How Can Operators Adopt Cloud RAN while Improving Mobile Subscriber QoE?

In just the last five years, the amount of mobile network bandwidth devoted to data usage has jumped by a factor of 46. However, mobile network operators (MNOs) are still seeing 60 percent of their revenues coming from traditional voice services.

This has posed a big challenge for MNOs, as they must balance their growing mobile data service’s bandwidth requirements with their commitment to ensuring that their primary revenue streams – voice services – aren’t compromised. To help manage this balancing act, MNOs have started adopting new networking technologies aimed at transporting voice and data more cost efficiently. For instance, operators are now migrating their backhaul networks from time-division multiplexing (TDM) to Ethernet, along with building out larger LTE coverage.

By adopting Cloud RAN technologies, MNOs are preparing to transition to 5G networks via a virtualization layer (V-RAN) that would enable a new generation of real-time applications and services, but will require more bandwidth capacity at the base station and, in many cases, the fronthaul. While Cloud RAN technology will help operators cope with such requirements, it also changes the way radio access networks are being built. For example, sectors will now be connected to their base station through an Ethernet based network, again increasing network complexity and extending the Ethernet networks up to RAN cells.

With the adoption of Ethernet-based Fronthaul, cross-domain performance visibility becomes critical

In a recent report published by RCR Wireless, I took part in an interview conducted by Monica Paolini of Senza Fili that focused on the challenges associated with managing increasingly complex mobile networks. We framed this conversation in the context of ways that MNOs can help improve mobile subscriber’s overall quality-of experience (QoE) by delivering higher network QoS and managing multi-layered network domains.

While a single solution for managing networks end-to-end would be ideal, it’s not always available to engineers, as most NNOs are still organized around network domains. InfoVista provides the tools that engineering and operations staff need to share network performance and service quality information across departments, which gives MNOs a real-time understanding of how multiple domains impact each other. In particular, this delivers the visibility necessary for RAN and backhaul teams to collaborate and accelerate troubleshooting of QoS issues that may otherwise turn off subscribers. Those solutions will become increasingly more relevant once MNOs turn on Ethernet Fronthaul.

The ideal, 360-degree visibility for ultimate QoE

The ideal solution would be to continually test various mobile services (such as VoLTE or VoWifi) and correlate the result of those active tests with network KPIs. This is what the combination of TEMS Monitor Master and VistaInsight can bring to MNOs, which makes InfoVista a unique supplier of network performance orchestration solution for mobile operators.

Learn more about the strategies and solutions InfoVista can help your teams employ by downloading our recently published report in RCR Wireless, along with exploring the different solutions we offer for service assurance.