The New Age of Service Assurance for Mobile Operators

In this day and age, with fairly saturated developed markets, mobile operators have to rely on superior customer experience to differentiate themselves from competitors. Providing a good quality of experience (QoE) ranges from properly handling an order, to maintaining service uptime and quality, innovating new services and billing accuracy.

While many mobile subscribers may have become used to dropped calls and “Can you hear me now?” syndrome, they are relying more and more on mobility for key business applications. As such, being reactive to customer dissatisfaction is not enough for mobile operators to succeed. How can they ensure that they are proactive–not reactive–in preventing network or service performance issues, and even get ahead of them BEFORE subscribers are affected?

To offer true, proactive service assurance, mobile operators must monitor three levels of performance. The first is the overall network and service availability — is my network up? Is this service available for subscribers to access? Second is the actual performance of the network — what is the throughput of my network? Is the service experiencing any jitter or latency? Finally, it is all about how the subscriber is experiencing the services and what, if any, issues are individual subscribers experiencing.

Mobile operators' transition to all-IP networks and other next-generation technologies have thrown a monkey wrench into their service assurance efforts in the past few years. They have introduced new challenges like latency and packet loss, which can weaken mobile subscribers' quality of experience (QoE). NFV is also emerging and forcing mobile operators to think about how service assurance will be impacted, with more and more network functionalities being virtualized or migrated to the cloud.

What are you most concerned about when it comes to the evolution of service assurance?

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