THE OMNITELE WAY

PROFILE

What we do

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Our Mission

We provide consulting and expert services for telecom operators and regulators in network strategy, design and quality assurance. Our mission is to maximise mobile subscriber quality of experience and minimise operator network expenditures.

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Omnitele Experience

The company was founded in 1988 to set up world’s first GSM network. Since then we have completed over 1000 projects in over 80 countries around the globe. Always delivering Omnitele Experience – a fact proven by our long lasting client relationships.

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International and Independent

Our headquarters is located in Helsinki, Finland and we have local presence in the Netherlands. Our company is owned by Finnish telecom investors and we are independent of operator groups and network vendors.

VALUES

The Omnitele Way

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Our unique way of working sets us apart from the competition and gives us a strong identity in the world of telecommunications. We call this the Omnitele Way, which means being Straightforward, Trusted and Intelligent.

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Straightforward

Omnitele is an international company, but it is the Finnish traits Sisu and Ryhti defining the Omnitele Way. These words can be translated as being determined and honest in communication. We are solution oriented and practicality is central to us.

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Trusted

We build long-lasting relationships by listening our customers’ needs and keeping our promises. Omnitele consultants are trusted by both clients and colleagues. We work transparently and deliver objective and independent analysis.

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Intelligent

We hire skilful people and take care of their competence development. Our consultants are encouraged to explore and innovate. Working in multi-disciplinary teams secures optimum project delivery and maximum professional growth of our consultants.

LEADERSHIP

Management and Board

MANAGEMENT TEAM

Ville Laakso – Chief Executive Officer

Ville Laakso has been a member of Omnitele management team since December 2008 and CEO since January 2017. Prior to the position of CEO, Ville has been heading the service and business development, delivery, and various business units at Omnitele. He has also a vast experience working as a Principal Consultant in international Omnitele assignments. Before joining Omnitele in January 2006 he worked in various leading expert roles with the Finnish mobile operator TeliaSonera. Ville has a M.Sc. in Communications engineering, and B.Sc in Electrical engineering, and has been working in the mobile telecommunications industry since 1998.

Karri Virkajärvi – VP, Head of Consulting

Karri Virkajärvi holds a M.Sc. Business Strategy and International Business degree 1997 from Helsinki University of Technology. He has been employed at Omnitele since 1997, working in between Yomi Fusion as the Head of Consulting and at Siemens AG in Munich as a Development Manager Strategy. Karri has extensive consulting experience from over 100 projects with international clientele. The projects range form strategy formulation to techno-economic feasibility analysis and from business planning to process analysis and improvement. Karri is currently responsible for Omnitele consulting projects.

Rauno Huoviala – Director, Head of Service and Product Development

Rauno Huoviala has joined Omnitele in 2008, and before that he worked for TeliaSonera group in mobile technology R&D and in program lead for mobile network strategy. In Omnitele Rauno has been managing Network Development and Service & Business Development teams, being responsible for the increased value of services to Omnitele customer companies. As a Principal Consultant Rauno has been strongly involved also in customer projects, especially in transformation initiatives to increase the value of operator Data Analytics and BigData solutions. Rauno holds M.Sc. in Industrial Engineering and Management.

Emmi Kavén – Finance Manager

Emmi Kavén has joined Omnitele in September 2017. She holds M.Sc in Economics. Emmi has vast experience in finance and controlling area in different business environments. She has been working as auditor in Ernst & Young Oy for two years and four years in Oy Tuokko Ltd. She was approved as authorised auditor in 2015 . Emmi has experience working with domestic and international groups.

HISTORY

From Visions to Victories

Omnitele has been at the heart of telecommunications development for 25 years. The industry has changed tremendously during this period, and we have been involved in all the major advancements from the start. When the world’s first GSM network appeared in 1988, it was Omnitele who designed it and managed its construction. Ten years later, we created the application which won the world’s first 3G license, and designed the resulting network. Today, we are industry leaders for advice on LTE-A upgrade business cases, LTE-A network design and network upgrade roll-outs.

