A Polish company named Comarch is helping many forward-thinking European operators such as Telefónica, Vodafone, Orange, and Deutsche Telekom as they transform their networks. And now Comarch has won a large deal with LG U+ in South Korea as it builds out its 5G mobile network.
Among its five business units, Comarch does operations support systems (OSS) and business support systems (BSS) for telcos. The 25-year-old company employs about 5,800 people in total, and about 1,200 of those employees work in its telco group. In that business unit, the company competes against vendors such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Netcracker, Amdocs, and IBM.
Comarch recently won a contract to completely revamp LG U+’s network resource and service management in preparation for the operator’s 5G rollout. LG U+ will transition from its old OSS system that in built internally.
“This is a huge program,” said Michal Medrala, Comarch’s head of OSS consulting and product management. “They were developing their own application for years, in house. But they’ve decided to replace their complete OSS stack. The focus will be on 5G because they are now deploying it.”
The Comarch system will also serve 3G, 4G, and fixed network domains of LG U+. And it will provide the tools to support network virtualization and network monitoring.
When Comarch CEO Janusz Filipiak founded the company in 1993, it began working for Poland’s national telecom. The company was poised to jump into the wireless phenomenon that began around 1996, winning OSS and BSS contracts with many European operators.
It has a long history working with TM Forum standardization frameworks, which it still relies on heavily to approach orchestration, fulfillment, and resource management. Medrala said Comarch deploys its core OSS repository functions on TM Forum’s frameworks and SID catalog-driven modeling. “They have well-defined APIs we are using,” he said. “We are also participating in some of their Catalysts.”
In addition, Comarch works with ETSI’s NFV standards. And it incorporates open source software such as OpenFlow and OpenDaylight when appropriate. Medrala said, “We are following what our customers are requiring. We are engineering focused.”
He said Comarch’s customers have found that the SDN controllers they have purchased from vendors have limited capabilities to connect with their existing OSS and BSS systems. “Once they see the use cases, they come to us and are adopting our software,” Medrala said. “They thought those controllers could take over the job of OSS. But they are supporting only limited use cases. They need to make it all work for OSS and BSS. We support business processes.”
For instance, with Telefónica, Comarch is working on a transmission optimization project for some of its operations in Latin America. It’s setting up modern automation systems for inventory management, configuration, and planning. Comarch’s technology will interoperate with Telefónica’s Unica network virtualization platform moving forward.