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4G Alone Won't Solve Mobile Network Performance Problems

Fri, 04/01/2011 - 7:15am
  CAMBRIDGE, Mass., /PRNewswire/ -- As they migrate to 4G technologies, mobile network operators will have to take other steps to control radio access network (RAN) congestion in order to significantly improve network performance, including more aggressive deployment of policy control products, according to the latest report from the Heavy Reading 4G/LTE Insider, a paid research service of Heavy Reading (http://www.heavyreading.com/).

RAN Congestion: Breaking the 3G/4G Bottleneck identifies and analyzes key issues driving the market for policy control and other RAN congestion solutions. It analyzes the impact of RAN congestion on revenue and service quality and details the options available to mobile operators to improve RAN congestion control. The all-new 16-page report is based on input from mobile operators and technology suppliers with solutions that address one or more aspects of RAN congestion.

"RAN congestion is not just emerging as a major concern for wireless carriers worldwide – it is already here and with a vengeance," says Tim Kridel, research analyst with Heavy Reading 4G/LTE Insider and author of the report. "Moving to 4G will not result in any appreciable network performance improvements unless operators also take aggressive steps to reduce and control congestion at the RAN level."

The good news for carriers and their customers is that there is no shortage of tools for reducing RAN congestion, Kridel notes. "One very promising solution is policy control – a broad category of standards and products that give carriers deep, actionable insights into their traffic and greater ability to manage that traffic," he says.

"Policy control products typically cost around $1 million to $5 million, which is peanuts compared to alternatives such as splitting hundreds of cell sites, deeply subsidizing femtocells, bringing Ethernet backhaul to every urban and suburban site, or building out a Wi-Fi hotspot network."

Key findings of RAN Congestion: Breaking the 3G/4G Bottleneck include:

* RAN congestion tools are key for making good on 4G's promise and business model.

* Carriers in developing markets are the sweet spot for RAN congestion products.

* RAN congestion products also help identify revenue opportunities, such as partnerships and packages.

* Adjusting service pricing to mitigate congestion attacks the problem too broadly.

* RAN congestion creates opportunities for innovative pricing, tiering and partnership strategies.

RAN Congestion: Breaking the 3G/4G Bottleneck is available as part of an annual single-user subscription (6 issues per year) to Heavy Reading 4G/LTE Insider, priced at $1,595. Individual reports are available for $900 (single-user license).

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