Enterprise-Wide Development in Brazil
The Brazilian telecommunications market is in the throes of major change. Currently, 13 million subscriber lines are supplied to a nation of 150 million people over an area of 8.5 million square kilometers. Demand for services, however, is accelerating dramatically, partly fueled by Brazil`s emergence as one of the most exciting markets in the world today. More than a million lines per year are being added, but commercial, industrial and residential demand for new subscriber terminals and services is far outstripping supply. The government-owned telecommunications organization, Telebras, is facing the challenge squarely. It has embarked upon one of the most sophisticated and far-reaching projects undertaken by any PTT (postal, telephone, telegraph) in the world.
Telebras is the holding company for 28 regional operations plus one long distance company. Its research and development arm, CPqD, is developing a range of architecture and software products aimed at streamlining the entire process of planning, engineering, operating and maintaining telecommunications networks and services. Key among these is SAGRE–an advanced software suite for managing the expansion, modernization and operation of outside plant. (SAGRE is a Portuguese acronym for automated system for management of outside plant.)
In 1989, when Telebras originally specified what it needed in an outside plant management system, delegations investigated solutions in several countries. None met the standard it had set itself. It therefore decided in 1991 to develop its own, based upon a spatial data management (SDM) system from SHL VISION.
As the common element between all SAGRE implementations, the chosen SDM had to be based on a commercial RDBMS and satisfy all open system requirements. Outside plant elements, such as landbase, aerial, ducts and underground plant are identified in the menu or selected graphically. When an object is selected, allowable options are displayed including access to related schematics. This approach carries a key additional advantage. In the future, CPqD will be able to extend the model to support, if necessary, potential extensions to its business such as cable TV and cellular telecommunications.