Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Actix research shows bridging big gaps in mobile subscriber experience will take more than small cells

  • Mobile data sessions to increase tenfold by 2015
  • Small cell solutions to increase network complexity by a factor of 50
  • Geo-located subscriber analytics critical for defining new network infrastructure

As smartphone ownership climbs from half of the current subscriber population in mature markets to more than 80% by 2015, mobile networks face a tenfold increase in data session demand according to Actix, an award winning pioneer of software that enables mobile operators to run more effective networks.

Within any single inner city square kilometre in mature 3G markets, Actix already identifies on average more than 50,000 unique subscribers generating 300 GBytes of data per day. That is the result of more than 800,000 3G data connections, and 45,000 3G and 2G voice calls. 

Mobile operators needing to meet these rapidly increasing data demands are looking to small cells technology.

Neil Coleman, Director of Global Marketing, Actix, says: “Small cells have the potential to be the saving grace for overloaded mobile networks, but they also represent a considerable challenge. Operators need to understand where demand is in order to successfully deploy small cells.  Otherwise the extra complexity they introduce is not offset by their benefits. That all translates into more dropped calls and broken data sessions and an overall poor subscriber experience, even on the latest super fast LTE networks.”

Faced with a network in 2015 consisting of six times more cells, and 50 times more complex than now, operators will find traditional engineering processes stretched to breaking point, yet will have little choice but to adopt increasing complexity if they are to ensure effective subscriber experience.

“Operators need guaranteed high levels of service, yet have to cut their per gigabyte distribution costs by more than a third. The only way this is achievable is by moving away from the network centric viewpoint, using real-world customer insight to better understand what is actually taking place within the network and applying automation and self optimisation to improve these processes,” says Coleman.

The ActixOne software platform enables mobile operators to geo-locate customer experiences in real time and use this data to dictate small cell deployment.  The small cell limited range technology can be placed where demand is greatest, while minimising the impact on existing macro cell infrastructure. With new coverage and capacity accurately targeted, small cell roll outs become quicker and more cost effective, while ensuring the subscriber experience of the network for both voice and data is of the highest quality when and where needed most.

“With geo-located subscriber insight operators can automate key processes.  Not only will this help improve small cell deployment, it will gear the operator for the challenges ahead because small cells are just the thin edge of growing network complexity,” adds Coleman.