Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Greater visibility required to improve 4G performance, coverage

Gigamon
Friday 21 February 14

OpenSignal, a company that specialises in mobile signal mapping, recently released the results of a report looking into LTE coverage and speeds around the world. The report, entitled ‘The state of LTE’, revealed that both coverage and performance varies widely, with only approximately one quarter of networks studied achieving both good coverage and fast speeds. Australian 4G users see the fastest speeds…

OpenSignal, a company that specialises in mobile signal mapping, recently released the results of a report looking into LTE coverage and speeds around the world. The report, entitled ‘The state of LTE’, revealed that both coverage and performance varies widely, with only approximately one quarter of networks studied achieving both good coverage and fast speeds. Australian 4G users see the fastest speeds, while South Korea provides the best LTE coverage.

The USA suffered the biggest decline with speeds falling 32 percent since 2013, making it the second slowest in the world – though it did perform better in terms of coverage. The report notes that mobile operators are continuously making improvements to their networks, but increasing user volumes can negate some of these improvements as network load will reduce average speeds.

“This report highlights the fact that 4G is presenting network operators with great challenges – and these need to be addressed,” said Andy Huckridge, director of service provider solutions at Gigamon. “One of the biggest drivers in customer loyalty is network performance, and the ‘always-on’ culture that has developed means users expect they will be able to access mobile data, and fast, at all times – particularly if they are signed up to 4G data plans. In a fickle market, customer retention is incredibly important to service providers and they need to ensure that expectations are being met, even as traffic across the network increases.”

“However, operators are going to struggle to keep up with the demands of their customers unless they gain greater visibility into how their networks are operating,” continued Huckridge. “It is essential that providers improve their management and monitoring capabilities and have the ability to identify where any pressure points are located to decrease the impact of poor performance on customers as traffic soars. Increased visibility will equip operators with this ability, as well as greater subscriber level intelligence. With greater intelligence, operators can better understand how the network is utilised and identify any areas for improvement. Ultimately, this will ensure customer loyalty as the service they receive will be improved and it will also open up new revenue streams for operators.”

“It is now critical that service providers have a greater understanding of their networks, not only to retain their customers, but also to improve their business models. As Annual Revenue Per User (ARPU) decreases and the costs of running networks increase, it is time for network operators to act and find ways to monetise new offerings. This report clearly shows that, at present, operators are struggling to cope and the only way they will be able to change their fortunes is by increasing visibility. There is no doubt 4G presents a real opportunity to carriers, but only if the networks are monitored correctly.”


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