Tag Archives: RAN

The weakest link in customer experience, and the network of the future

network problems  On a cloudy Sunday evening last month, a group of us were watching a film at a friend’s house. Our host had purchased the film from a popular online content provider and was streaming it using his Wi-Fi router, laptop and TV. We were all glued to the screen when disaster struck: after approximately an hour, at a key point in the film, the image pixelated. And less than a minute later, it froze… Reactions in the room were mixed: “there were network issues in the area last week”, “it must be this old laptop”, “a neighbor is using […]  More >>

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

Dartmoor Devon Road EnglandThroughout 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 >>

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 >>

Are You Delivering the Type of Experience that Drives Loyalty?

Smartphones enable pizza delivery, but poor quality of experience can mean pizza delivered to the wrong houseMNOs realize that the key to increasing their bottom line starts with quality of experience (QoE). Customers are increasingly dependent on their mobile devices. Smartphones are an extension of the user, enabling financial transactions, food delivery, music and video streaming, and much more. In today’s mobile world, a poor customer experience can send your customer running to another provider. In a recent poll, 46 percent of global consumers said that they would be willing to pay more for better data coverage and 42 percent said they would pay more for faster data downloads. Knowing your customer and how they use […]  More >>

The Evolution of RAN Optimization

Service providers need smarter networks, instead of squeezing out every bit of their current networksSubscribers 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

Events like the NBA Finals create unique network challenges. Photo courtesy of  Erik DrostSpecial 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 >>

4 Driving Forces for SON

Like Freddie Mercury and Queen, service  providers want it all, and they want it nowThe self-optimizing network (SON) conversation is changing. There’s a new maturity. Operators know they need it and it is a case of when and how, rather than if. But what’s driving this change? Well, it varies… For many it is pure and simple data overload. Mobile data traffic is expected to increase at a CAGR of 42.5% over the next five years. With network traffic expected to double every year, the 4G buffer will eventually be exhausted. Although 4G is still providing relief for 3G networks, it won’t be long before it becomes the new scarce network resource. To minimize […]  More >>

Squeeze 25% more from your RAN

network planningIf 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

stadiumSubscribers 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 >>

Why independence is vital in HetNet management

Independence is critical when it comes to HetNet managementManaging HetNets with their different access technologies, different network vendors, and different cell sizes is complicated. The right C-SON system will have everything in place to be that simplifying, optimizing force. And for this to be effective, it requires vendor independence as well as a resolute focus on improving network management and the customer experience.  More >>