As discussed in my previous blog Cloud Meets Agile, but Mind the Execution Gaps, CSPs are faced with a new reality that will require them to accelerate speed, flexibility and most importantly, agility in their IT. We’ve been fortunate enough to be part of the journey to bring this to fruition with BNET.

BNET was created to provide fibre optic network infrastructure across the Kingdom of Bahrain, launched in October 2019 as a completely new and independent wholesale broadband provider by Batelco, Bahrain’s largest telecoms operator. Bahrain’s government is making great strides to achieve its 'Economic Vision 2030' to transform Bahrain’s economy from a ‘Regional Pioneer’ to a ‘Global Contender’.​ BNET is a key contributor to achieving these ambitious objectives as the sole provider for Fiber infrastructure.

In order to support Bahrain’s objectives and also meet compliance regulations, BNET had to migrate all business-critical, historical data from Batelco into an independent IT environment within one year. However, it recognized that it needed more agility and scalability than it could get from an on-premises solution. It decided to migrate to the cloud and implement cloud-native BSS/OSS.

BNET's agile BSS/OSS journeyBNET worked tirelessly with us to roll out both OSS and BSS systems in only a matter of months which is a real achievement. The result was the delivery of an agile cloud-native BSS that leverages the highly secure, highly scalable, feature-rich cloud capabilities of AWS. This really is a compelling example for operators everywhere that want to modernize their operations and transform their businesses in rapid time. But let’s start at the beginning when BNET realized that they would need the support of a BSS provider to achieve their ambitious goals.  

Embarking on the agile journey

BNET’s goal was to provide next generation wholesale fiber broadband connectivity to all licensed telecom operators and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Bahrain – including Batelco itself. Its network is a key part of Bahrain’s fourth National Telecommunications Plan (NTP4) to grow and diversify Bahrain’s telecoms sector. The plan includes rolling out fiber broadband connectivity to 100% of businesses and 95% of households across Bahrain. NTP4 aims to provide internet access speeds of at least 100Mbps for up to 95% of homes and 1Gbps for all government and business entities. To achieve this, BNET invested in a cloud strategy from day 1, in fact being digitally enabled is part of its DNA.

Beyond Now powering BNET’s rapid launch as Bahrain’s new wholesale broadband provider

Implementing AWS-enabled BSS and OSS platforms for improved flexibility

Separating the BSS and OSS systems from Batelco was essential to give BNET the independence required to manage operational processes and procedures. We implemented our cloud-native Infonova BSS solution on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and worked with network inventory specialists CROSS Network Intelligence (CNI) to provide an end-to-end BSS/OSS solution. Acting as an independent entity with its own customer services and operations process management, BNET can now reinforce its primary responsibility for the Kingdom’s national broadband network operations, whilst also accommodating future growth. The solution not only enables BNET to quickly launch new revenue-generating offerings but also provides them with multi-tenancy and ecosystem orchestration capabilities including the ability for reselling hosted BSS capabilities to other service providers in the country

Lessons learned on both sides

In order to successfully deliver the implementation, a highly talented team onboard was essential to ensure a level of proficiency to deliver value quickly and efficiently. The rapid delivery of this project was thanks to a blueprint clearly defining the architecture of the digital solution, the adoption of the best digital native telecom industry standards, selecting the right partner, ensuring management buy in, and last but certainly not least, having the right leadership in place committed to deliver such a large-scale project in a short space of time.

We can see that by taking advantage of a new partner ecosystem play, BNET and its partners can now capitalize on new technologies and experiment with new business models and vertical solutions. Our technology is making the launch of new products and features at speed very straightforward, along with revising and adapting products to react to rapidly evolving customer demands. As a result, BNET is now in a strong position to boost Bahrain’s digital future, with a flexible, agile solution that can scale with the business.

In 2021, we successfully completed Phase 2 of the project which will mean that we have successfully migrated the final licensed operator Batelco to BNET, a contributing factor to our project being nominated as a finalist in the BSS/OSS transformation excellence category at the Glotel Awards 2021. And, as of today, all licensed operators in Bahrain operate with the support of BNET’s new BSS/OSS stack which is powered by Infonova BSS and CROSS NI.

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