Posts tagged ‘network’

The Big Deal about Big Data

Marc Bensadoun, Newfield WirelessBy Marc Bensadoun, CEO of Newfield Wireless, a Tektronix Communications company and a leader in RAN geoanalytics

“Big data analytics provides telcos with the opportunity to sustain and grow their businesses beyond simple connectivity,” said Mi-Young Ko, director of enterprise strategy, research department, Korea Telecom, in an interview posted on this blog back in August.

As mobile network operators transition to, grow and continuously optimise their 4G LTE networks, there is no overstating the value and benefits of end-to-end, real-time intelligence. It enables operators to draw value from their own data in a cost-efficient manner. And it has tremendous potential to do more.

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LTE business manager, Astellia: “LTE expectations in terms of throughput and quality are very high.”

Astellia-ManagerAstellia are a sponsor partner of the LTE World Summit, taking place on June 24th-26th 2013, at the RAI Amsterdam, Netherlands. Ahead of the show we speak to Thierry Jacq, LTE business manager to find out more about why network monitoring is so important and how it has evolved in recent years.

Why is mobile network monitoring important for operators?

Probe-based network monitoring is the only way to efficiently obtain comprehensive data on the quality experienced by subscribers on mobile networks. The collected data gives deep insight in network elements performance, handset behavior, services and applications usage and group of subscriber’s behavior such as corporate fleets that require particular quality grades based on service level agreements (SLA).

Probe-based network monitoring tools are the key source of network vendor independent KPIs necessary to benchmark equipment vendors and to evaluate the customer experience.  These tools are invaluable to operators as they are an effective way to identify and troubleshoot poor network quality and misbehaving smartphones that are not in line with 3GPP specifications. This helps to preempt customer complaints and to lower churn.

How have monitoring tools evolved over recent years?

More than 10 years ago Astellia’s Ocean probe represented the beginning of the network probing revolution. In a market where probes were complicated protocols analysers dedicated to troubleshooting, Astellia’s product offered a QoS KPI generator, changing every subscriber into a drive-tester.  Today Astellia takes it some steps further: driving the customer experience through customer analytics. Customer experience management (CEM) is becoming fundamental for mobile operators to differentiate themselves and to succeed. To drive customer experience, operators need to have a 360° visibility into customer’s usage behavior, the network both RAN and Core, and the handset. Therefore, mobile operators need probe-based monitoring solutions which can detect, analyse, correlate, report and troubleshoot issues which are linked to network efficiency, QoE, roaming, handset performance and application usage.

What differentiates one monitoring tool from another? What should a carrier’s CTO look for?

The first thing would be end-to-end monitoring. A mobile network is a set of interworking network elements and as such it is crucial to monitor the network from core to the radio access (RAN) part in order to detect any weak link. Most quality degradations are coming from the RAN, so unique RAN expertise is something CTOs should look for. CTOs should also pay attention to the tools’ capturing and processing capacity. Data is still surging in mobile networks and probes have to be ready to deal with this amount of data.  Data content awareness is another important element. Awareness of the most used services such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and traffic generated by OTT applications (Skype, Whatsapp, etc) is key to be able to optimise a mobile network where, by definition, capacity is limited.

What are the particular challenges that LTE brings that differ from 2G and 3G networks?

LTE’s expectations in terms of throughput and quality are very high. This new technology has been deployed very quickly compared to 2G and 3G, and the integration and the ‘user friendly phase’ have been shortened considerably. As such, operators are under financial pressure to monetise LTE very quickly. LTE introduces a new network layer and new vendors that have to interoperate correctly. This challenge is complicated by the fact that LTE is a pure data network: if you receive a voice call your smartphone has to fall back to 3G layer before taking the call. In order to provide high-quality network services to an increased volume of consumers, mobile network monitoring and optimization is key.

What’s the link between network monitoring and customer retention?

Customer retention is a multi-faceted challenge that encompasses all interactions between the subscriber and his service provider. Probe-based network monitoring brings operators the assurance to quickly detect and fix the root cause of dissatisfaction in a proactive way, hereby providing reliable services to an ever more demanding customer base. Customer Care agents for instance can get a detailed overview of the subscriber activity and identify issues encountered by the subscriber as well as the cause of the problem. Thanks to these probe-based data, they can improve first call resolution time and reduce significantly the number of trouble tickets sent to level 2 teams. Furthermore, collecting and analysing data about customer usage enables the marketing department to propose services and data plans adapted to the subscriber needs, thus increasing satisfaction and ARPU.

Meet Thierry Jacq during the LTE World Summit on Tuesday June 25th at 15h00 on Track 4 where he will be presenting Big data analytics: ‘Extract network and customer insight from Big data – Turn it into action’.

Astellia are nominated for the Best Test/Measurement LTE Product, at the LTE Awards, taking place  at the LTE Awards 2013, taking place at the 25 June 2013, De Duif, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Interview: Founder, Getjar: “We’ve measured a direct correlation between data connection speed/reliability and app engagement.”

Ilja Laurs, chairman and founder of Getjar

Ilja Laurs, chairman and founder of Getjar

Ilja Laurs, chairman and founder of Getjar is taking part in a panel discussion  on Day Two of the LTE World Summit, taking place on the 24th-26th June 2013, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Ahead of the show we find out more about this innovative App store, and why the performance of the network is so crucial to the user experience.

Please tell us a little about Getjar.

