Buy Telecom Equipment or Customize? What is the best option according to your needs

Standard telecom passive products that exist on the market can be used in every telecommunications network, especially at the beginning of its construction. However, the best options available on the market for construction may cost a higher price than expected, and those that cost less are usually unreliable. The best option should be the one that can guarantee an optimized CAPEX or a long term controlled OPEX.

The buying process of passive equipment for a new network

The initial investment in the construction of a FTTH telecom network needs huge financing from the telecom operator’s side. The chosen passive equipment is usually determined by a solution vendor's complete portfolio since these vendors usually take care of the project in all stages of the construction until the project is delivered.

By opting for a vendor’s solution, the telecom operator is not choosing a specific product solution but a complete range of products from the vendor. The problem here is that the telecom operator is choosing to buy telecom equipment that is provided in a turnkey solution format. This enables a quicker construction of the network but leaves aside the quality and flexibility of the equipment.

The problem of turnkey solutions

When problems urge in the network, they are usually related to complications with the passive equipment. Here starts the challenge: to find and buy telecom products that will solve the problem. However, the lack of knowledge may lead telecom operators to choose the wrong products, that may be expensive and ineffective, or cheaper bringing more problems to the network.

The wiser choice is to find an experienced partner that has the capacity to have a 360 view of the problem, offering a solution that will solve today and future problems of the network. Here is where telecom product customization can be a great ally since bigger companies usually take too much time to offer a solution or may not even have it.

What are the main reasons that lead to product customization?

As said before, bigger companies can offer A to Z solutions and can take care of all the construction process, but when problems urge with their turnkey solutions, these companies may be ineffective with problem solving.

Below are the main reasons that lead telecom operators to choose customization over buying catalog products.

Lack of solutions in the market

This happens when all the research for materials at the various product suppliers has been exhausted. The telecom operator realizes that the solution needed doesn’t exist and starts looking for new solutions, where product customization ends up being the best choice.

Another reason is when products become more expensive on the market, and they want to reduce the OPEX. The products that the telecom operators have in the network increased in price, and they are forced to look for alternatives in the market.

Technical problems from the field technician or the telecom operator

There are several technical problems, but these are the most common ones, depending on the product:

- Small footprint. More and more operators are looking for smaller product solutions, like outdoor termination boxes with compact dimensions;

- High fiber capacity;

- Aesthetically framed with the environment, in order to make the installations more harmonious with the environment in which they are involved;

- Better fiber management, with the goal of mitigating future problems and avoiding the well-known “fiber spaghetti”;

- Easy to work, to make it accessible for other people to handle and understand when they have to work with the product;

- To be scalable/ future proof, where upgrades can easily be made.

Reduce the CAPEX

The initial investment in networks is very expensive, with operators usually choosing to buy telecom equipment, from a vendor with an A to Z range of products, in turnkey format.

To reduce the CAPEX, product customization turns out to be a good solution, since the product is developed to achieve its maximum capacity and efficiency. This prevents the network from future problems, maximizing the network so it won’t be limited to the existing product.

Reduce the OPEX

Price/Quality is the key! The success of the tailor-made project must take into consideration the target price that the client is willing to pay.

Sometimes it’s a big challenge to find this balance because clients have budget limitations due to the OPEX, but product customization can help with that.

Delivery Times

The big manufacturers used to have a large part of their production in Asia, but with the change in raw materials and increasing cost of transportation, delivery times are getting longer.

Smaller companies like Yelco, are quicker and more agile in dealing with deadlines.

Buy telecom equipment or customize?

In the telecom industry, more specifically in the product manufacturing market, you can find two types of companies:

- Big manufacturing companies that offer wide ranges of products from A to Z.

- Manufacturing companies that develop products according to a client’s network challenge.

Due to the necessity of having the project finished quickly when starting a new project, telecom operators usually opt for the big manufacturing companies that have more flexibility and complete solutions. At this phase, this turns out to be the best option.

When the problems with the network start or when operators decide that it’s time to upgrade the network, is when product customization may be the best solution, since it will offer a customized product, completely optimized according to the telecom operator’s needs and future-proofed.

Although some of the bigger manufacturers may offer the product customization service, they have more difficulties in delivering a customized product in less time, than smaller companies that are completely focused on developing tailor-made solutions.

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