Thursday, 27 July 2017

Wireless network testing must reflect real-world usage

Accuver
Tuesday 28 February 12

Accuver, a leading wireless network optimisation solutions provider, is calling for wireless cellular network vendors and operators to implement nationwide smartphone-specific network testing if voice call quality is to improve in line with user expectations. This comes after Accuver assisted in the world’s first test of its kind at a country-wide level, with the active involvement of all major network operators and using the latest smartphones…

Accuver, a leading wireless network optimisation solutions provider, is calling for wireless cellular network vendors and operators to implement nationwide smartphone-specific network testing if voice call quality is to improve in line with user expectations. This comes after Accuver assisted in the world’s first test of its kind at a country-wide level, with the active involvement of all major network operators and using the latest smartphones, on behalf of the Korea Communications Commission (KCC).

The results of the KCC study showed that there certainly remains room for improvement, emphasising that joint efforts are needed to improve the quality of voice calling on smartphones.

According to Accuver, this type of testing is no longer optional as smartphones proliferate and the use of data-based services continues to increase year on year. Vendors and operators must collaborate to conduct more valuable tests in order to ensure consumer satisfaction and, going forward, this should form the foundation of any network/service improvement programme. Claims that vendors have fine-tuned their networks to allow for signaling need to be verified in terms of end-user impact, and this information should form the basis of further improvements.

Accuver also highlighted that if the industry is to have an open and objective dialogue about the cause, effect and potential fixes for wireless network performance bottlenecks, then operators and vendors must not rely simply on high level key performance indicators; it is essential that the radio frequency data is analysed.

Furthermore, smartphone-specific testing would help to establish whether or not networks have a smartphone-based threshold beyond which there will be a permanent degradation of quality. If such a limit exists, the ability to accurately model and forecast it would have a significant impact on the market.

Extending testing to cover VoIP would also further reinforce understanding of network performance, to assess the impact of data off-loading on call-quality over Wi-Fi, for example.

Myungsup Kim, CEO, Accuver, said, “The entire mobile industry and its consumers would benefit from more appropriate testing initiatives being brought in as standard. We have cutting-edge test and measurement solutions at our disposal, capable of delivering highly detailed information based on real-world performance. However, the uptake of nation-wide, collaborative projects such as those carried out in Korea has been disappointing to date.”

Kim continued, “Operators need more intelligent and cost effective ways to troubleshoot and fix bottlenecks in their networks. For example, through crowd-sourcing and other cost-effective methods of subscriber-based data collection on smartphones. Ultimately, basing network and service improvement programmes on the richest and most appropriate data available will lead to greater end results.”

Further details of Accuver’s role in the KCC smartphone-specific network testing project are available in a case study here: http://www.accuver.com/102


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