Benjamin Franklin said there were only two things certain in life: death and taxes. Well, I would like to add a third one: online threats.

Operators are facing the daunting task of keeping their subscribers (and their own networks!) safe from a slew of cyber threats that are getting more and more complex. Fraudsters use a combination of backdoor methods, engaging unwitting cooperation from innocent, targeted users.

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Guest post by 6Wind

TL;DR: NFV Promises To Alter The Value Proposition For Network Operators Of All Sizes

As we prepare for SDN Asia 2015 in Singapore this October, we look forward to discussing how executive telecom decision makers want to capitalize on the APAC market’s propensity for rapid technology adoption by providing an abundance of services at the lowest costs. NFV enables rapid service creation while lowering costs, but it is necessary to not sacrifice performance in the process.

Performance continues to drive the NFV discussion because without proper oversight, virtual machines and cloud infrastructure can be real headaches by demanding increasing requirements of hardware to accommodate an increasing software footprint. To achieve an abundance of services at the lowest costs, enabling performance in the initial design architecture will help further drive the costs down. There are two major areas of performance bottlenecks that organizations should evaluate to enable the full promise of NFV.

Drastic Transformation of the Value Chain

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This guest post was written by Paul Gowans, Mobility Marketing Manager @ Viavi

Paul Gowans, Mobility Marketing Manager at Viavi

Guest post written by Paul Gowans, Mobility Marketing Manager at Viavi

VoLTE has evolved significantly from a year ago. At the event last year many operators were planning their VoLTE roll-out and engaging their technology partners such as Viavi on the challenges to address and ensure they deliver on the high expectations of VoLTE. Now, we have many operators who have either deployed or are very close to deploying. Of course now that LTE is much more broadly rolled out, this sets the foundation for extra LTE-based services such as VoLTE.

There is also the area of the relevance of voice today – many people have an iPhone or other Smartphone and use a multitude of methods to communicate – certain generations don’t talk at all! So, the industry has had to appreciate that VoLTE needs to be integrated into the way people communicate today.
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Arvinder Gujral, Director Business Development APAC, Twitter

Arvinder Gujral, Director for Business Development APAC, Twitter

Our latest addition to the LTE Asia 2015 programme, keynote speaker Arvinder Gujral, Director for Business Development, APAC at Twitter will be joining us in Singapore next month to examine OTT/operator partnerships and how they are developing in Asia. I spoke to him ahead of his talk to get an insight into this evolving relationship;

“The biggest fundamental shift that has happened is that mobile operators have learned to evolve to the reality of Internet and Data superseding Voice and SMS, and have successfully adapted that to their business models and unit economics” he said “OTT providers on the other hand have also learned to work with the mobile operators, and at the same time added value to the operator’s core KPIs around Data and its new operating models. The apparent threat perception that was lingering for a while has been replaced with “lets-add-value” attitude to each other’s business, because at the end of the day it’s the end-user who needs to see benefit from both players, and not one over another.”

“The apparent threat perception… has been replaced with “lets-add-value” attitude”

“Twitter has always worked well with mobile operators; we have long-term relationships with over 500 operators globally. Over time our engagements have evolved from simple SMS connections and Twitter utilising an operator network, and more recently, with operators using the Twitter social graph and network to achieve their KPIs.

We tied up with 17 mobile operators globally for the FIFA World Cup last year, and five operators in South Asia alone for the this year’s Cricket World Cup. The aim was to take the best of Twitter for these events and make it available to the operators’ subscribers. The partnership worked beautifully as operators used their distribution and marketing effectively to show value of Data/Internet via a custom Twitter experience for these global sporting events. Of course, these successes are enabling us to evaluate bolder models to work with in the future.

Our recent partnership with Indosat (the first ever in APAC), where users of Indosat can now buy Voice, SMS, Data directly from Twitter, is another great example of how we are helping our operator partners add to their bottom line”.

But in this fast paced industry, where nothing ever stays the same – how will these partnerships evolve?

“As mobile operators look towards becoming digital operators in their own right, Twitter is in a great position to be ideal partners. We have announced Twitter Fabric, our suite of SDKs, that helps developers along the journey from idea to revenue. We have also started to work with mobile operators in their journey to explore this world of Mobile Apps and are sharing our insights, infrastructure and social graph to help them scale and eventually build additional revenue streams, all via our SDKs”.

