Pain Of Network Congestion Causes Network Operators Growing Headache

New research by Heavy Reading has found that mobile operators believe data congestion in the RAN is a serious problem, and the issue isn’t going away despite hopes for 4G.

Over three-quarters of the operators polled said that RAN congestion today is a “serious problem”, and over half of respondents said the problem is getting worse.

More than 40% of operators say they are currently planning to implement some kind of congestion controls based on real-time monitoring.

Operators surveyed by Heavy Reading were clear that RAN congestion is key to improving the customer experience, with over 90% of respondents agreeing that the main purpose of RAN congestion management is to improve quality of experience (QoE). However, it was clear that networks are still unsure how best to manage it.

Though most respondents (53%) believe real-time QoE monitoring is key to understanding congestion in their networks, many don’t believe real-time, cell-level monitoring is possible yet.

Most also realize that, thanks to 4G, they will need to change the way in which they monitor and handle congestion in their services. Graham Finnie, chief analyst, Heavy Reading, commented: “Operators we spoke to have recognized the need for real-time congestion management, particularly as 4G makes data more unpredictable, and are trying to understand how to implement it, but they often doubt it is achievable. Only one in ten said their current controls were ‘very effective’.”

Dr. Lars Pedersen, CommProve CEO added “Operators are often unsure of how to implement real-time cell-level monitoring in their network, and as a result, we’re seeing a number of operators come to us to find out more about CommProve’s real-time cell awareness application, CommProve RAN Insight, since network congestion continues to be a major issue. With the activation of 4G networks, inter-operability and handover issues with earlier network generations is a key focus area.”

CommProve is offering exclusive one-to-one workshops for operators to discuss, in detail, the research findings and also how operators can translate the findings into actionable intelligence, in order to design an effective RAN management system.

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