Mobile operators heat up ‘Quality Wars’, using performance to win subscribers from ‘good enough’ networks
Accedian, has announced that its fully virtualised mobile network monitoring platform is the first to have been deployed to assure LTE networks.
Multiple Tier-1 Asian operators now have complete visibility into network quality of service (QoS) and user experience in real-time from a single, centralised system. The deployments form the foundation for quality-first networks that are disrupting the de facto model of competing for subscribers with ‘lowest price, good enough’ performance.
With the goal of optimising user experience, operators use the Accedian solution to monitor a wide range of performance metrics, collected from hundreds of thousands of network nodes every second. This real-time view of a network’s health is directly integrated into big data analytics platforms, providing unique insight into voice, video, mobile application, and broadband performance.
Accedian solutions are used to monitor leading mobile networks worldwide. These recent LTE deployments are the first to use a fully virtualised version of Accedian’s SkyLIGHT Performance Platform. SkyLIGHT VCX virtual probes, each capable of monitoring tens of thousands of sessions to assure entire network regions, can be ‘spun up’ on commercial off the shelf servers (COTS) servers in a matter of minutes. Patented methods allow critical one-way network metrics to be measured to microsecond-level precision—hundreds of times more accurately than any solution to date.
In these deployments, the operators are using the SkyLIGHT platform to monitor mobile network backhaul performance over multiple service priorities, and to give direct quality of experience (QoE) visibility into VoLTE voice quality, application latency, and streaming media performance. Key performance indicators (KPIs) can also be used to reduce call drops, as well as connectivity, roaming, and inter-cell handoff issues.
Deployments of this scale include monitoring every base station and cell site router—more than a quarter million endpoints in any given network. Accedian professional services teams worked closely with the mobile operators to instrument their complete national networks in as little as eight weeks. In one integration, the SkyLIGHT platform now streams over 20 billion measurements a day to the operator’s big data analytics system. Deployments will soon extend to monitor transport and core networks, as well as end user connectivity and application experience.
The benefits of virtualised instrumentation are transformative for mobile network operators. Beyond disruptive cost savings that can exceed 70%, complete national networks can be instrumented in weeks instead of months, and to a level of granularity and density that would normally be impossible with physical hardware probes.
As LTE networks face rapid growth in traffic levels, application usage, and network density, new probes can be turned up on-demand. Virtual machines’ CPU, memory, and storage capacity can also be scaled up to provide extra capacity when needed.
“Over the course of 12 years, Accedian has pioneered the most granular, precise, scalable monitoring solutions available, providing real-time, actionable insight to large scale network operators globally,” explained Claude Robitaille, Accedian CTO.
“Our introduction of carrier-grade, fully virtualised versions of these solutions opens entirely new opportunities for operators to dramatically increase network performance, take user experience to a new level, and differentiate themselves in ultra-competitive markets. Virtual instrumentation is a fundamental component of these operators’ strategies to build the intelligent analytics-driven networks that can deliver an always optimised experience.”
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