Modeling costs to ensure reslient communications services

We worked with Telecom to develop financial models to determine commercial rental charges and to help ensure performance levels are met.

Buildings in the telecommunications industry have very specific needs – WSP Opus helped Telecom to model costs to ensure resilient communications services. This project for Telecom included developing financial models to determine a commercial rental charge that reflects the actual lifecycle cost of providing space, power and cooling in Telecom’s telephone exchange buildings.

In order to provide highly reliable 24/7 communications services, telecommunications buildings are complex industrial facilities with a combination of features to ensure that the operating conditions of sensitive network equipment are maintained to tight limits. This differentiates these buildings from most other commercial or industrial buildings.

The project involved developing representative technical models of Telecom’s key exchanges that achieve the performance levels required, and determining the optimised replacement cost of these models.

Depreciation was factored in along with required return on investment, maintenance, energy and operating costs to determine the real cost of providing space, power and cooling in telecommunications buildings. The project also drew upon a separate ‘Total Cost of Ownership’ project that WSP Opus had recently completed for Telecom, where we determined the relationships between installed telecommunications network equipment and energy and maintenance costs. 

Our work on this project focused on:

  • Strengthening building structures to support the weight of some equipment and infrastructure
  • Cable ways and frames for copper and fibre cables
  • Seismic frames and cable trays for equipment racks
  • Explosion proof and fire resistant switchboards
  • Engine alternators
  • DC power systems
  • Batteries
  • Industrial cooling plant
  • High availability AC and DC electrical distribution systems 
  • Fire protection systems including VESDA

These systems are designed with redundant capacity to ensure that reliability can be
maintained even if supporting infrastructure fails. The design of this infrastructure is complex and all construction work has to be carried out without disrupting operating communications services – the costs of providing this infrastructure are high and unique to telecommunications companies such as Telecom.

Space to accommodate equipment and engineering services to support the equipment have traditionally been provided to the various parts of Telecom on a project and needs basis. The changing environment in the telecommunications industry calls for accurate information on what the real costs are.