Amdocs State of the RAN 2016 report highlights need for operators to optimize radio access networks (RAN) in order to contend with global doubling of demand for data.
Amdocs, has released new research highlighting the need for operators to consider optimizing their radio access networks (RAN). This will enable operators to contend with the annual doubling of demand for data, increased network complexity, the increased demand for video viewing on smartphones and tablets, and the initial instability of new services being introduced such as voice over LTE (VoLTE).
The research is based on analysis of more than 25 million voice and data connections from 80 different network operators around the world in the past 12 months.
Key findings include:
•VoLTE call drops can be four to five times higher than calls on 2G or 3G networks: VoLTE is an important and strategic service for operators as it offers operating expense (OPEX) and capital expense (CAPEX) reductions through the promise of repurposing 2G and 3G services. However, this study suggests that the quality of experience VoLTE provides initially, post-deployment, can be less stable than the traditional voice service it replaces, requiring aggressive tuning by the operator.
•Network data demand is increasing every year: Research suggests that the volume of mobile data usage is growing across the world at approximately 60 percent year-on-year1, particularly with increased demand for video on devices providing better entertainment opportunities to mobile users. However, with only 5 to 15 percent of Wi-Fi traffic going through mobile devices that is able to be accurately described as Wi-Fi offload, the study highlights that service providers need to offload more traffic from cellular networks to Wi-Fi networks, in order to realize greater cost and operational efficiencies.
•Seventy-five percent of network traffic in cities is in-building: In times of network congestion, indoor users face up to a 25 percent increase in network issues compared to outdoors users. By understanding and visualizing the real-world patterns of demand, coverage and congestion, operators could effectively target network optimization efforts at these problem areas to deliver a consistent, quality of network experience.
•Music and sport events create their own mobile ecosystems: SMS is still the killer app with an average of 70 percent of attendees at a concert or sporting event sending at least one text message during it, which causes spikes in network usage. Therefore, there is a need to manage network capacity during an event, with network cells around an event’s location carrying approximately 50 percent more traffic than the cells inside a stadium for example. This indicates there is considerable communication with fellow event attendees while going to the venue through email, text and social media. Meanwhile, it was also seen that international roamers upload almost 50 percent more data while at events than non-roamers.
•International roamers suffer poorer network experience: Despite the fact that international roamers can offer operators greater revenues than a corresponding locally-based subscriber, their network experience can be up to 25 percent worse. There is an opportunity for operators to realize greater monetization of services by isolating profitable international roamers, understanding their distinct usage patterns, and optimizing the network to better target them.
“The Amdocs State of the RAN research reinforces the sheer strain mobile networks are under,” said Ann Hatchell, head of network marketing at Amdocs. “In The New World of Customer ExperienceTM, service providers need to deliver a first-class network experience when and where it matters most. By leveraging the power of RAN software, service providers gain operational efficiencies and improved service agility with a centralized vendor-neutral approach. This allows them to optimize quality of experience, even under times of network congestion, and build better relationships with high value customers.”