There's no second chance in offering high value products: They have to work right the first time.

An example for telco operators is the introduction of IPTV services. Even without considering the business agreements with media providers, this introduction requires a massive change in the network. The planning and engineering organizations across the board need to be able to have a common view of the demands placed on the network to ensure a consistent provision of capacity to support the services. Traffic demands from the subscriber access points, through to the core network, across all technology layers and media distribution hubs all have to be considered together. The complexities of doing this without a supporting system make the inevitable countless "what-if" scenarios of market introduction, subscriber update and network configurations practically unmanageable.

Common Challenges

There are many examples of common challenges that are being faced by operators in both the cable and telco camps. The ongoing pressure to improve customer experience and service quality will remain a common challenge. Reliability and performance improvements that accompany new products involve significant network analysis. One example is the offering of new data services with different bandwidth and reliability characteristics. It's essential to be able to provision these services as fast as possible, which means that enough but not too much network capacity and protection has to be in place when the customer orders the new product. Another example would be the launch of 3D High Definition TV services in selective markets as well as its video-on-demand version. There's no second chance in offering high value products: They have to work right the first time or the risk of subscriber churn increases, decreasing operator revenues.

Even if some of the business problems are different between cable and telco operators, there are parts of the network that are very similar and present common problems in this domain. An example here is the dimensioning of core networks in support of complex, new services. In both camps there are IP and Ethernet networks similarly layered on optical transmission, or transport networks which ultimately carry the bits of data that comprise all subscriber communication and entertainment. These layers are of primary interest in the provision of enterprise data services such as those required by wireless operators for mobile backhaul.

And Mobile Service For All

Mobile data and entertainment provides one of the fastest growing revenue opportunities for communications service providers. The Feb 2011 edition of the Cisco Virtual Networking Index reports that mobile data traffic grew 2.6x in 2010 and is set to continue on at this pace or higher over the next few years. Furthermore, more than 50 percent of this data traffic is expected to be generated by video streaming this year.

With new business models making it easier for operators to get access to mobile spectrum, it's becoming easier to launch a mobile product offering. The mobile data revenue opportunity, especially when combined with subscriber "stickiness" of bundled TV, voice and internet services will lure more cableco and telco operators to this market. Mobile data network analysis and planning brings new challenges to be addressed. As before, the ability to anticipate subscriber behavior and network impact in the context of the whole network is the key to avoiding performance and capacity surprises.

The Future

Whatever happens, all operators will need to be able to work smarter and faster under cost constraints to ensure happy subscribers and a profitable future. Robust network analysis and planning is an essential part of the process of delivering new and more complex services that perform well the day they are introduced.

About VPI Sytems

VPI systems incorporates accurate translation of subscriber, device and application growth into network impact analysis and traffic management systems, enabling mobile service providers to make real-time business decisions. The company's software enables optimized solutions for the massive bandwidth requirements in backhaul and core networks. Serving the telecommunications industry since 1997, VPIsystems has been the leading vendor of design and planning applications to network operators worldwide.

Headquartered in Somerset, NJ, and with offices in Europe and Asia, VPIsystems' software is used by over 150 communications service providers, network equipment manufacturers and leading-edge research institutions to assess current and future capacity needs, and to optimally plan QoS-constrained service networks and underlying network infrastructure. For further information, visit us at

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