Mobile service assurance

To offer true, proactive service assurance, mobile operators must monitor three levels of performance. The first is the overall network and service availability – is my network up? Is this service available for subscribers to access? Second is the actual performance of the network – what is the throughput of my network? Is the service experiencing any jitter or latency? Finally, it is all about how the subscriber is experiencing the services and what, if any, issues are individual subscribers experiencing.”
Vikas Trehan
on this blog on InfoVista.com.

In an earlier post, we discussed how synthetic transactions could be used to simulate the real user experience across a multi-layered service offering (eg database, applications, servers, networks, etc).

However, as more and more communications services are consumed via mobile devices (eg smartphones, tablets), there is now a whole other dimension to consider – the spatial dimension.

With fixed networks, it’s fairly safe to assume that the network is quite predictable across a geographic region (discounting localised contention, outages, etc) so synthetic transactions could be injected at a small number of strategic locations on the network to represent overall user experience.

But when users get mobile, the network gets far less predictable (ie signal strength, throughput, service continuity). Highly localised factors come into play including weather conditions, topography, nearby buildings, congestion, electrical interference, distance from source, etc. In effect, every user will experience different service quality and synthetic transactions won’t provide a representative user experience.

Real-time performance data is needed from connections onto the mobile network. Perhaps the self-optimising network functionality of Self Organising Networks (SON) (and the associated data gathered) will cross over with the user experience performance monitoring of OSS to fill this void?

Have you integrated your OSS with the nascent technology that is SON from the perspective of mobile service assurance?

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