Achieving a Holistic Approach to Mobile Service Assurance
By Marc Lippe, Director, Worldwide Field and Corporate Marketing, InfoVista
In my last blog, I talked about maintaining application quality in the face of rising data traffic and customer expectations (i.e. the rapid adoption of the iPhone). I also started to discuss how mobile quality of service is dependent upon performance across the multiple domains that a service can transition—meaning that providers should be employing a more holistic approach in operational environments.
How can providers achieve this holistic view? Let me start by giving a little background. InfoVista began by selling performance management solutions to mobile operators in order to monitor their IP transport networks. What we found was that in most cases, these operators would have vendor-specific solutions to monitor the mobile data environment plus alternative OSS tools for monitoring the radio access – RNC, BTS, etc. In order to achieve a holistic view in those cases, the choice is either to conduct a large scale integration project leveraging the recommended frameworks of the TMF or to organically grow single-silo solutions into other domains with patchwork style extensions. Either of these approaches will involve a dual investment in solutions and an expensive integration project to achieve the holistic view needed to support true end-to-end performance assurance.
The alternative is to centralize specific key performance indicators from the end-to-end IP mobile service infrastructure, the radio access network, backhaul, and mobile data core on a single platform.
Couple this with DPI level subscriber service information and user flexibility to extend visibility into key voice domain resources, and you would not only create a holistic multi-domain view, but significantly improve the efficiency of operations and engineering teams who would be synchronized around a common view of customer mobile data service performance.
In other words, pulling together the multiple domains of the mobile data service under a single platform, tied together with application perspectives and voice core equipment extensions, offers a number of advantages over probe or domain specific approaches, lowering costs while improving the ability to keep customer service satisfaction high.
So, have we learned from the iPhone? My thoughts—the bar has definitely been raised. The rapid adoption of the iPhone, and now the possibility of the same with the iPad, has taught us that the ability to manage the increasing demands on the network and rise in customer expectations is no longer an option, it’s an expectation. In order to move forward and be a contender in the mobile data services space, we need to start getting innovative, and perhaps a holistic view is a good place to start.
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