GetJar is an app distribution and monetisation platform for Android. We distribute 750,000 apps, have 500,000 registered developers, and to date have achieved three billion downloads. Our rewards-based virtual currency GetJar Gold has reached 200 million users, of which 30 million are active on a monthly basis.

How does your business model differ from that of the Apple and Android app stores?

Unlike Apple and Google’s retail model, we focus on “paid discovery”. We promote all major apps, from Facebook to games and our revenues come from app promotional budgets.  A unique aspect of our business model is that we give a portion of the advertising revenues to users (as a rewards virtual currency GetJar Gold) that they can then spend on premium content and in-app purchases.

Smartphones and tablets have dramatically altered the mobile landscape yet are still only around half of the mobile phone market. How great an opportunity is this for Getjar and other digital innovators?

A great opportunity! We, and all partners that we work with, are almost entirely focussed on smartphones. While a big share of the mobile market (and GetJar legacy business) is still feature phones, given the technical constrains and limited future (we give them a couple of years), nobody is investing in the segment.

The LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, is taking place on the 24th-26th June 2013, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Click here to download a brochure for the event.

As you look to grow, what are the biggest challenges you face?

Android fragmentation is among the biggest challenges. We had to deal with fragmentation back in Java days, so we know how difficult it is. Among other challenges are poor Android monetisation. Relative to iOS, an average Android user is worth 5x less. This is primarily because Google on the one hand has not solved billing for Android, and on the other hand does not allow any alternative billing platforms.

Another issue is that the move to earn from mobile advertising dollars is slow. It took 15 years for the internet to attract only 10 per cent of the potential advertising budgets from ‘old media’ (TV, radio and print), if measured by ad dollars relative to the consumer engagement.

A third issue is that despite being large Android markets, business is very difficult in China and Korea  as Google Play is not allowed, and distribution is very controlled and fragmented.

How excited are you by the 4G roll-outs taking place worldwide?

Absolutely excited! Numerous times we’ve measured a direct correlation between data connection speed/reliability and app engagement.

What would be your advice to those looking to develop apps?

One advice would be to seriously look at freemium/in-app vs. the paid business model. At GetJar, we get to see how different business models perform and it’s absolutely clear that a successful Freemium/in-app business model is not just better than paid, but often 10-20 times better! E.g. we’ve seen a casual game raise its RPM (revenue per thousand users) from $12 to $240 when it moved from paid to optimised in-app (selling levels, upgrades and other virtual goods).

Why are you choosing to attend the LTE World Summit?

We work a lot with app developers. Many of them are very interested in carrier APIs, especially with the rise of LTE, where a lot of app activity depends on the network (streaming services, location, etc.). I hope that sharing some of the biggest developer challenges will help the operators to better optimise their networks and services for developer, and ultimately consumer, needs.

Wireless in 5-10 Years: How Will Network Architectures Look?

This post is by Rajiv Chandrasekaran, director of technology development, RF Power Amplifiers, CommScope 

As a director of technology development, I try to predict what wireless networks architectures will look like in the years ahead. Obviously, no forecaster is perfect.  But as I survey what’s occurred over the past few years and look at trends today, I believe there will be a re-ordering of the key influencers determining future wireless network architectures. For this discussion, let’s focus on the US. I believe the key players in the US will be the following, in descending order of influence:

  1. Content providers such as: Google, Apple, Amazon and media companies such as Disney, CBS, CNN, Fox, Cablevision and Comcast
  2. Device manufacturers such as: Apple, Samsung, and Google
  3. Network operators such as: AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone, T-Mobile, and Sprint
  4. Equipment manufacturers such as: Ericsson, Huawei, NSN, ALU, Cisco, IBM, and HP

Why this order? Because content providers and handset manufacturers are the most profitable, empowering them to have more influence over the networks of tomorrow. Thus, the choice of network technology standards (such as LTE) will be driven by device manufacturers and not solely by infrastructure OEMs and operators. This likelihood is supported by how AT&T is accelerating its LTE deployments today, Verizon’s migration from CDMA to LTE, and Sprint’s abandonment of WiMAX for LTE. The content and devices are increasingly impacting how operators evolve their wireless networks.

Content providers typically want to sell information, advertising, and content to anyone, anywhere. Therefore, mobile applications will impose new requirements on the network architecture. Since mobiles likely won’t have adequate storage or processing capabilities to address newer applications, cloud-based storage and applications will become the norm. Content providers will want to provide wired backhaul (fibre and/or copper) as close as they can to the end user.

The challenge for the wireless infrastructure vendor then is to move this content from the backhaul to the mobile user. I don’t believe a single wireless channel will ever have adequate capacity to support the full range of intended applications. For example, 10 MHz LTE can only provide 75Mbps (peak) for all users. Therefore, data aggregation over multiple channels (Wi-Fi and LTE, licensed and unlicensed) will likely become the norm. Hence the base stations of tomorrow will need to aggregate data across multiple paths and transfer seamlessly to the mobile. Innovations will be required to manage the quality of service and delays across such implementations. LTE will become the norm since most new mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets support LTE.

Attend LTE North America 2012 to hear from the leading US carriers including AT&T, MetroPCS, Verizon, US.Cellular, T-Mobile USA and Clearwire. To see the full speaker line up click here. The conference is on the 14-15th November 2012 at the Fairmont Dallas Hotel, Texas. Click here to download the full conference program.

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