Ukraine’s lifecell acts swiftly to ensure disaster recovery
The opinions expressed within this article are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of TM Forum.
For any successful company, vision and strategy is key. Planning for the future is how companies ensure revenue growth and operational improvements. In the telecom industry, boardroom discussions span a wide variety of topics including 5G, Metaverse, Web 3.0, B2B2X and many more exciting future aspirations. Moving beyond basic connectivity is everyone’s objective.
But the present can disrupt the future
This was the case for lifecell, a leading mobile operator in Ukraine with more than 9 million subscribers. Plans to deploy 5G across the country was a top priority. But things changed very quickly in February 2022, when the war began and the immediate priority became protecting connectivity for Ukrainian citizens and for the military.
Every company has a disaster recovery (DR) plan and DR sites. Creating and/or moving DR sites usually takes time, especially given the operational complexity and enormous amount of data in telcos. But for lifecell, time wasn’t an option given that DR locations were close to the front lines. A new DR site in a safer location had to be established in weeks, not months. In only 6 weeks, at a new and safer location in Ukraine and also outside national borders, lifecell activated new DR sites including full replication of the customer database leveraging their modular and automated BSS platform.
The company relied on and collaborated with their BSS partner, which provided it with 24/7 remote support for development and testing of the DR instances of application and data, including many interesting non-standard changes, while working closely with other functions as one team. This ensured reliable and consistent connectivity services.
But unprecedented agility did not stop there. As people fled war zones and left the country, lifecell recognized how important it was to ensure continued connectivity for Ukrainians, regardless of their location. Leveraging its BSS platform, lifecell implemented critical new international roaming services to ensure families could stay connected, and onboarded new subscribers without physical engagement, all while supporting more than 60% of its staff who were forced to leave their native locations and relocate across the country and the continent.
While ensuring the safety of their employees and maintaining reliable connectivity for citizens in the country and outside the borders, lifecell also needed to ensure that illegitimate users, particularly those who might have nefarious intent, were identified and blocked. AI-driven contextual insights have enabled lifecell to implement immediate service suspension for illegitimate service users in less than 1 minute.
The future is still a focus
While lifecell was forced to delay its plans for 5G network deployments and other strategic endeavors, it has not abandoned them. Despite the current situation, lifecell continues to prepare for a successful future. At Optiva, we have no doubt that lifecell’s success will continue, and we are proud to be a lifecell partner.