Maximising Data Consumption with Real-Time Network Analytics: Agile Flexibility to Uncover New Use Case Opportunities

The CCA Voice, Fall/Winter 2020

Network analytics has become a key tool that enables operators to address a wide range of problems and support agile responses to unexpected events. One common problem is the introduction of coverage to new locations, which is a priority for operators. At the same time, ensuring that people actually will use new connectivity delivered is equally important. Just because you build something, it doesn’t mean that users will follow.

Fixing this is a priority for any operator, so that they can secure the expected ROI on network deployments and upgrades. It can be an acute problem, as many have discovered. One way to solve this problem is through the use of analytics to first, understand the capabilities of user devices; second, drive campaigns to the right users; and third, help target future investments based on real understanding of user behavior.

One operator that recently rolled out 4G updates to its network discovered that while many users possessed 4G-capable devices, they actually were using legacy SIMs, rather than the USIMs optimised for LTE networks. As a result, customers were not accessing 4G data and were missing out on the benefits it could offer. By collecting network data and processing it with an advanced mediation solution, the operator was able to generate actionable insights and intelligence.

The analytics data collected and processed revealed which users had which SIMs and devices. In turn, this information was used as the foundation of programs to target users that could access data but were not. Similarly, those that were connected to LTE networks but who were not able to consume data due to the legacy SIMs were identified. This drove significant upturns of data demand — on average, each user that was moved from 3G to 4G consumed more than 300% more data, for example.

The same data also could show which legacy cell sites (2G and 3G) had the highest volume of data consumption. This enabled the operator to target its network rollouts more effectively, so that areas with high demand could be upgraded faster. This delivered more effective remote coverage because it could be aligned with real customer demand. It was a targeted, pinpoint approach.

Author: Mikael Gril, CEO Polystar

While analytics enables service optimization and experience management enhancement, it also can help drive responses to new events. For example, during the COVID-19 crisis, the same analytics solutions also helped guide the national response and support government-led initiatives to contain and control the spread of the virus.

The analytics data from the network allowed the operator to identify hotspots in which people had congregated. Armed with this data, effective control systems could be put in place to support regional and national efforts — and to secure other benefits.

As in many countries, individual mobility was restricted and reduced as people stayed at home — but this changed traffic patterns. Analytics revealed a surge in local and regional traffic, reflecting the fact that people couldn’t meet face to face as they normally would.

The normal daily consumption patterns changed too, as peak consumption moved from the established times. Understanding the new peaks and troughs of demand allowed the operator to manage capacity effectively, adapting to the changing requirements.

Analytics now is indispensable for the effective management of networks. It helps target investments and drive service adoption and take up, while enabling agile management for any unexpected situation or change. Real-time network data provides the fuel to drive analytics programs, but it also must be possible to quickly and easily derive and share insights from the data.

A comprehensive network monitoring and analytics solution can deliver these insights and feed other platforms. It also provides the flexibility to encompass multiple use cases — and to enable operators to discover new opportunities to use data effectively to meet new challenges. To maximize returns on investments, network analytics tools now are indispensable.

Polystar, an Elisa company, is a leading provider of real-time monitoring and analytics platforms to more than 100 CSPs worldwide. Our solutions deliver tailored insights into network, service, and OTT application performance allowing stakeholders to enhance customer experience, operational efficiency, and identify new revenue streams from data monetization. Powered by Elisa Automate, Polystar also ensures proactive management of networks through automation of operational processes, driven by machine learning.

 

 

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