3 MIN READ | Industry

How to evaluate service assurance with scalable, indoor network monitoring

Jose Gonzalez
Feb. 10 2017

Ensuring optimised radio coverage across a range of environments is one pressing challenge for Communications Service Providers (CSPs) but there's another that is becoming increasingly important. It's one thing to understand radio access but it's another to truly understand the performance of specific services in the same diversity of environments.

CSPs need to be sure that the services they deliver can function correctly, not just determine whether there is sufficient coverage available. That's because today's enterprises are increasingly using mobile applications that interact with other systems at the same time as they use voice communications services and many work in environments with a significant footprint. Ensuring that these function correctly throughout the required building or site required is essential for both the enterprise and the provider. Since many CSPs offer SLAs to key accounts customers, it's in everyone's interest for the required services to perform as expected.

That's why tools are needed to enable CSPs to perform key tasks that are beyond the scope of radio coverage monitoring tools, tasks such as service monitoring, SLA monitoring, regression testing and service interaction. With this in mind, the TEMS team has developed a new extension to the TEMS Monitor Master range that can be positioned in buildings and which performs all the tasks necessary to monitor and troubleshoot service performance — in other words, it provides service assurance capabilities, right down to the level of a factory floor or another workspace.

The new extension is a scalable and compact solution for indoor monitoring that comes in two models. In the first case, it offers support for a dedicated smartphone device, while in the second, it includes a model with SIM connectivity. These configurations allow it to monitor cellular network performance and to provide a rich view of the KPIs that are most relevant to understand service performance in-building and from the perspective of the user.

This is an important innovation. It means that Mobile Network Operators can build more effective partners with their enterprise customers, in which they can deploy as many of the devices as they need to efficiently monitor the service quality they receive — from tens to hundreds, depending on the situation. It can be wall-mounted, or fixed to the ceiling and is completely unobtrusive.

It's appropriate for many situations, particularly in large workspaces and for those with inconsistent internal architecture. One use case that is attracting a great deal of interest concerns large warehouses. Here, the CSP can deploy our units in the storage facilities, the shipping area and in the back offices — which means that the enterprise customer can ensure that its employees who are equipped with mobile devices can track and manage inventory as they need to — as well as to communicate via the LTE network.

Of course, that's one of the advantages offered by LTE — LTE is supposed to greatly enhance in-building coverage but it should also support a wide range of services at the same time. CSPs must be able to make sure that it can, across a wide range of working environments. Failure to do so risks penalties when an SLA is in place.

The beauty of this solution is that the CSP's operational team can obtain real-time data from specific customer sites and can undertake further troubleshooting whenever they detect a problem, without visiting the site. They can also run automated tests remotely, which leads to better overall service delivery as well as faster problem solving. It works hand-in-hand with TEMS Monitor Master, so it can collect the usual metrics regarding voice and streaming video MOS, RTP Jitter, Packet Loss, CQI, SINR, PMI and others QoS metrics that are important for measuring and assuring the quality of voice and data networks.

It also complements our other solutions, such as TEMS Discovery, which allows full visualization and analysis of the data on a tablet, smartphone or laptop, for example, or it can be combined with TEMS Fleet Manager to remotely run dedicated tests for each unit.

We'll be launching the new solution at MWC 2017 as part of our new TEMS Monitor Master 12.0 release and will be happy to showcase it to any of our guest. Meanwhile, if you would like to know more, just get in touch!

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