“I believe LTE Asia will be a great hub where Twitter gets to learn from the mobile operators on what their concerns are and what they are doing about it. In that process, I can share my experience (in my previous career with a mobile operator) and partner with them through Twitter in their journey towards growing the digital mobile operator industry”.

Arvinder will be discussing Twitter’s operator partnerships during the LTE Asia Keynotes on the 7th of October. If you haven’t registered to attend the show yet or applied for a free operator pass, you can do so now buy visiting our website – www.lteconference.com/asia

Haitham Mashal, Senior Director- CS Core, Du

Haitham Mashal, Senior Director- CS Core, Du

Prior to the LTE Voice Summit (London, September 28th-30th), we interviewed Du’s senior core network Director Haitham Mashal about his views on the development of VoLTE, service planning and future opportunities. Here is what he had to say, ahead of his participation at this year’s summit.

Q. As we see the commercial launch, is there any clearer idea of whether VoLTE will truly live up to its promise?

A. No doubt VoLTE would even exceed its promise for both customers and Operators. Operators would have the chance to transform their networks into full fledge IP network and get the benefit of reducing both CAPEX and Opex. Operators would also be capable to offer better Voice quality with enriched services on top of the voice that can compete with OTT voice services.

Customers would enjoy the enriched crystal clear HD voice and shorter time setup. This would definitely enhance the customer experience and satisfy the customer demands to enjoy different services simultaneously even during call establishment.

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asia

Record numbers of entries received & shortlist announced!

Join us from 6.30pm on the 6th of October at the LTE Asia Awards to celebrate the triumphs and innovations of the LTE and 5G market in Asia. The winners will be announced directly after the close of day one of LTE Asia at the Suntec, all event attendees are cordially invited to the complimentary Awards Cocktail Ceremony!

If you are not currently attending contact tom.winter@informa.com for more details

With a variety of mobile broadband focussed award categories, the ceremony provides a unique opportunity for your products and services to earn a place in the spotlight! Bringing together key industry stakeholders, this evening celebrating LTE excellence is not to be missed!

Last year’s winners include: SK Telecom, Cisco, Samsung, Huawei, Mavenir, Gigamon, Polystar & SAP – see here

2015 Shortlist

Biggest Contribution to 5G Development

Shortlisted: Ericsson, Huawei

Best Test/Measurement Solution

Shortlisted: FalconSmart Technologies, Procera Networks, RAD, SIGOS, VIAVI SOLUTIONS

Best LTE Roaming Product

Shortlisted: BICS, IBasis, Oracle Communications, Syniverse, Uros

Most Innovative LTE Application/Service

Shortlisted: Elitecore, Mitel, Polystar, SpiderCloud Wireless & Intel, Telstra, Xura

Best NFV Innovation of the Year

Shortlisted: Ericsson, NetCracker, Procera Networks, Wind River

Best Innovation in Heterogeneous Networks

Shortlisted: Cisco, Huawei & Starhub, RAD, SpiderCloud Wireless, Telstra & Ericsson

 …

Best LTE Core Network Product

Shortlisted: CA Technologies, Cisco, Dialogic, Huawei, Oracle Communications

Most Significant Development of a Commercial LTE Network

Shortlisted: Bolt Super 4G, Globe Telecom

Most Innovative Big Data Platform/Service

Shortlisted: BICS, Cisco

If you are not currently attending contact tom.winter@informa.com for more details

Written by Paul Jesemann, Cisco Solution Consultant, Mobility Architecture, APJ

Written by Paul Jesemann, Cisco Solution Consultant, Mobility Architecture, APJ

If someone were to define a safe bet, it would be on the number of blogs about NFV, its drivers and benefits out there, by far exceeding the actual number of Virtual Network Functions deployed. So please let me try a different perspective.

We have been talking about NFV for more than two years now. There is no shortage of studies and surveys on its drivers and potential, but what can be said about reality? A reality I would like to delineate as follows… To CTOs and CIOs, NFV (and SDN) is something to drool or to brag about: “We will adopt it” or “We have great results from adopting it”, and an occasional “We have been doing it in the lab for ages, so…?” . But as Geoffrey Moore tells us the “Techies” and “Visionaries” don’t make a technology, until it can be recognised by the majority.

Here comes the important part for “crossing the chasm”: How about successfully addressing the key CFO’s question, “Show me the money”?

