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Grupo Iusacell, commonly referred to as Iusacell, was Mexico's third largest wireless telecommunications company in 2011 with approximately five million customers. The company expects to double that number by the end of the 2012-2013, moving the company closer to its long-term goal of market leadership.

The main appeal of Iusacell in the market, says chief technology officer, Alejandro Delgado, is its commitment to service and maintain a high level of network performance. One way the company delivers on that commitment is by using advanced video wall monitoring technology in its Network Operation Center (NOC) in Mexico City.

"We rely heavily on our video wall, which is made up of 40 Planar Clarity™ LED Series rear-projection video wall displays, to ensure that our 3,000 cellular sites are performing as required 24/7," says Delgado. "It is on this basis that we are building one of Mexico's most satisfied and loyal customer bases."

With the Planar video wall as the centerpiece of the recently updated NOC, Delgado says it is where Iusacell often brings corporate customers to learn about the company and demonstrate its ability to support their business.

"The Clarity LED Series displays give the NOC a very high-tech look and feel. These visitors can see that our company is very professional, we're serious about their business, and we have invested in the advanced technology that will allow us to support them for years to come," says Delgado.

Serving Customers More Effectively

Iusacell and AV integration partner, Grupo Covix, chose Clarity c70HD-LED displays to replace an array of older-generation displays that had become unreliable and costly to maintain. The video wall was installed by Covix in the fall of 2011, creating a dramatic monitoring centerpiece for the renovated NOC. The new displays occupy less space-per-display than the older units, but have the ability to depict more information.

"Previously, we could only accommodate about 30 monitoring technicians; whereas today there are 50 in the same space. This means we can monitor many more aspects of our networks, predict where problems may be likely to occur, and address them before they escalate into outages," Delgado says.

According to Delgado, the Clarity c70HD-LED displays are virtually maintenance free, and provide a lower cost of operation. "In the past, we were replacing lamps every two to three months, which was very time consuming and expensive. That cost is eliminated with the new Planar LED rear-projection displays which have a projected lifespan of 60,000 hours. And because of the technology of the new displays, we have reduced our power consumption by 25 percent."

Also significant, Delgado adds, is the image quality of the displays — each panel has a light engine output of 675 lumens and a high definition resolution of 1920 x 1080. "The brightness and resolution of the displays enable us to easily see the finest-level of detail on every aspect of our network. It is a huge improvement over what we were able to see before."

The result is that Iusacell is experiencing a significant return on investment. "We envision a seven year payback on the cost of the video wall. But just as important, having these new displays means we're so much more productive that we do not need to build a second NOC now in order to accommodate our current and near-term growth. As a result, we avoid having to make a large capital expenditure until we're fully ready to do so. The positive impact on our bottom line is immense."

Planar Displays Are Highly Recommended for Control Room Solutions

Grupo Covix was a strong proponent of the Planar Clarity LED Series displays for Iusacell based on the product's fit for the control room environment.

The ultra-thin mullions (less than 1mm) make for a virtually seamless wall, keeping images virtually free of distracting lines. The contrast ratio (1650:1) produces exceptional, fully saturated colors – especially black – so text, graphics and video are vivid, viewable from almost any distance or angle, and remain more stable over time. The motorized light engine system makes panel alignment and calibration simple and precise to within a single-pixel level of sensitivity. And each screen panel is easily serviceable if necessary — front and rear access is a standard feature even in curved-wall installations.

"From a systems integration perspective, we see it as among the best control room solutions on the market," says Juan Carlos Alcazar, Grupo Covix sales director. "Its form factor accommodates both new-build and facility upgrade situations. Also, it is designed for fast and easy installation and has a track record of trouble-free operation. Lastly, it has capabilities that control room operators have been looking for, so we see the potential for a high level of both new and repeat business."