Jaakko Riihimäki, our first CEO, preparing for a business trip in Ruoholahti.

1988 – A New Vision Is Born

Omnitele was founded in March 1988 with an aim to develop new telecommunication networks and services, while also offering consultancy services to telecom operators in Finland. Jaakko Riihimäki, our visionary founding CEO, was hugely influential in the development of the company. His approach to Omnitele was like that of a father to a child, nurturing the company through its early years, and it was under his guidance that the company would begin to develop an international presence.

Harri Holkeri, the prime minister of Finland, making world’s first GSM call, 1.7.1991

1991 – Making The World’s First GSM Phone Call

In 1988, Omnitele was contracted to design and to manage the construction of world’s first GSM network for Radiolinja in Finland. This was one of the first projects in Omnitele’s history and the one that truly put us on the map. This led to the world’s first successful GSM phone call by the former Finnish Prime Minister, Harri Holkeri in Helsinki, 1 July 1991.

Almost the whole Omnitele staff was anxiously following the event in Helsinki’s Esplanadi Park. There was also some additional electricity in the air as Omnitele consultants knew that only about 20% of the trial calls were successful. This time the Lady Fortune was on our side and everything went smoothly.

Risto Nissinen and Jaakko Riihimäki in Vilnius, October 1992

1992 – Branching Out Overseas

During the mid-nineties, the liberalisation of the telecommunications sector saw Omnitele go from strength to strength in the international market. The local Finnish telecoms operators who ran the company recognised the importance of gaining international experience to support their business in Finland. They also saw the benefits in offering Omnitele’s expertise to operators abroad. These busy years of growth transformed Omnitele from a Finnish engineering company into a trusted advisor to mobile operators worldwide.

Markku Virtanen and Nokia GSM 1011 phone, 1992

In the early 90’s, the concept of remote work was something completely new but CEO Riihimäki was open-minded and wanted to try it out. Consultant Markku Virtanen became Omnitele’s first remote worker since he moved to Salo in 1990. Markku worked two days of the week in the premises of Salo’s local telephone company. At that time the communications were arranged with mobile phones and faxes.

 

Martti Vaittinen, Asta Saarimäki, Esa Vesterinen and Olli Knuuttila at customer negotiations in Pakistan, 1999

1998 – Trusted Partner For Operators Worldwide

By Omnitele’s tenth anniversary the company was firmly established as an international consulting company. Many of the international clients who teamed up with Omnitele in this period of growth are still working closely with us today. For example, Jersey Telecom was one of our earliest international clients whom we first worked with in 1994, and have continued to trust our expertise ever since. In 1998, Omnitele once again served as pioneers in the industry, creating an application that won the world’s first 3G license and designing the resulting network.

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2000 – New Network, New Business

By the millennium, Omnitele was already an acknowledged consultancy in radio network development. We had been strongly involved in setting up the world’s first GSM network for Radiolinja and conducted a number of other projects around the world.

In the end of 1999, the mobile operator Suomen 2G contracted Omnitele to design a completely new GSM network in Finland – the one that was soon to be known as DNA Finland. The partnership proved lucrative for both companies and later on DNA continued to outsource the design and optimisation work of 3G and 4G networks to Omnitele as well.

Since millennium, DNA has grown from a green fielder into a sizeable enterprise with over 2.5M mobile subscribers and over 20% marketshare. Not to forget the digital TV broadcasting business operated with the DVB-T2 network also designed by Omnitele.

Teleforum meeting participants in Banja Luka 2003, Omnitele CEO Timo Mustonen 5th from right

When the telecommunications markets were widely privatised and opened for free markets in the end of 90’s, the smaller European operators felt pressure from the bigger players and groups. In September 2000 Maltacom made an initiative to mitigate the new challenges and set up an executive summit to explore collaboration possibilities with others in similar market position: incumbent mobile operators in countries with less than 2M inhabitants.

