area. After much discussion the trial area has been agreed to be focused on Bristol with the Networks which employ MSC pooling enabling their MSC pools which cover the South West.

56 Points of Aggregation for Ethernet Services

OTA2 facilitated a workshop with the Ethernet community to review the requirements set out in the Business Connectivity Market Review (BCMR) for BT (Openreach) to provide 56 points of aggregation to cover the whole of the country. These Trunk Aggregation Nodes enable CPs to build a point of presence at a specific location and serve the surrounding area by getting Openreach to deliver their services to that location. The CP can then either provide their own network or employ a trunk network provider to deliver the service wherever it is required.

The meeting was well attended by the CPs and Ofcom. The main areas discussed were, sites missing from the Openreach plans, lack of space at key Openreach Handover Points (OHP’s) & timescales for implementation. Notes and actions from the workshop have been circulated and we will be developing an action plan to progress this important BCMR obligation.

WLR & LLU Process Fora

These two fora provide an excellent opportunity for CPs to collaborate directly with Openreach process design experts in validating the solutions proposed for new functionality in upcoming releases before they progress to the ‘development’ stage. Additionally, for new requirements, these groups will develop the initial ‘User Journey Stories’ which Openreach designers need before they can progress their solution designs.

The work of these groups will be important in ensuring successful delivery of the 18 month roadmap mentioned earlier and essential in ensuring that the right things are developed in the correct priority. CPs are urged to make their attendance at this important forum a high priority.

Service Levels

Our KPI charts show current performance levels

  • Staircase Improvement Targets for 09/10 – Openreach will be presenting the proposed service level targets for 09/10 at next OTA2 Executive meeting

OTA2 will continue to focus on:

  • 18 month Development Roadmap - implementation & change control
  • EMP consumption issues
  • Documentation issues
  • Data Integrity issues
  • WLR/LLU Process development
  • WLR3 Roadmap to achieve WLR2 parity
  • Best practice migrations processes & CP compliance
  • Service levels (LLU/WLR/Ethernet)
  • NGA
  • Minimum Security Standards
  • Displaced Mobile Emergency Calls
  • 56 Points of Aggregation



Rod Smith