As announced today, Procera’s latest initiative, RAN Perspectives, is all about adding the RAN (Radio Access Network) view to Procera’s existing network intelligence, consisting of Service Awareness and Subscriber Awareness.
Getting access to near real-time RAN data is a challenge. One traditional way to capture this data is to integrate with network vendors and receive the data through an Operations Support System. This is often very costly or the data is not received in real-time – putting a huge lag on diagnosing subscriber issues. Furthermore most operators have multiple vendors and multiple technologies (GSM, 3G, LTE) making up their networks, making capturing RAN data even more cumbersome.
An alternative solution to capturing RAN data has been to install probes in the network. This however requires a very large footprint to collect the relevant data and to cover the complete multi-vendor/multi-technology network.
A third method that has been deployed by some is to install an app on the phone’s iOS, Android or Windows system, which collects the data. But with this, the subscriber has to be involved, making it impossible to reach most M2M (Machine to Machine) devices and USB modems.
We are excited about Procera’s RAN Perspectives product, as we have developed a solution which is independent of the network vendor, independent of the radio access technology and independent of the subscriber.
The synergies arising from correlating RAN awareness with Service and Subscriber awareness are enormous. This makes it possible for operators to visualize the subscriber’s experience in terms of a very accurate Service Availability. Most operators are today operating the network according to the network availability ( i.e. the availability of individual network elements). By doing so, the operator often misses out on cases when the customer is having a bad experience. With Procera’s RAN Perspectives, the full end-to-end customer experience is measured in terms of Service Availability and mapped to the actual location in the network. Furthermore the combination of RAN, Service and Subscriber awareness provides detailed information for root cause analysis of issues in the network. For example, operators can now answer the questions “Is the terminal the issue and should be upgraded?” “ Is there congestion or coverage issues at a given cell site?” "Where in my network does Netflix perform well?" "Why does Netflix not perform well in certain areas?" "How is Average Revenue per User (ARPU) affected?"
As Subscriber Awareness is part of the pre-correlated data, RAN Perspectives also enables the operator to visualize the satisfaction of its high-value or VIP subscribers. RAN Perspectives also makes it possible to calculate the affected average revenue per user of certain issues arising in the network, allowing them to focus their resources on the most important issues.
RAN Perspectives is not only about visualizing these important dimensions of the network. As the data is collected in near real-time, it opens up the possibility for “closing the loop” or automatically resolving the subscriber’s issue. For example, in the case of congestion, the issue can immediately be resolved in Procera’s PacketLogic system once it knows which part of the network is congested. In other cases the issues can be resolved by feeding detailed data into the operator’s existing Self Optimized Network (SON) solution.
Many operators are currently rolling out networks for WiFi offload. It is often challenging to tune and balance the WiFi network to the mobile cellular network. RAN Perspectives opens up for measuring and positioning the customer experience in WiFi and comparing it to the customer experience in the cellular network. By doing so important data can be fed back to tuning the WiFi network, in a closed-loop or open-loop fashion.
The new possible use cases that are now supported by Procera’s new RAN Perspectives make for an exciting time here at Procera. We are looking forward to helping operators give their subscribers a terrific quality of experience (QoE) while on their mobile networks.