Working at EXATEL
EXATEL – brings you only benefits
EXATEL offers much more than just stable operation. As a technological company we have direct contact with state-of-the-art technology and work methods. We are an ambitious company. We are constantly growing and expanding our horizons. We are not afraid of new challenges. We focus on research and development. We gain new competencies. We opened a state-of-the-art satellite teleport and are the initiator of Space Technology Cluster.
What does the EXATEL do?
We have built one of the largest fiber-optic networks in Poland. In addition to being a telecommunications operator, we also supervise the cybersecurity of many important institutions and companies and develop our own technologies. It means that working in EXATEL is simply exciting.
What exactly are the main “pillars” of EXATEL’s business? Find explanation below!
We base our cooperation with customers on two basic values: trust and competence. That is why people who are willing and able to protect our customers are so important to us. With our daily work we prove that Polish specialists are the world’s leading experts in cybersecurity.
We carry out a number of projects concerning, among others, critical areas of the country’s functioning. We monitor network security and respond 24/7/365, identify vulnerabilities, give recommendations to mitigate the detected problems, and implement meaningful security with special attention to the customer’s needs. In our work we use the world’s best technologies, but we also create solutions that are answer to the market’s needs. We do what we like and we are good at it.
Security Operations Centre (SOC) is a specialised organizational unit functioning within EXATEL; it consists of experts with broad competence in the area of ICT security. They are responsible for identifying, preventing, and protecting customers from cyber threats. The SOC is organized so that 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, it can perform monitoring, detection, analysis, and response to incidents that may negatively impact an organisation’s operations. SOC restores to normal operation systems that were damaged during a cyberattack.
Specialists in various fields of computer science employed in the SOC identify and combat threats that have already appeared in the system, or look for vulnerabilities through which the system can be attacked.
We operate in a structure based on 3 lines of support:
- SOC Monitoring is a team of analysts that monitors security breach events in real time, analyses detected security events, categorizes security events, and prioritises them.
- SOC Response is a team of engineers that manages security incidents, reduces, or eliminates threats that are the source of incidents, creates correlation rules that capture attacks of the latest type, address current customer issues, and develops maintenance and test scenarios.
- SOC Defensive Security is a team of experts that designs and implements defence systems against the latest threats, analyse, monitor, and tracks the latest threats, analyses malware, identifies vulnerabilities, secures customer sites and networks.
Advanced Security Services are the offensive security, pen testing, process and procedural, and security services development teams. They are experts in malware analysis, application and infrastructure penetration testing, standards and best practices compliance analysis, training and awareness raising, and development and enhancement of cybersecurity services – including EXATEL’s own solutions.
Project Management Office
The Project Management Office is a team leading strategic research and development projects for the organization, customer projects and internal projects that change the functioning of the company. Our daily work involves managing budgets, scope of changes, project schedules, prioritizing work in progress and mitigating current risks. Each project is a new story for us, where challenges and surprises are the order of the day.
- The Project Analysis Department is the centre of business analysis for key projects implemented in the Company, in particular those carried out by BMO. It is responsible for driving internal initiatives: performing business analysis of optimisation initiatives submitted from various management levels of the Company, including verification of their business case, implementation, and monitoring of target levels.
- The R&D department is the command centre for R&D projects. It is responsible for overall project management including budget, scope, schedule, risk, team, and communication with project stakeholders. Our team consists of experienced, passionate people with interdisciplinary knowledge in many subject areas, open to adapt to ever-changing realities and to take on complex issues within the scope of conducted projects.
We are quite flexible in our daily work. We select methods that are adequate to the needs, taking into account expectations of both waterfall (formal) and agile software development. The goal of each project is to provide working, proprietary solutions that maximize the benefits to the company.
The R&D Department is an interesting place. In our projects, software development and physical hardware meets the spirit of agile software development. We always try to tailor our services to the needs and abilities. Sometimes it’s Kanban, as in the case of architect or analyst work, elsewhere it’s Scrum, which works perfectly for our Anti-DDoS projects. Our largest SDN project is run in LeSS, or Large Scaled Scrum. At the same time, we try not to close ourselves off to the good stuff, borrowing Guilds or Chapters from the Spotify model.
We know that software development is not only programming, but also quality management and maintenance. That’s why our slogan for the near future is DevOps transformation. We are not afraid of having a pile of inserts or components on our developers’ desks that they will have to assemble themselves. We are not afraid of writing tests and taking overall responsibility for the product.
In management, we focus on the servant leadership model which assumes that the management listens to the team. The manager tries to always be supportive of his or her people and get any obstacles out of the way. We listen to our colleagues and respond to their demands and introduce necessary changes. After the planning and execution phases, we always review what we have achieved so that we can then improve our approach, work, and processes, enriched with new experiences and knowledge.
During the pandemic, we were able to successfully transition to a remote work model and thus open up to candidates from across the country. Today, take pride in the fact that we are manufacturing our solutions in over 15 locations and yes, we are a state-owned company!
