Legacy technology – you can’t escape it. Just when we thought next-gen communications had taken over, the Royal Birth proved us all wrong. It’s hard to believe that the world first received the news of Britian’s newest heir via a proclamation pinned to an easel outside of the Palace. From there, technology had its say and the announcement was tweeted, snapped and posted across the globe. But “modern tech” took second place.
In the realm of technology, there is no respect for tradition. The term “legacy” is sneered at for being synonymous with outdated, replaceable, or just plain sad. However, most of this characterization comes more from the so called “tech experts” than service providers themselves. Companies have spent millions of dollars and engineering-hours building solid communications networks out of the best available technology. They know legacy systems work because those systems are time-tested.
Today, as most operators are feverously adding new LTE and VoIP technologies into the mix, they are also finding ways to utilize their oldest assets. For some, this means more cost-effective network management as they send slower traffic, say for certain Machine-to-Machine applications, to the older parts of the network thereby optimizing systems to handle lightning-fast mobile communications. Others are sharing networks and core technology with other operators to more profitably deliver service worldwide. Correctly mixing “old and new” can even improve voice call quality and reduce backhaul issues.
Of course, getting next-gen and old school systems to work together can be challenging and hiccups can happen in even the most stable network – royal or otherwise. Luckily, few noticed that Britain’s “evolving communications network” experienced a poorly timed “handover” issue – a press release went out before the signed bulletin left the hospital. In all the excitement and glad tidings, that glitch was disregarded.
Does your company mix legacy and “new” tech? How do your experiences compare? Let me know in the comments below.
Read this paper for more information about Understanding Customer Experience in LTE Deployments.