What makes me feel great about NFV now becoming a reality, is the fact that there are numerous examples globally, where CFO’s have “found the money”, resulting in commercial NFV deployments. Take AT&T Connected Cars or Telefonica’s “LTE in a Box” as an example for revenue increase business case – not just an approved one, but a proven one! How about a cost reduction one like XL Axiata are confidently aiming for . And if you think increased agility is an esoteric one, look at what Aspider or NAKA Mobile can create with NFV, agility does get signed off, so I assume it also pays off!

In the whole discussion, using Geoffrey A. Moore’ “Crossing the Chasm” reference, is it important where to place the named service providers? Maybe as pragmatics – but what is far more important than a classification is the fact that they are doing it – congratulations!

I do acknowledge that there are still many challenges ahead to reach mainstream Mobile NFV deployments– orchestration or  interoperability being one of them (thank you Light Reading and EANTC!), and I am as pleased as I am sure to believe they would be adequately addressed. But that’s maybe another blog some time soon.

Shavin Wijetunge, Assistant Manager at Mobitel Sri Lanka

Shavin Wijetunge, Assistant Manager at Mobitel Sri Lanka

Launching LTE requires a huge investment and successful monetization of the network is therefore key to ensure return of investment. To find out how operators across Asia are monetizing their LTE networks, I briefly spoke with LTE Asia speaker Shavin Wijetunge, Assistant Manager at Mobitel to find out how they are driving revenue from their LTE network.

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This guest post was written by Alon Geva, Timing & Synchronization Expert, CTO Office at RAD

Delivering sub-microsecond time accuracy to cellular base stations is one of the major challenges facing cellular providers as they deploy their new LTE networks, creating unique challenges in the backhaul segment. This is exacerbated by LTE-A’s stringent synchronization requirements and, eventually, by 5G, now on the horizon.

Before the debut of 4G, the standard way to deliver a clock reference was to install Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) access at every cell site. A GNSS receiver is usually referred to as a Primary Reference Time Clock (PRTC).

The limitations of GNSS

This approach, however, is impractical in the 4G environment, since its network architecture is different. The most prominent change is that 4G accommodates large numbers of small cells to deliver higher capacities and data speeds. Stationing a GNSS antenna at every 4G cell site will be problematic due to cost. Apart from the unprecedented volume of antennas that would have to be bought, installed and maintained, the rapidly falling price of small cells will accelerate their deployment only further. Beyond all this, of course, is that every antenna requires an unobstructed sky view, a major problem for small cells, which, in many cases, are installed indoors, on building walls and closed spaces such as shopping malls, basements and traffic tunnels.

But that’s just the beginning.

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Wing K. Lee is CEO at YTL Communications in Malaysia

Wing K. Lee is CEO at YTL Communications in Malaysia

The velocity in how the world creates value has hastened considerably. We spent millennia as an agrarian economy, then came the industrial age that refines these commodities into manufactured goods. We have since evolved into the service economy and most will agree that we are now onto the experiential economy.
To appreciate what that means to us in the telecommunications business, perhaps we can take a moment to follow the journey of the humble coffee beans.

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This guest post was written by John Twohig, Solutions Architect at Eirteic

John is a Solutions Architect at Eirteic

John is a Solutions Architect at Eirteic

Today, Mobile Service Providers find themselves struggling to cope with the increasing demand for capacity whilst maintaining a high level of customer experience. Trying to find the most flexible and cost-effective infrastructure to support next generation services whilst also attempting to reduce customer churn by providing adequate customer level Quality of Experience (QoE) & Quality of Service (QoS) can be difficult to achieve. Essentially, Service Providers are caught between a rock and a hard place.

Subscriber level QoE is a subjective matter that is a balancing act; there are a number of factors which need to be considered:

  • Localised low signal quality
  • Numbers of connections using the network in a particular area
  • The performance of a particular mobile handset
  • Download bitrate
  • Resolution and encoding of video content
  • Responsiveness of mobile or web based applications
  • User service plans

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Ahead of the 3rd annual LTE Voice Summit 2015, I interviewed Kobus Smit, Head of Voice and Messaging at Deutsche Telekom who gave us an insight on services VoLTE will offer + customer benefits it will bring- here is what Kobus say’s  in this exclusive interview

Ahead of the 3rd annual LTE Voice Summit 2015, I interviewed Kobus Smit, Head of Voice and Messaging at Deutsche Telekom who gave us an insight on services VoLTE will offer + customer benefits it will bring

Q. As we see the commercial launch, is there any clearer idea of whether VoLTE will truly live up to its promise?

A. VoLTE offers some clear customer benefits – especially around HD voice quality and faster call set-up times, which we believe customers will notice and appreciate. There are also further advantages, like high speed browsing during a call, but the usecases are still pretty limited. The largest benefit of VoLTE, however, is arguably for the Operator and not so much for the customer as it facilitates the necessary transfer of voice to IP. We therefore belief that from a customer perspective “plain” VoLTE alone will not necessarily be a very convincing proposition.

