Category Archives: RAN

Start with the end in mind

End in mindThe need to better manage how end users experience network performance It is rush hour on a rainy Wednesday morning. The metro station is heaving with commuters. The departure board shows the next train leaving at 08.09, but it is already 08.16. No, time travel has not been invented yet. The train is late, and the board has not been updated with the expected time of train departure. The reason for the delay is unknown. It could be a signaling failure, a train fault, leaves on the line, or even track congestion.Whichever the reason, the commuters’ experience of the metro […]  More >>

Navigating the upcoming RAN challenges

Network traffic is soaring. The volume of mobile data traffic across cellular networks is growing at 60 to 120% year-on-year for almost every operator globally. The continuous increase in network traffic makes it an uphill struggle for mobile network operators (MNOs) to provide top-notch quality of experience (QoE). Operators know this trend only too well – it’s part of their daily lives. But what other trends are heading their way? In our updated State of the RAN report, we highlight nine major trends that operators need to be aware of in 2016. And we offer advice on what operators need […]  More >>

The never-ending RAN challenge: a battle of mythological proportions

Throughout this year, I have had the opportunity to discuss the mobile network challenges for service providers with a number of analysts, vendors, and service provider managers and engineers. Our discussions have frequently revolved around the significance of the radio access network (RAN), which remains a headache for service providers, although it may not dominate the spotlight as much as in the past. Indeed, while most mobile networks appear to have reached a high level of maturity and satisfactory performance, there is no shortage of RAN-related matters to address. For example, many service providers face a major RAN challenge on […]  More >>

Addressing the challenges of app-aware networks

Guest post from Dean Bubley, independent analyst, Disruptive Analysis. Much of the current discussion in the network industry concerns topics such as virtualisation, new approaches to monetising data traffic, or the shifting balance-of-power between application providers and infrastructure owners. Despite the furore around Net Neutrality, there continues to be a desire to treat Internet traffic differentially, as well as creating other new non-Internet capabilities in the network, perhaps specific to IoT connectivity or on-net content services. Although innovations like SDN (software-defined networks) and NFV (network function virtualisation) are often now associated with “network slicing” and “application-awareness”, those general concepts have already […]  More >>

Guest Post: Ignore at your peril – RAN optimization is critical to the HetNet

The more instruments are added to an orchestra, the more difficult it is to avoid cacophony. This is a challenge musicians have faced since ancient times, and regardless of the style of music, the basic answers are the same – each instrument must be perfectly tuned, and they must all be following a common score. The same principles apply to the wireless network. If the classic macro network can be seen as having the relative uniformity of plainsong, the emerging HetNet (heterogeneous network) is more like experimental jazz, with a wide range of elements (different cell sizes, spectrum bands and […]  More >>

The Evolution of RAN Optimization

Subscribers expect and demand more from their mobile network than ever before. They place high value on excellent data coverage, high data quality, and super-fast download speeds.  Given this, it’s no surprise that network data quality has become an important differentiator for mobile operators. Although operators want and need to continually improve their data quality, costs must be contained. And as increasing mobile traffic continues to drive network costs up, operators are seeking new ways to create a world-class customer experience while controlling OPEX and delaying CAPEX. Since the launch of 2G, optimization has remained a key activity for operators […]  More >>

Optimizing the Mobile Network for Special Events

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 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 […]  More >>

Squeeze 25% more from your RAN

If the size of mobile phones grew as quickly as our data consumption, we’d all be holding skyscrapers to our ears. Data demand is increasing exponentially – yet that in itself is not a problem. For mobile operators, the problem is how to address the demand for capacity while remaining profitable. That is the core challenge. And addressing it means overcoming three major obstacles.  More >>

RAN can make – or break – the network experience

Subscribers expect the same quality of experience everywhere they go – whether at home on their private networks, or outdoors at a crowded sports event. From the customer perspective, it’s simple. But not for the service provider. As a conduit between mobile operators and subscribers, the Radio Access Network (RAN) is the biggest driver of network experience. Inside the RAN is where the mobile experience can be optimized – but it’s also where managing network resources inefficiently can lead to unhappy subscribers, and even risk driving them into the hands of competitors.  More >>