How to beat the AT&T MSA using their calculations and exclusions

October 15, 2021|LB Networks

How to beat the AT&T MSA using their calculations and exclusions

OcularIP uses Tier1 Cell providers Service Level Agreements (SLAs), definitions, calculations, and exclusions terms and conditions to show your true performance and save you money. Based upon our analysis and work with dozens of carriers providing CSBH service within the mandates of AT&T’s MSA, we have seen a common set of standards for performance SLAs and credits. 

140+ carriers are leveraging OcularIP’s ability to track, retain, and enhance analytics so they can accurately and properly calculate and report PASSes (vs FAILs) and reduce credits from Tier1 cell carrier MSAs. The following is based upon AT&T, but Ocular IP effectively optimizes reporting for all Tier1 carriers including T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T Wireline. It tracks and calculates KPIs of service delivery – remaining granular to the minute for more than seven months in order to effectively optimize reporting to reflect true network performance. 

In addition, our performance specialists have worked with dozens of carriers and are available to assist in optimizing the process and reporting.

Key points to beat AT&T’s MSA:

  • AT&T will provide space and power for the Supplier NID ONLY at the Cell Site. 
  • In the event a burst size exceeds the CBS, the Ethernet frames in excess of the CBS may be discarded.
  • MTTR Measurement – Supplier will measure the average Time to Repair (“TTR”) for AT&T- reported Interruptions. If MTTR, measured at the LATA (or Serving Area) level, is greater than four (4) hours over the calendar month, then AT&T would be eligible for an SRC amounting to 50% of the CSBH Circuit (MRC) for any individual CSBH Service that does not meet a four (4) hour TTR as described above. Note this must be tracked to identify time left.
  • CSBH Circuit Availability” refers to the percentage of time during a calendar month that a CSBH Circuit is available for use by AT&T. The Supplier threshold for CSBH Circuit Availability is 99.99% per CSBH Circuit.  
  • Data Delivery Rate 99.999%. DDR must > 99.999% during service delivery periods.
  • For a month, for each of the Performance Metrics objectives that are not met, Carrier shall provide an SRC equal to 25% of the MRCs for the affected EVC, if more than one of the Performance Metrics objectives are not met in the same month, Supplier shall provide an SRC equal to 50% of the MRCs for the affected EVC. So, if a carrier FAILS availability but passes DDR the penalty is 25%; however, if you fail DDR and Availability the penalty is 50% of MRC. Note DDR FAIL is often an outcome of network issues thus almost an automatic double penalty.
  • Maintenance periods may be excluded from calculations. Note if a carrier has a 3-hour maintenance period but real downtime is only 8 minutes, the carrier should add back the 172 minutes or 10,320 seconds of uptime into the availability calculations for the month. See OcularIP unique SMART maintenance functionality.

Thus, the typical AT&T MSA requires each EVC to meet the following thresholds monthly:

Availability SLA = 99.99%   

DDR Delivery = 99.999% 

SLA Definition:

Month = 30 days * 24 hours * 60 minutes * 60 seconds = 2,592,000 seconds

DDR’s 5 9s or 99.999% = 2,591,974 seconds uptime or 26 seconds of failure/month total

Availability 4 9s or 99.99% = 2,591,740 or 260 seconds of failure per month.

OcularIP will identify situations/periods of time where DDR is failing, and the carrier should enter an “Outage” exclusion (ticket) period. This will eliminate the DDR availability penalty. 

This is possibly best illustrated through an actual use case from our clients.

Add Availability Fails to Improve DDR Pass Rate and Reduce SLA Penalties 

As unconventional as this sounds in AT&T Wireless’ MSA, both the penalty amount and the mandated Availability percentage is lower than for DDR FAILs. Through OcularIP’s carrier-grade analytics built for CSBH, ABC Carrier has the option of alleviating the DDR penalty by entering an Outage ticket in OcularIP. This Outage ticket creates an Availability FAIL and since it is characterized as an outage, it excludes DDR calculations as defined in the MSA for this period. DDR is only calculated for circuits that are operational. Thus, if DDR is greater than 99.999% for the remainder of the month, ABC Carrier will PASS the DDR mandate. 

In the ABC Carrier’s AT&T MSA, the SLA penalty for Availability FAIL is 25% and adding the penalty for DDR FAIL 5-9s is 50%. Since ABC Carrier now has only FAILED Availability (not DDR), this reduces your credit to AT&T and directly improves your bottom line. 

Secondly, it is a very real possibility that the Availability Outage (Exclusion) period will not trigger a FAIL. This is due to the AVAILABILITY SLA being 99.99%, which provides more leeway (234 seconds as noted above). An intermittent short outage and its associated exclusion may eliminate all penalties for the month!  

OcularIP carriers are leveraging this capability each month for AT&T Wireless, T-Mobile, Sprint, and more.  

Operational recommendation: Run the wireless report weekly and compare with SLA Availability % Report, which tracks circuit availability based on the threshold assigned on a circuit-by-circuit basis. This can be run automatically and emailed and/or be available in the portal on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. When leveraging changes, OcularIP tracks all events (Outage ticket) within the platform, including additions or updates to tickets as appropriate. All Wireless Reports can be run with or without Outage Exclusion periods to highlight the differences and savings.

ROI calculation:

Availability Fail = 25% of MRC + DDR FAIL Penalty = 50% of MRC

KPI Average MRC is $1,200 

$300 credit for Availability Fail vs $600 credit for DDR FAIL = savings of $300

Thus, this single feature in OcularIP pays for the whole platform if there is one issue per circuit during a 32-month period.

If this one feature eliminates both violations due to the Availability Outage being less than the SLA 99.99% or < 234 seconds, it pays for itself for 15 months. Will a cell site EVC have an issue one time in 3 years? Yes

Additional operational considerations to improve reporting performance:

  • Power – If a carrier’s technology or other systems can send a “dying gasp” or other alert identifying power issue at the customer location, OcularIP will use this information where the Carrier can create an exclusion period. OcularIP exclusion will then track as a customer (in this case AT&T) responsible outage and exclude from calculations.
  • Overbooking – In the event a burst size exceeds the CBS, the Ethernet frames in excess of the CBS may be discarded. Once again alert, identify, and exclude to optimize and report actual performance.

OcularIP tracks and calculates Circuit Availability with a unique capability providing predictive analysis for identification of circuits that may fail or have failed for a month. This allows carriers to effectively utilize their time and resources addressing circuits that can be saved.  

For more savings, learn about OcularIP’s smart maintenance features, including circuits that can be saved (or not) in this month’s report, a power dying gasp feature, retro-entered exclusions and calculations, and more.

140+ carriers are currently using OcularIP to report TRUE performance and save real money: $356 per circuit per year on average! 

See how OcularIP helps you prove and improve your service, reduce costs, and win new customers – all for a remarkable ROI and with no long-term contracts.

For more information or to start your free trial, contact us at (314) 414-1000 or