You may recall from the second post of this four part series, “Automate, Collaborate, Empower – Maximizing the RAN’s Value Through Coverage Maps,” that automation is the first, and perhaps most obvious, enhancement for coverage map generation, but there is much more to achieve with Mentum Fusion. In particular, it enables cross-functional collaboration based on available wireless network intelligence.
Using a mapping and reporting interface, such as our Network Online eXplorer (NOX) client, mobile operators can achieve a unique solution that automates network simulation and coverage map production to significantly reduce the time and effort in typical coverage mapping applications. Without such capability, changes made to the wireless network itself – or merely the network plans – need to be shared and analyzed to generate the appropriate coverage maps, instead of being automated in one complete solution. Essentially, it’s about synchronizing network data with coverage map generation.
Mobile operators can take this a step further by publishing the resulting data to the web so that it is available to all stakeholders. All that is needed to access the coverage maps is a browser.
As an example, consider executive management. They need to understand the wireless network in relation to corporate marketing targets, corporate accounts, government accounts, network sharing agreements with other wireless operators, mandatory services such as 911 and compliance data for new spectrum. To support decision making and communicate compliance and strategy, these executives and their support staff require detailed reporting. Normally, this level of detailed reporting needs to be defined and communicated to engineering, which requires formatting and other specific visualization attributes. This pre-production process can be very time consuming, and then, the coverage maps and reports have to be generated. The likelihood that these reports are stale and out of date by the time they’re generated is very high.
Good decision making involves analyzing the alternatives, but this adds to the complexity of what-if scenarios. Mobile operators can begin to see how timely data and network intelligence seem to be on opposite sides of the “spectrum” (no pun intended). With integrated network data automation and what-if analysis built into the coverage generation process, the ability to get timely, accurate and meaningful information is not only possible, but practical, without stealing away precious engineering resources.
Now, add web-based access, and all stakeholders can see the real-time status, instead of wondering which one of dozens of static report files pertain to the current plans or network configurations.
Enabling enhanced decision making with full collaboration is the exact purpose of Mentum Fusion. It centralizes data locations with a common interface, dynamically reports with different filters and inputs what-if capabilities by tuning the system configuration to regenerate maps, perhaps on a daily schedule. A reduced level of coordination is necessary to support the process which also frees up highly valuable resources so employees can focus on their ‘day-jobs.’
Check back in two weeks for my last post in the series!]]>
As mobile operators deploy new technologies, like LTE and small cells, to stand up to capacity demands, their networks are becoming increasingly complex. This has presented a challenge to deliver consistent network performance and keep costs down, amid the mobile data deluge. One way to achieve this is through highly-detailed reporting on the network that allows mobile operators to not only ensure quality of service (QoS) management, but also the effective deployment of network investments that assist in supporting future capacity demands.
A representative from Omani telecommunications company Nawras said that Xeus Pro has helped the company to do just that, comparing the solution to “a VIP lane in a crowded airport where you avoid all the hassle and get things done fast.”
How is this achieved?
The benefits attained by Nawras are typical for InfoVista customers. Xeus Pro supports Nawras’ technology upgrades and network optimization efforts, and because it integrates with Google Earth, Nawras has gained visibility into geographical topology and site details. What’s more, Xeus Pro enhances the engineers’ workflow with features like an intuitive interface and add-on modules that can be tailored to specific network needs.
As we told attendees at Mobile World Congress in February, InfoVista will continue to scale Xeus Pro to the server level to further improve customer usability, and help communications service providers get maximum value out of their networks, while controlling costs and resource deployment.
Interested in learning more about Xeus Pro? I invite you to check out the Nawras case study on our website, connect with me on LinkedIn or leave a comment below!]]>
Due to the scale and real-time nature of business and IT services, it takes years for communications service providers (CSPs) and global enterprises to productize and launch services to market. Gaining a holistic view of the network is incredibly important, particularly as most organizations grapple with increasingly complex networks driven by the adoption of network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networks (SDN). And, as CSPs and large enterprise requirements differ from traditional enterprises, they need to partner with specialized vendors allowing them to cost-efficiently deploy their services.