Q. Can we expect to see new and innovative services built on top of plain audio VoLTE?

A. Yes indeed – and it is already being prepared. DT has developed an Enriched Calling proposition together with Sony, Vodafone and others, which we will be bringing to market soon. This enables customers to have a far richer calling experience by adding context and content before, during and after a call. The features include the setting of call importance, adding a subject, picture or location before the call; during a call, users can exchange, locations, draw on maps or pictures, share videos, images and files, and after the call customers have the possibility to leave a visual voicemail, a video or text message. All of this is delivered with very little incremental effort, by utilizing RCS functionality already available in the network and handsets to deliver a truly enhanced user experience.

Q. What is the future, beyond VoLTE? What are the next steps in network development?

A. We are deploying VoLTE on a local basis first and will then extend it to Roaming. We further plan to combine VoLTE with other voice services such as WiFi Calling and plan to establish Video Calling. With VoLTE as a basis for IP voice, it opens the possibility of further enhancement and service meshing in the IP domain.

Q. Network Function Virtualization for VoLTE- what does this to you and is the way forward for this service?

A. For us it is not about the virtualization of one single service, its more about the virtualization of the network infrastructure in order to be more efficient and offer better quality and service for our customers.

Q. What will be your key message at the LTE Voice Summit 2015?

A. Enriched Call builds an attractive proposition around VoLTE.


Meet Kobus and a host of senior executives from around the globe at this year’s LTE Voice Summit in London, on September 29th & 30th.  More information at voice.lteconference.com

This blog was written as part of the LTE Asia 2015 content series

This blog was written as part of the LTE Asia 2015 content series

LTE adoption is exploding in Japan, Korea and other highly developed Asian countries; but in this “red ocean” competition is fierce – companies find themselves in a continuous arms race to deliver the most innovative solutions and keep their service offering one step ahead of the curve.

In the Emerging Markets of Asia (EMAP) development has, until now, been slower. But the opportunity for growth is huge.

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This guest post was written by Arvind Rangarajan, Director, Vertical Solutions & Market Offers, Broadsoft

Arvind Rangarajan, Director, Vertical Solutions & Market Offers, Broadsoft

Arvind Rangarajan, Director, Vertical Solutions & Market Offers, Broadsoft

Carrier Challenges

The sheer number of Wi-Fi connected devices is growing at a phenomenal rate, and Wi-Fi is fast becoming the preferred method of connection – at least two thirds of consumers today prefer connecting over Wi-Fi as opposed to cellular, mostly due to cost and performance.

Mobile operators have been increasingly turning to Wi-Fi offloading as a cost-effective way to manage data capacity, and that trend continues. Many analysts are forecasting a steady annual increase in carrier hotspots to more than 7 million by the end of 2015. (Source: ABI Research)

However, data offload is just the tip of the iceberg. The real reason many carriers are out there securing hotspot locations and launching services is competition for new revenue opportunities, from both incumbents and “over-the-top” (OTT) players alike.

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Sonal Ghelani, Senior Researcher VoLTE & 5G at Informa Telecoms & Media

Sonal Ghelani, Senior Researcher VoLTE & 5G at Informa Telecoms & Media

Mobile operators have finally seen first deployments of this much talked about service and VoLTE is evolving as the platform of choice for voice calls + enabling additional services over the network.

VoLTE platforms are making significant progress in VoWiFi services too, with the aim of improved in-building coverage, however the quality of services is yet to be defined due to the complexity of the network.

As VoLTE is said to provide a long term solution for voice, does this mean 3G networks can be retired? What other benefits does VoLTE offer and how does this help operators retain profits, that were until quite recently lost to OTT players?

