Subscriber migration and uptake of LTE services will have a great impact on the network in the early months and years of LTE rollout. If a network is not configured and sized for the demand imposed upon it, resource shortages lead to congestion and unhappy subscribers. On the other hand, if a network is oversized, reduced profitability leads to unhappy shareholders. Accurate capacity analysis provides the happy medium. It is important to get the right capacity analysis system in place early on.
Commercial LTE network deployments are well underway. Only now are the operational aspects of the technology being understood. Some of the capacity and performance challenges introduced with LTE implementations include:
- Very different patterns of signaling traffic resulting from the much flatter network architecture and the richer QoS capabilities of LTE.
- The complexity of providing voice services. From Circuit Switched Fall Back (CSFB) that allows a simple first step migration path to the full IMS-based VoLTE architecture. New services such as RCS-e and High Definition voice compound the need for anticipating network behavior.
- The rate of subscriber migration from 3G to LTE will have a big impact on the optimal spending and deployment of equipment. The ability to undertake sensitivity analyses to assess the impact across the network is critical to managing this migration effect.
To assist with migrations network equipment manufacturers are supplying hardware that can provide the functions of multiple network elements in a single box. The choice of how to configure these elements across functions and network technologies has a massive impact on network spending. The complexity of this problem is increased with the need to assess these configurations across multiple vendors. Simple spreadsheet modeling or market by market assessment of these types of problems puts a huge risk on the successful launch of LTE services. A better approach is needed.
Analytics-Based Capacity Planning
To address these challenges operators need an end-to-end network capacity analysis software environment that spans the fixed part of the RAN, Packet Core and Voice Cores for 2G/3G and LTE networks. They need to be able to use analytics to:
- Define a subscriber, device and service traffic model through the analysis of CDR and network performance data.
- Build a virtual network model by combining network technology configuration and topology with the actual behavior of network elements so as to accurately predict utilization for dimensioning and resource shortage predictions.
- Correlate data sources from the network, subscribers and plans to report on and identify key findings related to network profitability.
Operators Need Revenue Analytics and Profitability Dashboards as shown below:
With a single environment for network sensitivity analysis across network technologies, VPIsystems’ OnePlan provides a secure multi-analysis environment that enables teams to collaborate on numerous concurrent activities without confusion or corruption of data across projects. VPIsystems: Network Analytics & Capacity Planning for Increased Network Profitability. Download the full white paper. Meet VPIsystems (@vpisystems) at #MWC13.