Man turning the mobile network selector button to the next 5G generation. Telecommunication standards concept. Composite between an image and a 3D background.

Network Visibility Important to 5G Success

    Network Visibility Important to 5G Success

    A recent survey conducted by Heavy Reading of more than 90 operators of mobile networks found that network performance was the key to ensuring positive customer experiences. This is compared to digital services or service bundles offered to customers. The network performance key was right in line with other factors that included pricing and network coverage.

    Operators require just the bare minimum of decent coverage in order to operate their network. At the same time, there isn’t one subscriber to a network who is not conscious of the pricing. Networks are becoming comparable when you look at pricing and coverage, which is why performance is the leading factor in the decisions of customers these days. People are usually willing to pay more for a better experience when using a product or service, especially a network.

    5G is right around the corner for mobile network operators, which means consumer expectations will create major demands on the capability of the networks. Those demands could include anything from availability, capacity, latency and throughput. The network performance will differ immensely from network to network even with the various methods available to implement a 5G network.

    Networks will have a little bit of breathing room once 5G begins to rollout across the country because customers will not be able to compare 5G to 5G since it will be overwhelming compared to the previous service they had. Once 5G becomes available, customers will use pricing and availability as the determining factors into which network they choose as their service provider. Comparing providers based on performance will come into play at a later date once coverage becomes more widespread and pricing stabilizes.

    In order to ensure that a 5G network is visible to all potential customers, it must follow a specific formula. The formula is as follows:

    1. Deploy a lake of big data
    2. Fill the deployed lake with granular, real-time measurements that are precise and from all areas of the network
    3. Use analytics to determine the best configuration of the network in order to provide the best customer experience
    4. Implement the findings using SDN

    Network providers have failed multiple times in these experiments specifically because of their underestimation of step two in the formula. The survey from Heavy Reading found that service providers invest only 30 cents per customer annually on tools used to monitor their network’s quality of service, end-to-end performance and quality of experience.

    The Heavy Reading survey also found that the gap widens when looking at network providers and machine learning. According to the survey, 28 percent of providers do not plan to use machine learning in their process of implementing 5G. Some 14 percent are already using machine learning and the remaining still have yet to make a decision.

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