It's safe to say that the global proliferation of data usage of late has been phenomenal, with experts anticipating 460x data growth globally from 2008 to 2020. Maintaining quality assurance in this growth explosive scenario has been a major challenge for mobile providers, and one that is only bound to become more complicated.
First, while broadband data services that are taking up a growing share of mobile providers' network capacity and investments, voice services still account for roughly 60 percent of all mobile revenue. As a reaction, MNOs are looking to adopt new convergent technologies, such as VoLTE, so to ensure that voice services can also benefit from the massive investments in LTE, and the associated IP and Carrier Ethernet backhaul investments that support high-speed LTE sites.
Yet, it's not as if existing “legacy” networks can be simply replaced or deactivated. In fact, Mobile Operators face a scenario where network complexity will only increase in the long run, as next generation 5G access networks are coming down the pipeline while a majority of users by 2020 will still rely on 2G and 3G (and off course 4G) to access both data and voice services.
The consequence? Well, if the mobile backhaul already looks complex today — being composed by a litany of vendors, technologies and topologies — it will become even more complex, with both real and virtual network devices poised to coexist in 5G SDN/NFV native architectures — not to mention that new network architectures will need to co-exist with the legacy for a long time.
A critical question then arises in the minds of network operations and engineering executives: how can my mobile backhaul be ready for all these different access technologies, and perhaps more importantly, how can I properly assure the quality of their data and voice services when adopting the next wave of convergent network technologies?
A rich discussion to find answers, focusing on business benefits and ROI
In order to provide a proper answers we need to delve into the history of the mobile backhaul, to understand the tools the mobile operators have today to assure mobile backhaul performance, and why they are not ready to deal with the inevitable complex scenario they will face.
Perhaps more importantly, we need to do so always bearing in mind the critical business benefits of properly assuring the mobile backhaul, even discussing ROI of the necessary investments in a new modern service assurance tool (and how to implement it).
With that end in mind, we will publish a series of blog posts on the matter. However, if you are eager to learn the answers, we invite you to read our new white paper where you can immediately find answers: Mobile Backhaul Performance Management — Challenges, Requirements, Benefits and ROI.