The 3rd Annual LTE Voice Summit, will address all current and pressing questions surrounding Voice over LTE along with bringing tier 1 operators + vendors sharing latest case studies from live VoLTE networks! Register + Join this flagship event today @ http://voice.lteconference.com/

Jawad Arshad, Assistant Manager Strategic Partnerships, Verticals and Digital Services at China Mobile

Jawad Arshad, Assistant Manager Strategic Partnerships, Verticals and Digital Services at China Mobile

Ahead of the LTE Asia Summit, taking place in Singapore this October I interviewed Jawad Arshad, Assistant Manager Strategic Partnerships, Verticals and Digital Services at China Mobile. Jawad’s work is focussed on developing partnerships between OTT’s and operators. I wanted to find out what role he thinks operators can play in the OTT ecosystem.

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This guest post was written by Mike Hooper, Head of Sales at Eirteic

June is typically a very busy month, with a number of exhibitions to be attended. This year Eirteic attended TM Forum Live! in Nice and LTE World Summit in Amsterdam. The events created some interesting thoughts about how things are progressing around subjects such as: SDN, NFV, SON and 5G.

Mike Hooper, Head of Sales, Eirteic

Mike Hooper, Head of Sales, Eirteic

Given that we are 5 years since the first 4G rollout and 5 years from a 5G roll out, it got me thinking about how we are progressing with the management of LTE. The rollout is happening but how are we managing it? Service Providers are still using legacy platforms such as IBM Netcool and HP TeMIP.

So as we progress toward 5G, how is this going to really change? How do we manage legacy 2G, 3G services whilst maintaining LTE and assuring future 5G services.

Can we really do this using 20 year old platforms?

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Andy Cocks, CTO, Dimension Data (Asia Pacific)

This guest post was written by Andy Cocks, CTO, Dimension Data (Asia Pacific)

This guest post was written by Andy Cocks, CTO, Dimension Data (Asia Pacific)

Over-the-top (OTT) content and service providers that monetise traditional service providers’ infrastructure — fixed and mobile infrastructure in which these operators have invested heavily — are shaking things up in an already competitive market.

OTTs are using software-defined networking and virtualisation to reap the benefits of the infrastructure and access networks of bigger players — with great success. The new forces in play are gaining a lot more awareness from traditional service providers.
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The Red Pill…

“You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” Morpheus, The Matrix (1999).

Red pill blue pillExperiencing the soothing hum of routers, switches and servers at the NOC, one imagines the green flashing lights assuring us all is well with the world ‘out there’ – the core, backhaul and RAN fully operational….keeping us calm and centered in our work. We know our job is done and we admonish any unbelievers with a stern, confident voice. When the customer support team calls in a panic because they have been flooded with customer complaints telling us the network isn’t working in the city, we smile and let them know they can stop worrying now, the NOC is fully operational and all systems are go. Then we sigh and hang up the phone on them when their tone of voice becomes, well, less than professional.

Yes indeed, all is well down here at the NOC, although, worryingly, even though I’ve full signal strength on my own phone, I can’t seem to connect properly to that Lync conference call because it keeps stuttering and dropping out. The director will be upset, but it’s ok- I’ll just say I just had network problems…

Is there a glitch in the matrix?

Are telco operators stuck in the “Blue Pill” world of The Matrix – the veil created by comfortable green lights and dashboards? On the surface the answer is “no”: Network monitoring and assurance tools are more sophisticated, incorporating big data, analytics and visualisation, providing richer and better information about the going-ons in the network. But what’s happening outside, in the reality of the customer? How do customers experience our network?

Operators should know; research demonstrates network customer experience to be the number one driver of both retention and churn. Customers want their applications to just work and they don’t care what’s happening deep in the NOC – and nor should they. If customers can’t use Spotify on their phone, then for them the network is broken and they will leave it in search of a better one.

What is a “Red Pill”? The view of the Wonderland of the customer:

  • A 100% customer-side view of the Customer Experience (CX) of applications and services on their phone.
  • A geographic view, in real-time and without long feedback cycles.
  • Correlating the customer experience to the state of the network
  • Benchmarking CX against the competition

By taking the “Red Pill”, operators can do some serious Bullet-Dodging. They’d be able to;

  • Conduct evidence-based network optimisation and investment decisions – the “outside in” network customer experience data can be used to guide network optimisation decisions or as supporting evidence for localised investments
  • Accelerate mean-time-to repair – by linking the customer experience perspective with their own network management capabilities, operations and assurance departments can isolate and correct network faults much more rapidly
  • Target local acquisition campaigns in those geographies where their own network is performing comparatively stronger than others

Operators who take the “Red Pill” see how deep the rabbit hole of network customer experience goes, understand the reality of the customer’s world and in the process gain significant competitive advantage.

