Last week, Cisco released its annual Visual Networking Index, which forecasted that mobile traffic will reach 130 exabytes per year by 2016. In order to handle this amazing increase and ensure that they can maintain a high quality of service and customer experience, mobile network operators (MNOs) need to prepare now.
The first step MNOs should take in keeping up with the demand for mobile data is to arm themselves with the right arsenal of network performance management tools. MNOs require an end-to-end view of their all-IP networks, especially for Ethernet backhaul. This will help them proactively identify instances of recurring congestion and degradation, thus improving traffic management and network performance and end users’ Quality of Experience (QoE).
And, like I mentioned in a previous blog post, more MNOs are looking to LTE to support the growing demand for bandwidth fuelled by this explosive uptick in mobile data use. This presents an even greater need for real-time visibility as well as unparalleled flexibility to simultaneously monitor and better assure the performance of their 4G and existing 2G and 3G ecosystems. With it, MNOs will be able to overcome the complexity associated with transitioning to the next-generation network, and even improve not just QoE but also operational and cost efficiencies.
In addition, network performance management solutions can assist MNOs in meeting SLA agreements to guarantee service quality and availability, and providing business customers with value-adds like customized reports and proactive monitoring and care. They can also support capacity planning and enable MNOs to gain insight into their current resource and service saturation and accurately forecast where network upgrades or expansions might be required to avoid a crunch.
Network performance management is essential if MNOs are going to address the dramatic increase in mobile traffic that is forthcoming.