The summit proved successful and the Teleforum co-operation forum was established to facilitate similar meetings annually. Omnitele joined the Teleforum in 2002 to facilitate competence transfer and to gain understanding of the typical challenges in small operators’ business environment. Since then, the collaboration has resulted in long-lasting client relationships and many successful projects with all Teleforum members.

 

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2004 – T.I.A. “This is Africa”

Unitel, the leading mobile operator in Angola, was established in 2001. Already at those times, the economic development in the country was fast and the demand for mobile services was sky-rocketing. In 2004 Omnitele’s fax machine in Ruoholahti office printed out a letter from Unitel stating that an in-depth radio and core network audit was urgently needed.

The timeline was challenging and at the time we didn’t have any experience from the country. The project was however kicked off rapidly in the lead of Sr. Consultant Päivi Haapala, who fearlessly took on the challenge and collected a team of experts to do our first project in Angola. The audit project was soon followed by number of other projects during 2004-2006.

Päivi Haapala sharing views and opinions with Unitel’s José Mavungo, 2007

In 2006 consultants Ms. Päivi Haapala and Mr. Ville Sutka moved in Angola to work as expats for over two years and delivered a project titled “Network Expansion Support”. The assignment was to follow-up the network rollout, manage equipment supplier activities and design Unitel’s GPRS packet core network. The business relationship has been continuing actively ever since those days.

“It has been truly exciting to follow the Unitel success story. When we delivered our first project in Angola, I recall that Unitel had some 50 000 subscribers. Since then the business has grown with enormous speed to a customer base of 9 million active subscribers. Such a rapid development cannot be seen often and I am sure Unitel people are proud of their accomplishments.” -Päivi Haapala

 

Sr. Consultants Seppo Lohikko and Olli Knuuttila hosting Network Development Workshop for Unitel

Today it is over a decade since our first project with Unitel. These ten years have taught us a lot about doing business with African mobile operators and regulators. We have build a solid reputation in the continent and conducted projects in numerous exotic countries such as Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Rwanda and Zimbabwe.

 

Sr. Consultant Juha Nuotio measuring mobile network performance in the island of Sark. Driving cars is forbidden in the island, hence the tractor. Customer’s RAN expert follows with bicycle, 2006

2006 – Mobile Data Revolution

The global success story of mobile data was slow-started with 3G UMTS a couple of years after the millennium. Our first touches with the technology took place already before that, practically 5 years before any commercial 3G network launches.

When the true mobile data revolution then started with HSDPA (Highs Speed Downlink Packet Access) we were already seasoned with UMTS networks and knew how to optimise them for high data rates. As the equipment became available in network vendors’ portfolio, we started to get more and more customer requests. First network dimensioning, then nominal planning and radio design. In 2008 we were already conducting post-launch HSDPA audit in Iceland.

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Omnitele’s measurement technician Esa-Matti Ollila making sea measurements, Wataniya Kuwait Mobile Data Customer Experience Optimisation project, 2013

2008 – Focusing on Mobile Data Customer Experience

After 2008 our work started to be increasingly focused in mobile data. When data service was introduced for GSM, operators were basically offering two services: voice and data. Since HSDPA, a general “data service” has’t actually existed anymore. Subscribers are using smartphones, laptops and tablets to access WWW, YouTube, Skype, Netflix and other such services.

Operators’ challenge is to facilitate that in profitable fashion by selecting the optimum set of technologies and deploying them efficiently – Maximising the customer experience while minimising the network cost. That is exactly what our projects have been all about since those days.

Omnitele Karting Championships, November 2013

2013 – 25 Years of Success

During the 25 years of our existence we have conducted truly pioneering work with mobile networks and that’s the way we plan to keep it. We have been involved in the very first rollouts of GSM, UMTS, GPRS, HSDPA, LTE – thus mastering every “G” of mobile industry.

To stay on top of the game we have been also active in R&D work and issued over 80 Master’s Thesis studies on different topics related to mobile technologies. Whenever there is something new knocking on the operator doors – and often even prior to that – we study the technology impact on the business case. This way we secure the know-how of latest tech and ensure being ready to respond to our clients’ current and future challenges.