We are thrilled to share that on March 6, 2014, InfoVista was recognized in the very first Gartner Magic Quadrant for Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostics. We believe our technology assessment reaffirms our position as the go-to vendor for CSPs and as a wise choice for many large enterprises, government organizations and managed service providers (MSPs). We have proven to help them meet their goals of offering customers a consistent quality of service (QoS), while allowing for the optimization of network costs, not only by managing multiple network technologies in parallel, but also by helping with rapid migration to the latest technology evolutions.
Our positioning in offering carrier-grade application and network performance management solutions has been further reinforced with the launch of multiple large-scale application visibility services such as Vodafone’s Online Performance Reporting (OPR) and Telstra’s application visibility and usage service.
Estimated to be worth $1 billion and growing, the network performance monitoring and diagnostic segment is an exciting one, and we look forward to continuing to improve and innovate in an effort to offer the best solutions to our customers.
About the Magic Quadrant
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
In this month’s roundup of industry news, issues and updates, we feature articles about public safety LTE, 5G, distributed antenna systems (DAS) and mobile infrastructure collaboration in the Middle East and Africa (MEA). Enjoy!
LTEWorld: Public Safety LTE Market Drivers 2014: Why Public Safety LTE and Why Now? – March 10th
For many years, land mobile radio (LMR) systems have supported mission-critical voice and low-bandwidth data applications. However, recently, public safety communications service providers (CSPs) have begun to migrate their networks to LTE because of the mobile network technology’s ability to offer high-speed data and support multimedia applications. Mind Commerce predicts that public safety LTE subscriptions will reach more than 994,000 by the end of 2014. Looking further into the future, the next migration of public safety communications will likely be to LTE-Advanced in order to support roaming between LMR and LTE networks.
TechDirt: ’5G’ Wireless Doesn’t Even Technically Exist Yet, But Everyone’s Pretty Sure It’s Going To Fix Everything – March 17th
The next next-generation wireless standard, 5G, has been a common topic of discussion recently. Though it is still in the research phase, the telecom industry is confident it will have a lasting impression. The technology will most likely not appear until 2020, but already, South Korea has spent $1.5 billion USD in research, and regional carriers such as Samsung are already starting to give 5G some attention. It is being claimed that the technology will provide speeds that are 1,000 times faster than what is available today.
TelecomAsia: Infographic: Tackling the data deluge indoors – March 17th
According to CommScope, 80 percent of mobile data usage occurs inside; however, only two percent of indoor real estate is covered by in-building wireless systems currently. This lack of network coverage is important to note, especially since 90 percent of companies will support bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies for employees in 2014. Three factors—namely, multiple operators in urban regions, technologies ranging from 2G to Wi-Fi and different frequency bands—contribute to why this dearth exists. Distributed antenna systems (DAS) will help improve network coverage in indoor locations such as hi-rise office and residential and light industrial buildings by 2023, covering 100 million individual sites.
Telecoms.com: Middle East and African Operators to Collaborate on Infrastructure Sharing – March 18th
Ten mobile operators across MEA are cooperating to lower the cost of mobile and Internet services and increase mobile subscriber penetration (currently only at 40 percent) in the region. By sharing network infrastructure, they hope to primarily target rural, undeveloped areas with mobile broadband access.
If you’re interested in discussing these topics with us, I invite you to leave a comment below or connect with us on our other social media channels, including Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.]]>
For these reasons, one of the first requirements to improve the coverage map generation process is automation. Automation drastically reduces time-to-produce, frees up resources, embeds expertise into the process and reduces manual errors. This is exactly Mentum Fusion’s approach to coverage map production, as it provides a fully automated approach to the three steps of coverage map generation.
