Telecom Lead India: The number of 4G LTE network
deployments is steadily increasing. In January, Korea Telecom announced the
launch of its LTE network, hot on the heels of in-country rivals SK Telecom. A
similar pattern is emerging in other markets, as one operator launches LTE
another follows suit. However, LTE is breaking new ground and operators have
limited historical references to measure the performance of their new
data-focused networks against.
The transformation to LTE will require a complete network
overhaul. According to Infonetics research, the spend on network improvements
will top $250 billion over the next five years (2011-2015); while LTE spend
alone will be 46% on a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) over the same period.
Carriers are investing heavily in network infrastructure to find the most
efficient and cost-effective solutions for upgrading their networks. LTE
represents an enormous opportunity for the operators, but the network will need
constant adjustment to ensure it performs at an optimum level. Apart from
network equipment and upgrades to core infrastructure, operators require a
reliable, and accurate, network visualization and optimization application that
will enable them to refine their LTE proposition.
According to Dumanski, carriers are operating in the dark
when it comes to LTE, simply because there are limited precedents for how to
maximise the output of a wireless data network of this magnitude. Internally
questions are being asked by RF and network performance engineers about
coverage, traffic patterns and data throughput. To find the answers to these
questions, and have visibility of the data rates their subscribers are actually
experiencing, operators can adopt ‘network visualisation applications’
developed specifically for LTE.
By adopting next-generation visualisation and
optimisation technology operators will have the means to understand the
performance of their LTE network in real time. They will be able to pinpoint
where throughput rates are good, and in some cases bad, and then have the
ability to optimise the level of data throughput for subscribers no matter what
their status, or location. Operators will be able to measure the impact of new
devices on their network, evaluating how different devices are behaving and if
certain devices are causing issues. This level of granular network intelligence
is powerful information for engineering, marketing, customer care and other
disciplines within a wireless operator.
Warren Dumanski, VP of Sales and Marketing at Newfield