4GWE – Backhaul – Measuring the Experience
This past week I had the opportunity to present and participate in the wireless backhaul track at the 4GWE event co-located with the ITExpo in Austin, TX. I would like to thank Carl Ford of TMCnet and Crossfire Media for moderating the session and inviting me to participate. Austin has always been one of my favorite cities in Texas; great music, great atmosphere, great people, and great food. It was a nice benefit that our hotel was a short walk from the convention center via 6th Street.
The 4GWE tracks provided many interesting topics around wireless backhaul. For example, one session I attended was titled 4G Backhaul – Is it Really the Bottleneck? This session had speakers from CenturyLink, FiberTower and Sioux Valley Wireless. It was great to listen to a diverse panel of telecommunications providers from a smaller rural provider like Sioux Valley with three cell towers, to FiberTower with approximately 3,300 cells sites to CenturyLink, the third largest provider in the US with about 30,000 cell sites. It was interesting to hear the differences in their businesses and although they are so different in terms of size, they also share similar challenges like moving their copper connected cell sites to fiber to support the move from T1/T3 connectivity to Ethernet. One thing that stood out to me was the need for effective performance management and capacity planning across geographically and technologically diverse networks. The conclusion of the session was that wireless backhaul could be a bottleneck, but it doesn’t have to be. Ultimately a holistic approach that employs effective performance management can help providers understand consumer usage, growth rates, and backhaul connectivity and bandwidth requirements.
As part of the Wireless Backhaul track, I joined Russ Green, Senior Vice President of Marketing - VPI Systems, for a session titled: The Measure of Experience. We discussed facing the realities of delivering a quality end-to-end experience from the subscribers’ perspective and the fact that that no one system gives complete insight as to what impacts the consumers see.
The answer to this complex problem is to go beyond the smoke stack of radio, transport and processing. Carriers are learning to put systems in place that measure the experience beyond the systems. Our session took a deep dive into how the experience is managed, monitored and maintained as many
In previous blogs and webinars, (Why Network Performance Management is Critical for Ethernet Backhaul Services, Key Factors for Managing 4G LTE and IMS Performance at Scale, and Performance Management a Must Have for Delivering Ethernet Backhaul) I discussed the challenges of gaining insight into the performance of heterogeneous network infrastructures. Fundamentally, a performance management process must be able to evaluate each layer of the LTE and IMS architecture for a complete view of service impact. Wireless operators and backhaul providers truly need to be able to effectively manage and optimize network capacity while reducing backhaul expenditure and customer churn. This requires proactive monitoring of network performance monitoring of all the components in the data path (including eNodeB, eNID, PGW, SGW, MME, PCRF, CSCF, HSS) independent of vendor or equipment type to ensure the infrastructure meets current service level agreements and addresses future demands.
Many of the leading cable, backhaul and wireless providers use SevOne factors can contribute to the positive or negative user experience.
to optimize their Ethernet backhaul infrastructure to:
- Support increased multimedia traffic levels, markets and geographies
- Isolate, determine, and alert on performance issues ahead of service impact
- Meet and exceed customer expectations
To learn more about SevOne’s 4G LTE and IMS monitoring capabilities, download the SevOne 4G LTE Whitepaper.
Pete Cruz is Senior Director of Product Management and Marketing for SevOne.