The automation employed by Mentum Fusion increases the overall agility of the engineering team as well as the whole wireless operator’s organization by providing rapid response to new events (e.g. technology introductions, population changes and usage behaviors, as well as new business). Furthermore, the information provided is constantly in synch with all available data since it is continually integrated for simultaneous map and statistics generations. Now, engineers can focus on network planning and optimization while ensuring that their wireless network intelligence is up-to-date and easily accessible by the various decision makers in the organization.
With budgets often under pressure, it’s critical to optimize the productivity of engineering personnel. Mentum Fusion ensures that these valuable staff are freed to use their expertise where it’s needed most instead of interfacing between planning tools and decision makers. Thus, as every wireless operator, from large to small, is affected by an increasingly dynamic and demanding environment, they can all take advantage of this type of automation to capitalize on the opportunities available without sacrificing profitability.
Automation is the start but there is much more to achieve with Mentum Fusion. Stay tuned for part three of our four-part series, wherein we explore more of the Mentum Fusion platform and its ability to support cross-functional collaboration based on the wireless network intelligence.]]>
According to Patrick Donegan, senior analyst, and Dennis Mendyk, VP of research, both at Heavy Reading, operators are investing more heavily in their mobile networks to improve overall performance and meet consumers’ growing demands. That includes working on network security, revitalizing mobile backhaul networks and, increasingly, virtualizing network components.
However, as my colleague, Vikas Trehan, pointed out, mobile operators must focus on balancing network growth with traffic while also containing costs. A big part of achieving this balance will be to leverage network optimization automation and other performance management solutions that help minimize the resources required to tune and manage mobile networks.
What trends do you believe were most talked about at Mobile World Congress? Leave a comment below, or on InfoVista’s LinkedIn page, and let’s continue the discussion!]]>
For example, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, FirstNet was tasked with standardizing the design process for its new, LTE-based national public safety network. By providing emergency responders with greater network coverage and capacity and higher-speed land mobile radio (LMR) communications, they are better equipped to save lives, solve crimes and keep communities safe.
Next week, at IWCE, we will be on hand to discuss how our wireless network planning technology has been deployed by FirstNet to help with this very task. With our RAN Collaboration Hub, InfoVista ensures safe, secure storage of project data and the planning of several technologies, like LMR and LTE, in a single project. In addition, because FirstNet relies on a multi-vendor environment, it saw our solution as providing critical collaboration capabilities. And, with the ability to optimize existing network elements and pre-plan for future roll-outs, FirstNet and other governments are guaranteed high network performance now, and down the line when new technologies emerge.
Also at the show, InfoVista Senior Software Engineer Darren Hart will be joined by other industry thought leaders to present LTE Case Studies on Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. PDT. Throughout the presentation, the group will discuss how InfoVista’s RAN Collaboration Hub is being used in the deployment of a public safety interoperable communication system (Project PTC-220) for freight operations.
Will you be at IWCE next week? If so, feel free to stop by our stand (3100) or reach out via Twitter (@InfoVista) to set up a meeting!]]>
RF engineers are the creators and key users of coverage maps, especially to measure progress on the implementations of their plans as well as to track objectives in terms of area, traffic and subscriber coverage. As technologies such as 4G/LTE evolve, new business models such as MVNOs are introduced and new subscriber devices appear in the market, these coverage maps will become increasingly necessary for decision making. Targets are defined by marketing, sales and other executives, and passed to the engineering team. This often helps to define and meet particular quality of service (QoS) targets and regulatory requirements that must be planned, understood, reviewed and checked, all based on the coverage maps.
There are three steps involved in coverage map generation:
The challenge for wireless operators today is that demand for this generation of coverage maps is drastically increasing due to a rapid influx of new approaches like small cells and new uses of the wireless network, such as smart meters and other M2M applications. This means that more people need to understand what is ‘covered’ in the mobile network, and they need that information updated more frequently.
