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KTL’s royal response to technical gating

When Harry wed Meghan… for the world, it was about the guest list, the dress, the vows – for KTL it was about getting the world access to that information fast.

Less than two weeks before the 2018 royal nuptials, KTL was called in to urgently upgrade the cell site near Windsor Castle. The short-notice situation was far from the first for the Irish telecoms leader, but the high-profile nature of the project certainly makes it memorable, KTL Gating Project Consultant Andrei Dodan says.

“I was involved to gate the site rapidly to make sure that the proposed works could be implemented as requested by the client,” Dodan says.

“That involved contact with the KTL deployment team and rigging team to make sure the site was implemented to ‘allow’ the wedding since the site is located near Windsor Castle. The time pressure was obvious, but the works were successfully implemented, and our client clearly appreciated KTL’s professional, efficient and swift efforts to get the site live.”

Having managed similar time-pressure projects for the past two decades, KTL has established processes to service those extreme demands, and fellow KTL Gating Project Consultant Ionut Predescu, says experience is something that really counts when working within such stringent limits.

“Having strong knowledge about different equipment vendors is crucial - most of our clients are

utilising Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia equipment. It’s also important to be fully up to date with client-specific technical documents, and to have at least a few years of field and install experience,” he says.

Dodan emphasises that the communication – both with the client and throughout the entire team working on a project – has to be a priority.

“We generate scope documents, site material requests, site installation documentation, site design documentation, and act as a primary interface for technical issues between the project management team, field staff, and the client technical team,” he says.

“We provide technical support to internal teams and to all subcontractors involved, and also direct feedback to field staff and project management teams on quality issues. Keeping everyone in the loop is what ensures a smooth process and the best final result.”

As the telecoms industry continues to evolve at lightning pace, the need for technical gating, and the ability to do that at speed is one thing that is guaranteed. With more technology, there are inevitably more problems to resolve.

“There is a constant need for more frequencies to be implemented, securing faster speeds and providing better service quality for customers. This will naturally increase the complexity of upcoming site upgrades for operators,” Predescu says.

With all major UK operators involved in vendor swap projects, end-of-life cell sites requiring new technology at a rate of knots, and the UK Government having asked for the country's mobile operators remove all equipment from high-risk vendors such as Huawei by 2027 - technical gating is on everyone’s shopping list!

Flexibility is key, as is innovation. Every job is a movable feast, and experience has taught KTL to be prepared to come up with new solutions quickly. Detail design solutions are sometimes approved without deep-diving into them, and that can lead to plenty of issues that get revealed at gating.

“At the end of the day, we expect to face issues, they’re inevitable, and it’s just about knowing the best way to deal with them when they arise,” Predescu says.

“Remaining in constant contact with the customer, bridging the gap for site requirements, knowing the status of material released. Making sure the project follows an industry-standard code of practice, we apply our significant knowledge to deliver best practice technical solutions for customers. Everyone goes away happy.”

To find out more about KTL, contact us today.


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