- New Solutions Department (including Anti-DoS TAMA):
EXATEL is a space for innovation and development, both for the company itself and for the products it creates. You can find us programming in many different languages, working in agile software developing methods (like Scrum), or process management and visualization methods (Kanban). We feel like engineers and do not limit ourselves into a narrow specialisation.
No one is dictating how we should perform a given task. We use tools and implement processes that we consider best for a given project. Our aim is to standardise, but not at any cost – we have people on the same team working on both Linux, Mac, and Windows. We have supporters of emacs, vim or vscode. Rather than forcing the only right IDE, what matters to us is that the results of our work go into git at the end of the day, where we can review and comment on the code. Jenkins will automatically prepare a packet for us and perform tests; we will evaluate the effect in the test environment. In terms of technology, we are flexible. We decide whether to write the project in Python, Java, C++, or .NET according to our needs. All this for the purpose of enabling us to efficiently and effectively maintain and expand our solutions. With the use of a docker we ensure cohesion between different environments. Exatel keeps a clear record of decisions for each project and documents all the technical findings.
- SDN Development Department:
The department is involved in developing EXATEL’s own line of telecommunications equipment, created in accordance with the SDN philosophy. SDN is to telecommunications what the PC was to the computing world. Our goal is to build a native, programmable hardware platform based on freely available components such as ASICs, FPGAs, DSPs, optical interfaces, etc., which would serve as the basis for implementing selected data communication solutions (e.g., switch, router, firewall, server).
We develop our technical and soft skills on a daily basis, working on a project that may change the face of the Polish telecommunications market. Everyone on the team has a different role. Some people feel more comfortable writing low-level code or modifying the behaviour of packets controlled by the SDN controller, while others prefer to test with a user interface deployed in a web browser. Other employees prefer to write backend or infrastructure code. Everyone performs task that serve a specific purpose and everyone can do what they are good at, but also grow cross-competitively.
We work with a wide range of modern technologies, with a strong emphasis on testing, building and deployment processes automation, both for applications, devices, and infrastructure. We do not like or want to repeatedly perform boring manual tasks, so we try to eliminate them. In the teams that work on the SDNbox, we develop software in C++, Python, and C languages. The teams that prepare the SDN controller and customer applications use Java 11, Spring, Karaf, and Spock with Groovy.
During project implementation we encounter many challenges in network traffic generation and processing, interface management, and device configuration. We use microservices wherever possible. We package our applications in docker containers and automate the deployment process using Terraforma, Ansible and Packer. Our CI/CD pipeline is constantly supervised by Jenkins.
Information Technology Department
In the IT Department we provide a wide range of services to the company’s employees and customers: we design, implement, and maintain ICT and cybersecurity infrastructure and build systems that support business processes. Our solutions strengthen every area of EXATEL’s business and our customers’ critical business processes.
- Business Applications Division
The team implements projects that automate key business processes of the company within the scope of OSS and BSS. The employees design, develop and maintains solutions that support all departments. The team integrates proprietary solutions with products purchased from partners and vendors. It responds to a constant stream of new market and business demands.
- IT Maintenance Department
The team designs, implements and maintains the Company’s and customers’ ICT infrastructure. It offers standard and tailor-made solutions, addressing specific needs or covering the entire areas of maintenance of enterprise-class solutions. Our server rooms house clusters of machines and network nodes that support the critical business processes of the company and many of our customers. All of this must work 24/7/365.
- Billing and Mediation Team
This is a group of experienced experts familiar with the entire spectrum of subscriber and operator billing, the “lifeblood” of a telecommunications company. The team manages and supervises mediation and billing systems, starting from the collection of voice calls (CDRs), their correct mediation and billing, data transmission billing (e.g. 95th percentile), SLA (calculation of bonuses), and ending with the correct generation of invoices, billing, or inter-operator settlements. ZBIM provides detailed data to conduct many types of analytical invoiced services.
Maintenance and Development
We provide services to customers as well as expand and maintain our network.
- Implementation of projects
A team of professionals dedicated to overseeing the delivery of services and coordinating the activities of other units. Every service provided by our company must be approved by this department. This is one of the most important parts of the post-sales process (from sales through planning to project implementation). The result of the work is the hand-over report for the launched service. On the basis of that report begins the process of invoicing customers.
- Infrastructure and Access Investments, Investment Execution and Fiber-Optic Network Team
EXATEL has over 21,800 km of fiber optic network. The team takes care of its maintenance, upgrading, and expansion. Technical conditions, local inspections, supervision of contractors and acceptance of investments – this is the responsibility of our engineers. In addition, our teams execute investments in their entirety – from design, to cable installation, and fiber splicing. The second pillar of this team is wireless networks, or radiolinks and satellite communications.