Christian Rouffaert is the managing director of Teragence, a network customer experience benchmarking business and the winner of the LTE World Summit‘s Innovation Accelerator award. For more information about Teragence, please send an email to contact@teragence.com or go to our website http://www.teragence.com

Inna Ott, Director of Marketing at Polystar Group

Inna Ott, Director of Marketing at Polystar Group

This guest post was written by Inna Ott, Director of Marketing at Polystar Group

CSPs are racing to launch LTE networks. The pace of deployment is accelerating around the world as CSPs embrace the latest network technology – innovations that promise to deliver more data to satisfy the ever growing needs of users, better quality of service, and more efficient use of valuable spectrum. Indeed, growth is surpassing expectations. As the GSA reports, nearly 400 CSPs in 138 countries have launched LTE network services, leading it to revise forecasts and predict that a total of 460 commercial LTE networks will be in service by the end of 2015. What’s more, CSPs with LTE networks are beginning to add VoLTE services in significant numbers.

As a result, CSPs are expecting to benefit by cutting operational costs and reducing subscriber churn by delivering a better experience. Besides, the addition of VoLTE will enable them to offer higher quality voice services to their subscribers, enabling them to further enhance customer experience and offer a compelling alternative to OTT voice services.

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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.

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This blog post was written by Philip Sorrells, VP of Strategic Marketing, CommScope

Philip Sorrells, VP of Strategic Marketing, CommScope

Philip Sorrells, VP of Strategic Marketing, CommScope

A fact of modern day wireless networks is that operators have to continue adding capacity to meet subscriber demand. Cooper’s Law states that the maximum number of voice or data sessions that can be supported over a given area doubles every 30 months. Network operators face constant pressure to improve network capacity, i.e. the amount of traffic that can be handled at once, while also lowering their costs. The main question is how to most effectively do this.

The solution to adding capacity varies depending on the type of cell site, its location, the equipment and technologies supported and other factors. The fundamental challenge at any large macro site is adding new technology, frequency bands and/or equipment while not disrupting the current services. In Europe today that means putting 4G on top of 2G and 3G cell sites in a seamless, cost-efficient manner without hurting quality of service.

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his guest post was written by Affandy Johan, Senior Product Marketing Manager, InfoVista

This guest post was written by Affandy Johan, Senior Product Marketing Manager, InfoVista

As of March 2015, LTE network coverage is now available for 98% of Americans, up from just over half of the U.S. population in 2011. Worldwide, 124 countries now have LTE coverage, with another 18 scheduled to roll out LTE this year. That represents a huge investment from governments and leading operators, which have each poured billions into bringing the speed and bandwidth of LTE to subscribers.

 Most mobile operators would agree that there are gaps in their processes for maintaining a high quality of experience (QoE) throughout LTE networks, though. While their goal is to quickly identify and address LTE network performance issues before they impact subscribers, many lack the necessary insight into subscriber and network data to accomplish this. As a result, LTE network optimization can be very challenging, often leading to subscriber churn when QoE falls short.

But, what if mobile operators could proactively combat this by thinking about performance from the subscriber perspective? What if they could troubleshoot their LTE networks based on data about subscriber QoE, rather than on just network KPIs?

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This guest post was written by Alon Geva,Timing & Synchronization Expert, CTO Office, RAD Member of the ITU-T SG15/Q13 Sync Standardization Group

This guest post was written by Alon Geva,Timing & Synchronization Expert, CTO Office, RAD & Member of the ITU-T SG15/Q13 Sync Standardization Group

Delivering sub-microsecond time accuracy to the cellular base stations is one of the major challenges facing cellular providers as they deploy their new LTE networks. This is exacerbated by LTE-A’s stringent synchronization requirements and the growing use of small cells in 4G networks, which create unique challenges in the backhaul segment.

Before the debut of 4G, the standard way to deliver a time reference was to install a Global Navigation Satellite System, or GNSS (e.g., GPS) at every cell site. A GNSS receiver is usually referred to as a Primary Reference Time Clock (PRTC). This approach is impractical in 4G, however, given the far greater number of cell sites, the intended indoor location of part of the antennas (e.g. shopping malls), as well as the growing concern about possible jamming and spoofing. Furthermore, considerations of CapEx and OpEx render this approach highly ineffective.

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