This is a Guest Blog written by Amdocs. Visit Amdocs at next week’s LTE World Summit in Amsterdam

Special events pose daunting challenges for service providers.  When tens of thousands of people congregate in a small setting, a significant load is obviously put on mobile networks. In fact, we’ve seen traffic surges of up to 10 gigabytes per hour at stadiums. In certain instances, the influx of a large number of subscribers into a city to attend live events, combined with a general rise in chatter from city inhabitants about the event, can increase network demand across the entire city by 20 percent. Service providers must be prepared to deal with the influx of mobile activity at these events and understand the best ways to ensure that their network is ready.

During the time period leading up to an event, voice and data traffic show patterns consistent with the number of subscribers arriving at the stadium and engaging with the mobile network. As the event begins, we start to see second screen behavior. This means that subscribers are not only viewing the event in-person, but are also using their mobile phone screens to view and interact with the event (tweeting about it, posting videos, engaging in social media interactions with friends watching the event, etc.). Voice traffic typically decreases by 50 percent during the live event, while data traffic continues to grow as subscribers increasingly turn to social media and streaming video to enhance their in-person experience.

RAN hotspots are getting hotter

The world’s major stadium events (the Super Bowl, FIFA World Cup, and others) can be considered radio access network (RAN) “hotspots” due to all the activity in these areas at one particular time. These hotspots are only getting hotter as consumers take advantage of new technologies, including 4G/ LTE. However, LTE alone won’t solve the capacity problem at special events. Although LTE is delivering increased network capacity by offloading as much as 50 percent of traffic from 3G networks, the ever-increasing demand for mobile data may exhaust this new capacity within 2-3 years.

Service providers need to look into other solutions, in addition LTE, to optimize the RAN – especially during special events. It is time to think beyond just simply adding more hardware, including small cells and Wi-Fi equipment and begin introducing smart solutions into networks. Ultimately, service providers require a solution that can deliver excellent customer experiences even during high-capacity stadium and sporting events. This begins with service providers extracting the highest levels of capacity from their existing network infrastructure.

Deliver exceptional experiences during high-capacity events

The Special Event Management feature in Amdocs Self-Optimizing Network solution  measures LTE, 3G and 2G subscriber experiences, as well as network congestion in real time, and takes immediate action to maintain capacity and customer experience quality.

By measuring and quantifying the quality of subscribers’ experience at special events on all networks, not just the LTE network, service providers can detect capacity issues and solve them quickly. They can see where network congestion is occurring during live events and take action to direct capacity to where it is needed most; ensuring that their customers enjoy an uninterrupted viewing experience.

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