Bringing Visualization to Virtualization: How Operators can Claim Back Ground from OTT

Prepared and organized at the point of collection, smart data is ready and optimized for analytics at the highest possible quality and speed

It’s not just extreme cases such as these that demand seamless connectivity either. Businesses and consumers depend on calls and data sessions being successfully processed. If these fail, operators could face customer complaints and loss of revenue.

Achieving this pervasive visibility requires operators to have insight into the “North and South” and “East and West” traffic of their multi-level networks, and the ability to see exactly what’s happening for every one of their subscribers. In order to quickly identify and rectify any issues before they make a negative impact, operators will need to receive information in real time.

Smart data, insight and intelligence

The increasing volume of data processed by mobile operators today makes it challenging for them to quickly and efficiently identify the right information amid all the noise. What’s more, the data is both structured and unstructured, and generated by internal and external sources, creating complexity that further complicates matters. Although operators rely on vital intelligence gleaned from this data to optimize the subscriber experience, few are able to manage it with the necessary speed, fidelity and quality.

To overcome these challenges, more forward-thinking operators are now utilizing smart data. Prepared and organized at the point of collection, smart data is ready and optimized for analytics at the highest possible quality and speed. By extracting all the important information from all of the IP data that crosses the network—in real time—it arms operators with the actionable intelligence they need to identify issues and optimize their infrastructure in line with traffic demands. And smart data can be especially cost-effective when used with virtualized instrumentation that can be pervasively deployed throughout the network.

The actionable intelligence that smart data provides will become even more valuable as operators virtualize their networks in preparation for 5G. Bringing with it a wealth of new use cases and technologies, and fragmented standards around how virtual network functions (VNF) are introduced and orchestrated in the network, the next-generation technology is full of unknowns. As they enter largely uncharted territory, operators will be forced to guess at the best way forward. And with analysts predicting that the number of IoT devices in use will reach 125 billion by 2030, and with no past precedent from which to work, the future only looks to be more challenging.

With so many devices on the network, the only way that operators can know if they are functioning as they should is through pervasive visibility and smart data insights. Together these will be key in providing additional valuable information into how the devices behave and how they consume network resources.

What’s more, smart data is also network-, vendor-, service-, and device-agnostic and supports all technologies and standards. This will prove hugely beneficial in a time when different service providers are taking different approaches to the introduction of VNF and backing different low-power wide-area network technologies for the IoT. Operators with the ability to adapt to a rapidly evolving market will be better able to quickly scale up to meet the demands of their subscribers.

Virtualization bringing operators forward

Challenged with tackling the disruption to their business models posed by tough competition, operators have recognized the enormous potential for NFV to transform their networks, to become far more flexible and agile and empower new services. As operators continue to virtualize their network elements and move network infrastructure closer to the edge, harnessing NFV and cloud to deliver new services and support the demands of 5G and the IoT, the need for visibility becomes more abundantly clear.

Through the analysis of smart data, operators will be able to monitor the entire breadth and depth of their networks, both physical and virtual, to assure the ongoing quality of their service delivery. Only through leveraging smart data can they gain the visibility and insight they need into each and every element of the network—no matter how new or complex—that will enable them to successfully deploy NFV strategies and, thus, successfully digitally transform their business models. With the ability to see, secure, and optimize their network, mobile operators can now begin to claim back the ground lost to OTT service providers.


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