The explosion of smartphones (~1.5 billion sold in 2015), the proliferation of applications accessible through 4G mobile networks, and the advent of over-the-top (OTT) services have all put pressure on traditional service providers to differentiate themselves, keep the customer base loyal and, most importantly, recover revenues currently flowing to OTT providers and other MNO competitors.
Designed for use by a service provider to manage the performance of all mobile devices on its network—2G, 3G or 4G—the solution generated interest from not only service providers, but also from network equipment vendors who are in the process of investigating not only the next generation in network technology but, more significantly, user or application devices capable of hosting next-generation services.
Within most service provider environments, the vast majority of customer care issues find their way to tier-2 or -3 network operations and engineering teams for resolution. But, with the volume of issues dramatically increasing due to growth in available data services and the proliferation of mobile device users, sustaining this model and resolving issues in a timely manner is becoming ever more difficult.
If the transition to virtualized environments in the enterprise is any indicator, it appears that the transition to NFV in CSPs is only a question of when, not if. Why is this so? Well, for the same reason the enterprises did it: to be more agile.
The near ubiquity of mobile devices has created a virtuous cycle: More and more users of mobile devices need more and more capabilities. At the same time, the availability of more capabilities on mobile devices has in itself attracted more users.
Have you ever heard that phrase muttered in response to the question, “Why are we doing it this way?” If so, you are probably not alone. In fact, you may have even heard the “Five Monkeys and a Ladder” story, loosely based on social experiments with monkeys, that is used to emphasize the need to question the status quo and embrace new processes rather than holding tightly to existing ones just because they have always been there.
DAS (Distributed Antenna Systems) can be considered the first iteration on the evolutionary road to C-RAN (Centralized RAN). As the name suggests, the antennas are distributed over a wide area, typically different stories of a building. A DAS solution provides improved carrier coverage, something that is becoming increasingly harder to achieve indoor due to ever-improving building and insulation standards. Additionally, as there are more antennas, they can broadcast at lower power.
MDT (Minimization of Drive Test) is a 3GPP feature first released in Release 10, which was frozen in 2011. And yet, it has not yet made a major impact in the marketplace despite it now being 5 years later.
Churn continues to be a hot topic for all mobile service providers, regardless of their size or location. It’s easy to understand why, because customer churn could result in millions of lost revenues.
By now, most of us involved within the Telecoms space will have heard about Voice over LTE. Like any new technology, it comes with a lot of hope and promise to improve customer experiences and reduce operating expenses, but what exactly is it and what challenges will it present for the service provider.