Telecommunication is serious business

Just now, I was chatting with my friend who works in a telecommunication operator. We had a little bit of chat regarding our course of work, with him working at the operator side, and me working at the vendor side. After several lines of conversations, I arrive at this definite conclusion: the telecommunication industry is a serious business. And this is not an exaggeration.

Well I’ll start small with what I’ve experienced before. During my course as a college student, there was a period when I really love to tinker with computers. In particular, I was tinkering with computer networks. At first it was simply virtual networks created using VMware, but eventually I get the chance to experiment on actual server connected to a real live network. This is when my first hand-on trouble with network begins. A bad line in the configuration file rendered a mail server unusable, causing mails to pile up, unable to get delivered. Although the problem only persists for around half a day and all I got was a little scolding from the admin, it was enough to give me a shock and keep me away from network for a while.

Now, when you’re working in a real telco business, it’s waaay heavier than just a little scolding. A simple configuration error might cause a heavy loss in traffic, and in turn a loss of revenue. And we’re not talking about simple loss of thousands of rupiah. We’re talking about a loss in term of millions, and maybe in some special case, billions. Yep, there have been cases of telecommunication networks going awry because of bad configuration, and this is really serious.

As if crashing the thing that you’re responsible for isn’t good enough, things in telco are connected with each other. Meaning, the disaster that you made will eventually propagate towards other divisions. For an extreme example, mess up a configuration in the core network, and you’re also taking down data communication, and wireless communication along with you.

This is just a simple tip for those planning to dip their toes in the field of telecommunications. It’s not as simple as calculating propagation loss. It’s about keeping a network generating tons of revenue up and going.

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