Service providers are demanding more from their customer experience and service assurance solutions because they have a keen awareness of the richness and value of the information that flows across their networks. Reliably and accurately extracted, this information can be used to help manage not just the network, but also the services offered and the devices deployed. Insights can be also be gained around the performance of providers’ vendors and—most significantly—the experiences and value of their customers.
At this 2016 LTE Voice event, we were discussing the complexities that service providers face when rolling out new services such as voice over LTE, or VoLTE. Not only do they have to consider the interworking of new network components and functions, such as the evolved packet core (EPC) and IP multimedia subsystem (IMS), that are critical to delivering actual VoLTE service, but they also must grasp how these new components interwork with existing services such as messaging (and, to a certain extent, data) to ensure no impact to existing service offerings, legacy or otherwise.
To add to the complexity, service providers must also manage the introduction of new handsets or devices: Nearly every device manufacturer now promotes the support of VoLTE or, in marketing terms, “HD Voice,” in its latest flagship model. But, of course, not all devices have the same characteristics and cannot offer the same VoLTE service experience. Completing the picture, we have the radio access network (RAN) itself; access to VoLTE service will very much depend on suitable RAN and, therefore, radio coverage. Actual VoLTE service quality will depend on how this is then optimized.
The key to any customer experience or service assurance solution is the ability to determine the relationships among these multiple entities and dimensions, rather than merely to reporting on each individually.
The ability to extract actionable intelligence as a new service is rolled out lies in understanding these interactions and what they all mean for the customer base. With the right solutions in place, answering questions such as, “What is the VoLTE service experience for my key customers using a specific device type in a particular area of my network?” is no longer a challenge.
If this is of any interest to you then rest assured that we work with a range of mobile service providers providing them with solutions tailored to meet their needs. Empirix has also written a whitepaper that might be of interest – Critical importance of true modelling and runtime capabilities to achieve adequate customer experience testing.