Marcus Müller is the owner of German fiber optic network planning & design firm fiberstrategy. Mr. Müller has been active in the industry for many years. “After working at several telecom operators and suppliers, I started my own company in 2011, where I focus on designing FTTH and FTTP networks. My customers are German municipalities, telecom operators, utility companies, and engineering firms. I mainly do the network planning and design, which I send to customers together with the bill of materials.”
“In my first year, I drew designs in Microsoft Visio. I measured every line and added every number manually in the tool. If my client would have asked for changes, I often needed to redesign everything. With this technique I was able to handle projects of 1000 to 1500 demand points at the most.”
“75 percent of my projects would not have been possible without this software.”
How does an algorithm know?
“I got to know Comsof during the 2012 Buglas conference in Bonn. The timing was perfect, as a customer asked me to create designs for about 1500 demand points. This reached the limits of my established planning procedure. However at that time, I had some reservations: how was an algorithm able to understand networks, its restrictions, different materials?”
“I discussed with the Comsof engineers, and soon I realized this company knows what it is doing. After the conference I tested the software, and started working with Comsof Fiber soon after.”
New business opportunities
“The software opened up many new business opportunities. I can handle larger and more complex projects. For instance, when a new set of rules needs to be implemented, it is just a matter of doing a new calculation, no matter the size of the project. Starting over is a thing of the past.”
“It is also designed as a plugin for QGIS. This is another important asset as many of my customers prefer to use GIS-platforms. In addition, working with shapefiles simplifies the import and export of information due to its character of being a well-known format for exchanging GIS-data.”
“There are other alternatives to Comsof Fiber out there. I looked at some of them in the past years. In my experience they are more complex. With Comsof Fiber I get what the software does ‘behind the scenes’, why it made a certain decision. It is because all calculations are tracked and saved in shapefiles.”
“With Comsof Fiber I understand what the software does ‘behind the scenes’.”
Features that make the difference
“One of my favourite capabilities is a feature which creates an extra layer on top of the drop points. This layer provides attributes such as the duct-bundle numbers and the number of the microduct branched to the building. This visualization makes it easy for the customer to see which microduct of which duct-bundle every individual point needs to be connected to.”
“I can also include existing ducts into the designs. When I started in 2011, many of my clients did not need to integrate existing equipment into their networks. However the last 8 years, it was mandatory in Germany to include spare ducts when trenching was done. Nowadays around 50 percent of the country has spare duct capacity and existing microducts in the ground, which are used to reduce deployment costs.”
“Lastly, the Comsof team does great work. It takes maximum 1,5 days for a ticket to be answered. The support team digs into the issue to find a working solution.”
“All things considered, 75 percent of my projects would not have been possible without this software”, concludes Mr. Müller.