As UK’s low ranking 4G coverage is slammed users ask, when can mobile operators put an end to ‘Digital Deserts’?
The UK’s 4th Generation (4G) mobile network coverage is not good enough – that’s the damning indictment from the country’s National Infrastructure Commission (NIC).
The NIC commented on research that showed the UK’s mobile network was worse than Albania, Panama and Peru, and is now ranked 54th in the world. The NIC called on mobile operators to end “digital deserts” as British subscribers were frustrated with coverage “dead spots” in city centres, on major roads and across the country’s rail networks.
Paul Gowans, marketing manager for Location Intelligence & RAN Solutions at Viavi (a company working with some of the world’s largest mobile operators to test equipment, improve network coverage and launch new services) commented. Gowans said: “One of the biggest challenges facing mobile operators is the extreme non-uniformity in their networks.
A Viavi study showed that 50% of mobile data is consumed by less than 1% of subscribers. And 50% of data is consumed in less than 1% of the network area. Mobile operators have the unenviable task of managing this chasm in variability and balancing the needs of subscriber devices that have an appetite for bandwidth. Operators must plan and optimise mobile networks to deliver a reliable and consistent Quality of Experience (QoE).
Subscribers should not have to put up with coverage dead spots where coverage is needed – this is not geographic coverage but people coverage.”
“When it comes to planning, all too often mobile operators rely only on network performance metrics. That’s not good enough,” said Gowans. “Planning and optimisation is a continual process. It must be subscriber-centric and location-aware so they do not overlook areas such as towns, villages, road networks, events and rail lines. Data from calls and connections on a network-wide basis can provide unmatched insight into network behaviour. Operators and governments can then prioritise improvements to have the greatest impact on subscriber QoE.”
“Technology available today in the form of Automated Optimisation allow operators to fully automate and intelligently manage the entire network so subscribers don’t suffer from poor QoE. An effectively optimised network delivers significant advantages. Subscribers benefit from reliable coverage.
Operators get much more from their network investment. It defers CapEx, minimises time to resolve issues and automates processes that can free-up valuable time for engineers. It is a win-win. It is time to put a stop to poor QoE and to “digital deserts,” he concluded.
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