How real-time intelligence can enable the mobile migration to LTE
Black Swan Telecom Journal recently spoke to Edoardo Rizzi, Vice President at Trendium, about the race to improve LTE customer experience management. Rizzi believes “Mobile’s shift to LTE is a golden opportunity for innovative software to hatch and swim about profitably.” In the interview with Black Swan he not only explains how LTE is disrupting network monitoring, but provides plenty of insights on how operators should respond and how OSS software firms can benefit. This caught our interest as we share many of the same views regarding real-time awareness and dynamic planning.
Rizzi explains that there are a couple of reasons why the arrival of LTE networks means a massive change is needed in service management systems. Firstly, it’s much harder to predict which parts of an LTE network will see rises in demand. Secondly he says, LTE is all about data, not voice. For instance the time spent watching streaming video on tablets and mobile increased by 100 per cent in 2012 (Ooyala Global Video Index) – and it uses up to 100 times more bandwidth. However, while LTE is all about high speed data transfer capabilities the added advantages of the range and reliability of the voice network should not be forgotten. We have implemented the end to end management of various Femto and SpiderCloud enterprise RAN devices enabling us to provide the full picture, rather than just a snapshot at various stages.
So in order to respond to such changes in the way consumers behave, and subsequently networks, a paradigm shift in the way existing optimisation teams currently work is needed. This would aid the clearing of network congestion and empower self-optimising systems. But exactly what changes are needed? Capacity planning is vital, but it can only take you so far; for example when there’s a special event such as the Olympics or a festival, whether country, world or city specific it puts massive demands upon the networks. Rizzi sums it up as “What we’re talking about here is having ‘real-time awareness’ in areas of the network where you want to make ‘real-time decisions.’”
He also talks about how operators must focus on providing assurance which means that they need be aware of the real-time experiences of their customers and says “finding out 30 minutes later that somebody was not happy is not acceptable”. This is music to ours ears and exactly the mantra we subscribe to. And increasingly the action is happening in the RAN (Radio Access Network) but traditional monitoring tools don’t scale for RAN. This is often because the tools were developed for networks mainly carrying voice traffic. This is exactly one of the reasons why we developed the Zen Family of products and why we did it from the ground up.
In particular our ZenUM™ Unified Mediation solutions have been developed with telcos in mind, to process all event and data types from multiple sources across networks. At the core of the technology is a high-speed rules engine to map, route and transform millions of data records and events per second. Which means it’s perfect for extremely high volume real-time applications and can easily be expanded to cater for future increases in data volumes. ZenUM provides high speed analysis of streamed data – and for use in both real-time and capacity planning – and produces actionable results and insights far faster than was possible before.
Trendium has developed its own solution to the problem, Trendium ViewPORT, which handles all packet and network traffic analysis – and ultimately provides better control over network traffic. However, our Zen Family of products has been designed to work along-side and enhance the capabilities of products such as Trendium ViewPORT, rather than be in direct competition; we would consider tapping into the Deep Pack Inspection capabilities of the Trendium system as this would feed information into other aspects of the businesses we work with. The approach we take is to always use ‘Best in Class’ and we have already formed similar partnerships with Tableau and Vertica.