Stay tuned for additional posts in this series, where I’ll speak further about the challenges of coverage map creation and some potential solutions.]]>
On Wednesday, the Mobile World Congress presentation, “Up Close and Personal: The Power of Big Data,” focused on the connections between ubiquitous mobile connectively and big data. With access to big data-enabled subscriber intelligence, mobile operators are able to adopt a more customer-focused approach to their operations.
Alcatel Lucent CEO Michel Combes said that the mobile industry is at a turning point. As adoption of mobile devices spike, network optimization will be required to meet the usability and speed demands of users, without sacrificing security. Legacy networks and performance management techniques will simply not suffice. According to Combes, the U.S. has been able to invest in high-speed broadband networks and cloud networks, which have created an active and “virtuous” digital ecosystem. Europe, however, will need to invest in innovation to break free of its “vicious cycle,” in which communications service providers can only compete on price, rather than innovation. In this region, as well as Asia, new mobile products and services will produce profits that can, in turn, fund future investments.
President and CEO of South Korean Internet service provider SK Planet, Jinwoo So, expounded upon Combes’ comments regarding the Asian mobile market. He called South Korea “the land of mobile” – a title justified by the fact that 75 percent of mobile users in South Korea rely on LTE networks, the best penetration rate in the world. A robust mobile infrastructure like South Korea’s will facilitate the application of big data by companies to better their understand customers.
EMC CEO Joseph Tucci described similar efforts that have played out following EMC’s partnership with Vodafone. EMC has used big data to help the mobile company understand the quality of experience (QoE) its customers are receiving. On a similar note, we at InfoVista have also discussed the importance of applying data to improve network performance.
The future of big data is beholden to the evolution of the digital ecosystem, including mobile and cloud services. Through targeted future investments, mobile services and big data will work hand-in-hand to optimize the customer experience.]]>
Light Reading: The Case for LTE-Advanced – February
In this video, Heavy Reading Analyst Gabriel Brown explains to Ray Le Maistre that LTE-Advanced will drive carrier aggregation and joint transmissions, as well as make HetNets more common. At the moment, the technology is still in its early stages, but in a few years, LTE-Advanced is predicted to become a necessity for telecommunications.
Light Reading: Public Access Small Cells: Off to a Slow Start– February 12th
Small cells have been a buzzing trend for the past two years, but their applications in the public access market are still minimal. In this video, Heavy Reading analyst Patrick Donegan discusses the future of small cells, and why this technology relies on carriers’ ability to share access rights for small cells sites. Patrick also warns that small cell uptake may take time to gain momentum.
Via Satellite: Assessing the Cellular Backhaul Opportunity in Africa – February 24th
Many mobile operators believe that wireless connectivity will be a better solution for cellular access in Africa than will terrestrial infrastructure. Terrestrial infrastructure is a smart option for urban cities that use fiber connections to support their networks, but wireless networks can provide better coverage in rural areas. Satellite is preferred to support the growing bandwidth needed to sustain these wireless networks, as it provides sufficient capacity to support critical voice and internet usage. Given these applications, satellite backhaul is predicted to continue growing in Africa, and may also become a staple in the global technology landscape.
Financial Times: Data Demands Call for $1.7tn Mobile Network Investment – February 24th
Keynoting at Mobile World Congress this week, Jon Fredrik Baksaas, CEO of Telenor and Chairman of GSMA, said he believes a $1.7 trillion investment is necessary for mobile operators to keep up with the data demands of their subscribers. To support this large investment, operators should focus on creating additional revenue streams. Building on this argument, Sock Koong Chua, CEO of SingTel, said later that unlimited data plans for 4G networks are unsustainable, and recommends that mobile operators reevaluate their service offerings to better support developing technology.
If you’re interested in learning more about these topics, I invite you to visit InfoVista’s website
to see how communication service providers, mobile operators and IT-intensive enterprises are delivering high-performing services while cost effectively planning, operating, optimizing and monetizing their networks with our help.]]>