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Reader Forum: How improving network QoE can help providers anticipate challenges of tomorrow

Mosaik sees a growing need for providers to look beyond QoS and towards QoE

Quality of service is a top priority these days, but as providers struggle to manage complex customer relationships across disparate wireless networks and a variety of devices, the message from consumers is loud and clear: QoS is not enough. There is a growing expectation around experience on the network at home, work or on the go and by focusing on network quality of experience rather than service, operators and mobile virtual network operators can positively differentiate themselves to anticipate the challenges and expectations consumers face today and in the future.

In leveraging predicted and certified coverage datasets, mobile applications and other service layers, operators can focus efforts on monitoring, measuring and enhancing network QoE. But it takes rethinking the standard methodologies that may have worked for 2G, 3G and “4G” networks. Overall, operators that challenge the status quo and look into retooling and revamping the methods, datasets, analytical approach and software deployed will empower their network performance teams to have improved visibility into a constantly changing environment.

But the real question is: How can this be applied to solve real-world problems? Here are a few examples:

–Predictive coverage vs. certified coverage and spectrum ownership or other geospatial datasets. Layering these datasets with another set of data from consumer devices augment how a competitive market is viewed. This is ideal for increasing effectiveness in marketing campaigns by targeting outreach at a super granular level (census tract or ZIP code or even more granular).

–When remote areas or rural networks experience an anomaly (like a storm that can take down a significant area of a network with a few downed towers), leveraging network QoE allows to quickly rally field users of the network to try and triage the situation before sending technicians into the field.

–With growing reliance on Wi-Fi, operators have the ability to passively and actively monitor Wi-Fi network performance over time. Active data uploads and speed tests can be coupled with passive connections, monitoring mobile devices to give a more comprehensive view of how well the network is – or isn’t – working for customers.

Ultimately, our current goal is to help network operators improve network QoE in order to anticipate the challenges and expectations consumers facing. Our customers are continually facing increasingly complex network challenges, while MVNOs have limited visibility into how their wholesale networks are performing. We have seen it in the field and through our conversations that mobile, Wi-Fi and network-dependent solution providers can no longer rely on traditional methods to measure and understand the quality of mobile and Wi-Fi networks.

At the same time, the combination of evolving technology and access to connectivity is fueling a more device-dependent consumer with increasing demands for a superior network experience. In a way, consumers are changing the definition of what a quality network experience should be. They are demanding transparency and pushing the boundaries and expectations of the network experience across mobile, Wi-Fi and global roaming networks.

With the growing customer expectations, accelerated adoption of the “Internet of Things” and emerging dependence on noncellular networks (Wi-Fi, unlicensed spectrum, etc.), providing new ways to manage network QoE will be critical to deliver the right metrics needed to best manage customer experiences.

Chip Strange is the VP of products and technology at Mosaik.

Editor’s Note: In an attempt to broaden our interaction with our readers we have created this Reader Forum for those with something meaningful to say to the wireless industry. We want to keep this as open as possible, but we maintain some editorial control to keep it free of commercials or attacks. Please send along submissions for this section to our editors at: [email protected]

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