Rating: It’s about the right performance in the right place, says Actix
This is, of course, the official London Olympics 2012 bandwagon week and the latest to join in is network measurement specialist, Actix. The company points out quite sensibly that with close to a million visitors expected in London for the Games, mobile networks will be under extreme pressure and the quality of data services will inevitably slump. However, Actix argues that within a year this level of pressure on the networks will be an everyday occurrence as mobile data traffic is expected to grow by 78 per cent year on year according to Cisco’s visual networking index. Under normal circumstances current networks are already close to capacity in Central London and the Games will only worsen the situation. Consequently, Actix predicts that poor network performance could scupper operators’ chances of bagging the lucrative extra revenues from international roamers.In London, international roamers usually account for 3 per cent of network traffic, but this is expected to increase to 5 per cent during the Olympics, whilst at Olympic events roamers are expected to account for at least 30 per cent of total traffic.
“With the massive increase in data services demand soon to be the new norm, it’s crucial that network behaviour is monitored carefully over the Olympics,” advises Bill McHale, Actix’ CEO.
He continued, “Projected traffic levels at London’s Olympic Park show the size of investment needed to ensure just one location has suitable capacity. However, operators unfortunately can’t afford to invest everywhere in the network to boost capacity.”
Projected traffic levels at London’s Olympic Park show the size of investment needed to ensure just one location has suitable capacity.
However, operators unfortunately can’t afford to invest everywhere in the network to boost capacity.
According to Actix, a typical kilometer-squared area of London already handles around 50,000 unique subscribers; 800,000 3G data connections; 15,000 3G voice calls, and 30,000 2G voice calls every day.
McHale adds, “The Olympics will highlight the need to be smart about network performance and capacity, and utilise solutions for effective customer experience management, small cell rollouts and network optimisation.”
A specialist Wi-fi network at the core Olympic Park site is designed to handle 100,000 users. Operators have made other significant investments -drafting in additional network capacity via new base stations which are complemented by in-building solutions.
Operators unfortunately can’t afford to invest everywhere in the network to boost capacity.
They need to focus their efforts on delivering the right network performance to the right people and places at the right time.
Actix says it can help operators make ‘smart’ decisions by providing them with a granular view of their network’s performance and their customers’ experience in the RAN – resulting in actionable intelligence.
In the UK we’ve already seen what can happen with O2′s recent outage. Unless operators plan ahead carefully like Actix suggests, we could see more such outages happening more frequently.