When it comes to deploying 4G broadband wireless networks and deciding what to focus on, LTE quality of service reigns supreme. This new and improved network was designed to meet increased data demands. This means the LTE quality of service (QoS) must be top notch. A best case scenario would feature a highly-flexible QoS framework that is built to withstand future challenges.
LTE deployment is mainly focused on urban areas and hotspots, leaving certain pockets of the country without LTE, at least for now. This means that during network roll outs, the environments must be able to support both LTE as well as legacy technologies. Marrying these will help maintain a high LTE quality of service.
“This critical integration is challenging to accomplish, however. The only way to help ensure such complex networks work together with minimal interruption is to consistently and automatically monitor them, end to end. Utilizing automated solutions to monitor LTE, legacy and other network technologies provides you with actionable information that enables you to discover, understand and fix service delivery issues quickly – before they impact your customers. A comprehensive understanding of network issues allows you to see not only what is happening in the network, but also how severely it is affecting the customers’ quality of experience (QoE). You then can set priorities in terms of how quickly each issue needs to be fixed in order to maximize resources.”
Internationally, LTE deployments face these and other challenges. Popular mobile Internet applications such as voice, gaming, streaming and more also demand solid LTE QoS. An obvious way to ensure satisfactory quality of service is to consistently monitor and test the network. Paul Gowans, JDSU’s EMEA marketing manager and LTE expert suggests testing the following areas, pre-deployment:
- Make sure the radio access network (RAN) and the network core are integrated
- Measure the right key performance indicators (KPIs), perhaps including downlink and uplink data rates, CINR, RSSI, resource block allocation, antenna modulation and uplink transmit power
- Confirm interoperability between new and legacy year
- Measure service quality (latency throughput and RF)
- Monitor performance, including data speeds
It goes without saying that customer satisfaction is also extremely high on the list. They simply want it to work. While it
is true that these services are delivered by an extremely complex, interdependent chain of network interfaces, ultimately, customers don’t care about the technical aspects of the network. “Given today’s economy, organizations don’t have the luxury of responding to customer complaints in a reactive manner. It‘s easy for consumers to switch providers and, therefore, those customers who receive consistently bad service will spend their money elsewhere. The key to providing high-quality service is to gain visibility.” 
Not only do wireless providers need to please end users, they must also meet the LTE QoS standards of the evolved packet system (EPS) defined by 3GPP in Release 8. The QoS concept provides access network operators with a set of tools to enable service and subscriber differentiation.
A central element of the EPS QoS concept is the “bearer”, which is a service that allows transmission of information signals between network interfaces. The network-initiated QoS control model specified in EPS contains a set of signaling procedures for managing bearers and controlling their QoS assigned by the network. The 3GPP EPS QoS concept is class-based, meaning that each bearer is assigned one and only one QoS class identifier by the network. A QCI scalar is used within the access network as a reference to node-specific parameters that control packet forwarding treatment. This class-based approach, together with the network-initiated QoS control paradigm, gives network operators full control over the QoS provided for its offered services for each of its subscriber groups.