Top 10 challenges faced by network carriers

by CXOtoday News Desk    May 23, 2013


Mobile telecommunications in the IT sector has experienced a revolutionary change in the last five years, largely due to the unprecedented technical innovation in infrastructure, software and hardware as reported at Ericsson has performed in-depth data traffic research which shows that by 2012, mobile subscriptions totalled approximately 6.6 billion. That number will rise to 9.3 billion by 2018. In its annual Mobility Report (November 2012), the Sweden-based company also reported that data traffic has doubled in the last one year and is expected to grow by a factor of 12 by 2018. Driving all this growth the mobile application market has grown to have a new net worth of $37 billion by 2015.

To counter this growth, network carriers have identified the top ten challenges and opportunities faced by them.

Expectations and Opportunities

It is common for users to blame their network whenever their phones or the server stops working. However, certain criteria have to be considered for the network to deliver superior user experience.

App coverage: Apps require a massive increase in bandwidth, latency and signalling capacity to deliver full application experience to the user because data greatly outpaces voice in network traffic.

Signal strength: Many network interruptions associated with smart-phones are related to signalling overload. It is critical to scale and optimise the signalling capacity in the network, ensuring the vast number of devices and applications are not causing unnecessary congestion.

Spectrum: This is the most valuable asset in the telecom world. Spectrum increases are critical to app coverage and needs to meet the ever-expanding number of subscribers and bandwidth demands. Increased and well-utilized spectrum will deliver better user experience.

Small-Cell Coordinated Spectrum: Coordination between Spectrum, macrocells and the small cells to get the most performance.  Small cells need to be used where appropriate as a complement to macrocells and microcells.

Radio Performance: Measured performance of the radio network is critical to the user experience. Network planning and tuning can deliver up to 3X improvement in bandwidth in the same markets. Fine-tuning the network through professional services is equally important as the hardware.

Fast Network Configuration: Using virtualization and a software-defined networking approach, service providers will soon be able to reconfigure their networks quickly and scale it to millions.

Application Deployment Using APIs: Using network application programming interfaces, developers will be able to build in the configuration of the network to their development process, using network features to improve user experience.

Open-Source Development: The OpenDaylight project is aimed at providing an open-source platform where members collaborate to build common software-defined networking infrastructure. Ericsson’s contribution to the collaboration is focused on expanding this intelligence from the datacenter into the network, providing a more integrated and simpler development environment.

Infrastructure Revolution: There is a network infrastructure revolution under way that will accelerate the development and deployment of applications for the enterprise and consumer markets.