4G Alone Won't Solve Mobile Network Performance Problems, Heavy Reading Finds

Mobile network operators will need policy control and other tools to help alleviate RAN congestion in the switch to 4G, says Heavy Reading 4G/LTE Insider

Mar 31, 2011, 17:25 ET from Heavy Reading

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 31, 2011 /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 (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.

For a list of companies covered in this report, http://img.lightreading.com/uni/pdf/4gltei0311_companies.pdf

"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).

To subscribe, or for more information, please visit: www.heavyreading.com/4glte. For more information on all Insider services, please visit www.heavyreading.com/research.

To request a free executive summary of the report, or for details on multi-user licensing options, please contact:

Jeff Claudino
Director of Sales
Insider Research Services

Press/analyst contact:
Jennifer Baker
Marketing Director, Light Reading Communications Network

About Heavy Reading (www.heavyreading.com)

Heavy Reading is an independent market research organization offering quantitative analysis of telecom technology to carriers, service providers, and vendors. Our remit is to provide the comprehensive competitive analysis needed today for the deployment of profitable networks based on next-generation hardware and software. This information is compiled via exhaustive surveys of both vendors' products and service-provider decision makers.

About Light Reading Communications Network (www.lightreading.com)

Founded in 2000, the Light Reading Communications Network is the world's leading research-led integrated media company serving the global communications market. Lightreading.com is the ultimate source for technological and financial analysis of the communications industry, leading the media sector in terms of traffic, content, and reputation. Light Reading's research arms, Heavy Reading and Pyramid Research, provide the most comprehensive communications research, market data, and technology analysis in close to 100 markets around the world. Light Reading produces nearly 20 targeted communications events including TelcoTV, and TelcoTV Asia, Ethernet Expo New York and Ethernet Europe, and The Tower Summit @ CTIA, as well as focused one-day events tailored for cable, mobile, and wireline executives in the US, Europe, India, and China. Light Reading was acquired by United Business Media in August 2005 and operates as a unit of TechWeb.

SOURCE Heavy Reading