Some time back I had an opportunity to speak with a technology pioneer, who helped introduce the best multi-media device – the iPhone on AT&T. We went into the technical details of the experiences, the paradigm shift that never happened and the impending “data tsunami” that is happening as we speak. I have been blogging about this very data explosion for a long time now. I have been a traffic planner for the last 5-6 years of my career as a telecom engineer. I have seen the evolution of wireless networks from a voice centric GSM to a data centric-LTE, a shift in the thought processes of the big-iron telco companies that have shaped the way we communicate and interact with the world. MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) are in the cross hairs of technology evolution, data pipes are filling up faster that they can build. I monitor capacity at the Radio access side for an operator on a day-to-day basis, take my word for it – we ding your data experience at the cost of voice. I can say the same happens for many operators – it is what it is. Some operators had offered unlimited data and then pulled wool over your eyes by ‘throttling’ the user. Why does this happen, what prevents the MNOs to offer data at the promised speeds – the problems are umpteen and to take the bull by its horns is hard. Will 4G and LTE solve the problem? Initially it will, but as soon as more devices are offered, capacity will be the crunch point and techniques to optimize and improvise.
The long standing objective of any wireless network operator has always been Optimization of network performance, maximizing efficiency and thereby providing the highest customer satisfaction.
Today’s wireless networks have come a long way from providing just voice services to customers, to delivering high speed content rich data applications to their wireless handsets in addition to the traditional voice. With these changes, has come a wide variety of tools and applications which aid in letting the network operators achieve their objectives.
Drive testing has always been an integral part of Wireless Network optimization and it continues to be so even after the emergence of newer and faster Voice and Data Technologies.
But is Drive Testing absolutely necessary or can it be replaced completely with the tools that today’s operators have at their disposal?
Let’s look at some key areas why we would need Drive Testing today:
Green Field Operation/Benchmarking: For any operator deploying a brand-new wireless network, there is currently no other way than to deploy the network and drive test it to gauge performance. Also, drive testing is critical for benchmark performance analysis of multiple wireless network providers.
Some RF Engineers think that the key to network optimization is to actually understand the subscriber’s experience and consider drive testing to be the only way to simulate actual subscriber experience.
While both above mentioned aspects sound true, there are some highly developed tools available today that might be able to provide data which can significantly reduce drive testing and cut costs for network operators. Read more…
Like most guys I love my car (after my gadgets & my Triumph) and like most of you I drool at the prospect of getting a car that will talk to me and connect all the pieces together. As a child, the first car that caught my imagination was Herbie (the wonderful little Bug), and its adventures. I make it a point annually to take my son to local car shows so that when he grows up he learns to appreciate the fact that fast cars are meant to be revered! But the connected car is something very special it connects what I do as a wireless engineer to what I love as a driver! So what is a connected car, will it talk to you? Listen to your commands and maybe drive for you – if you wait for say 10 years Google will make them and make them cheaper for you to actually get one. So my grandchildren will ask me how we ever lived without a self-driven car ever. Read more…
Inherently we the humans always want to get connected by phone, email, social media, Television, radio with the rest of the world. Things are changing fast now it’s about connected devices, appliances, automobiles, transport systems and even the plants. Anything can be connected will be connected. Anything can have a chipset will have a chipset.
When we talk about the connectivity, wireless comes to our minds.
In wireless land scape there are several technologies having different set of advantages and disadvantages. Broadly the wireless technologies divided into WAN, MAN, LAN, PAN. We have a distance Vs throughput with application comparison chart located below.
Traditionally 3GPP standard based technologies dominate in the WAN and MAN technology landscape. In MAN segment, WiMAX is used to some extent, which is an IEEE standard (IEEE802.16 *) based technology. It did not get traction world-wide. In the wireless LAN and PAN segment IEEE standards based technologies are very common. Bluetooth which started from Ericsson initially was accepted by IEEE and incorporated IEEE802.15.4 features. Zigbee is very popular in sensor networks, connected homes and smartgrid home area network segment. It is built on IEEE802.15.4.
Selling a service instead of access will be the future for all telecommunication companies to come. The current trends are all pointing in the direction of cannibalizing the ‘control’ that telecom operators have in today’s world. Data deluge has begun as have seen in the last few years and it will only increase astronomically. MNOs in order to retain control over their networks, while preventing customer churn, diminished profitability and brand devaluation, must shift their role from traffic carrier to “application enabler.” With this approach, they can derive the greatest possible value from their network and its capabilities by developing and delivering first- and third-party applications.
Today’s mobile application explosion and evolution to 4G technology give service providers a valuable opportunity to transform their networks and services to deliver a truly next-generation Web 2.0 experience — profitably. Wireless providers have a number of key assets they can leverage to drive incremental revenues. When these assets are integrated within innovative applications, they strengthen the value of the application and the end-user experience.
Application Enablement addresses the mobile web’s disruptive changes by helping MNOs partner with developers, media and content players in new ways, so they can open and enrich their networks and, ultimately, grow their brand. Application Enablement contributes to market relevance by removing barriers and fostering new ecosystems. To enable applications, service providers require a High Leverage Network — one that offers scalability, awareness and optimization, while being oriented toward service delivery, monetization, faster time-to market and accelerated ROI. Operators can leverage these solutions to transport and deliver traffic more reliably, efficiently, flexibly and at lowest cost. The challenge, in the current environment, is to grow beyond core telecom capabilities. Growth areas can include extended and enhanced “franchise” services, as well as creation of new branded services that combine network enablers with application developers’ capabilities. Additional revenue streams can also be generated with new (potentially unbranded) services in non-traditional areas.