- Infrastructure Management, Service Commissioning, Network Operation
EXATEL has over 500 important nodes nationwide. Teams working in this area are responsible for direct implementation of customer and network projects. They take care of the maintenance and development of active infrastructure at these nodes. Air conditioning, power supply, equipment on the nodes and the Data Centre are just a small part of our responsibilities.
- Network Infrastructure Inventory
More than 21,800 km of fiber optic network, 500 large nodes and 3,000 customer locations, containing a total of more than 120,000 network elements: cabinets, shelves, cards, inserts, radio devices, and associated infrastructure. The team ensures that data about our telecommunications network is updated and presented in the passporting system. On the basis of this data, a lot of analysis on network planning and designing for new customers can be done.
The team is responsible not only for gathering information about where our equipment is installed, but also how much it costs! This is where the all-important knowledge centre for the cost of our network resides; thanks to it we can be sure that when we reconfigure or terminate a service, we terminate any third-party leases that are no longer needed.
- ICT implementations
The team deals with the implementation of services in the area of ICT and security. It coordinates the activities of specialist units, meetings with clients, and support during the maintenance stage. If a project deviates from standards and requires an unusual approach, it will be carried out by this team.
Network Architecture and Planning
Architects take care of the entire telecommunications infrastructure at EXATEL so that it is reliable and has adequate resources to provide services even to the most demanding customers.
They prepare technical concepts of service implementation along with necessary valuations and support sales departments in the sales process. They keep an eye on costs by preparing optimisation projects.
The team initiates network expansion in new areas and build points of interconnection with other operators. The employees are responsible for engineering Internet traffic on the EXATEL network. They select and test devices scheduled for network deployment, and decide to take outdated technology and equipment off the grid. Network Architecture and Planning department also supports maintenance departments in diagnosing and resolving problems in the transportation network.
The architects are the brains for most investment projects involving the telecommunications network and the services provided on it.
- The Network Supervision Department is an organizational unit functioning within EXATEL, which brings together people with extensive experience and broad expertise in telecommunications, in particular in the area of transport, packet, access, and satellite networks. The Network Supervision Department controls the operation of the network built with over 21,800 km of fiber optic links. We have more than 500 large nodes, a satellite teleport (with seven antennas ranging in size from 2.4 to 6.3 meters), and 3,000 customer sites, containing a total of about 100,000 active network elements, i.e., shelves, cards, inserts, radio equipment, and supporting infrastructure.
The department is divided into two teams:
- NOC is a team of people responsible for prevention, identification, and troubleshooting of SDH, xWDM, IP, ATM/FR, and satellite networks, with a high SLA guaranteed to our customers. They also perform tasks related to the coordination and supervision of planned works carried out on the infrastructure of EXATEL and our subcontractors and having impact on the services provided to our customers. NOC operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Thanks to this, failures are handled on an ongoing basis, the network is actively monitored and all incidents that may have a negative impact on the operation of EXATEL’s network and commercial services are detected.
- Access Networks Team that is responsible for administration of management systems for access devices and the devices themselves, such as switches, radio links, xDSL modems, SCPC satellite channels, configuration, and management of Managed WLAN. The team works with equipment vendors to implement new solutions and eliminate ongoing issues requiring manufacturer support.
- The Transport Network Management Department employs experienced telecommunications experts who administer active transport and packet equipment. TNMD is responsible for the configuration and correct operation of approximately 10,000 services based on more than 2,800 backbone and 1,200 access devices connected by more than 20,000 km of fiber optic across the country. The backbone network is diverse and created in many parallel technologies with national and international coverage, such as IP MPLS, xWDM, SDH and ATM/FR. Providing services to commercial and institutional customers, Government Services, and other network operators, obliges us to provide high SLA and business continuity guarantees.
- The Voice Services Department maintains the telephone service network at the transit and subscriber layer. The transit network currently has about 80. traffic exchange points with domestic operators and about 160. with international operators. In the subscriber area, landline telephony services are provided in all numbering zones. The total volume of traffic handled on the network is approximately 200 million minutes per month.
The origins of the network date back to 2000, when by building from scratch a network for the Ministry of Energy, the network of the operator NOM, points of contact with the public national and then international network, we acquired the competence to face many challenges in advanced projects related to voice technology. Transport networks for telephone systems include IP/MPLS technologies and, in some areas, the traditional SDH. The transport networks are owned by EXATEL, thus guaranteeing a high degree of reliability and quality of the services offered.
The extent of EXATEL’s network allows for the development of interconnection points both in Poland and abroad, which in turn guarantees – at the transit level – the transfer of traffic in the company’s own network and the routing of given traffic fractions to operators, based on current per-minute rates. Thus, the wholesale telephone traffic exchange service has the character of an exchange where, on the basis of profitability, decisions are made to divert traffic – sometimes many times a day.
The specificity of voice services lies in the processing of information in real time, and this means high sensitivity to any irregularities and changes in transport network parameters. Guaranteeing the quality required by subscribers is therefore a challenge, both for network components and the entire team of voice system administrators.
Would you like to find out more details about our projects?