Feature Article

June 20, 2013

Operators Launching LTE Must Ensure Quality Service

As 4G LTE services gain momentum and competition heats up, operators cannot afford to make errors and disappoint subscribers with poor experience. Today, four of the current top ten devices on mature European 3G networks are LTE ready and account for 35 percent of all existing network traffic, according to mobile software house Actix. The top four smartphones include Apple iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy SII, Samsung Galaxy SIII and Apple iPad 3.

The latest study by Actix shows that the owners of LTE ready handsets adopt new superfast LTE services quickly, and are eager to make the switch.

In a statement, Neil Coleman, director of global marketing, said, “Subscribers are ready and waiting on the operator to deliver on day one and will be very unforgiving of any service issues.”

According to Actix, LTE represents a huge opportunity for operators to drive new revenues, increase customer satisfaction and reduce churn. With heavy investment in premium network infrastructure and spectrum licensing, the hype associated with new network launches represents a considerable threat to operators’ brands if LTE fails to live up to expectations.

Coleman believes that operators simply cannot afford to deliver a single poor day one LTE experience because consequences can be bad. Consequently, he suggests that operators must pay special attention to the radio access network (RAN), where issues are most likely to originate. RAN is the complex infrastructure between the subscriber’s handset and the core network.

“They need to ensure there is sufficient coverage in the right locations and that performance is optimized,” asserted Coleman.

To enable operators to understand where capacity demands are placed on the network and, thereby, prioritize where LTE coverage will have the most impact, the study indicates that operators must recognize where LTE ready devices are already being used on the 3G network.  Actix said that ActixOne provides operators with a single software platform to access live, geo-located customer experience data from the RAN. It identifies the 5 percent of locations, which carry 50 percent of all network traffic, that need to be targeted to guarantee greatest LTE return on investment (ROI).

For gaining the necessary network and customer insight to successfully plan the LTE rollout process, with guaranteed high quality network performance from launch, operators must gather RAN data, said Actix.

Edited by Blaise McNamee

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