How to Correlate QoE with Network Performance

Posted by Mae Kowalke on Monday, February 15, 2016 with No comments
In the past, communications networks were relatively static, so monitoring individual elements was sufficient to assure quality of service (QoS) and, to a certain extent, quality of experience (QoE), noted Senza Fili Consulting President Monica Paolini, during a recent webinar co-presented by RCRWireless. But, that's no longer the case, and now operators must take a different approach to account for the dynamic nature of networks and the complexities of assuring QoE. 

That means core and RAN teams must work more closely together to understand what is it about performance that matters to subscribers, and make real-time changes rather than relying on brute-force capacity/throughput optimization.

Paolini said there are three main things operators need to do to correlate QoE with network performance:

  1. Capture QoE based on application and traffic type. Performance is highly dependent on what is the end goal. For example, if it involves video, what kind of video is it?
  2. Consider the location and time aspects of a subscriber's access to a particular service. Depending on location, for example, the performance a provider can deliver for indoor, peak-hour access will be different than other locations and times.
  3. Understand as much as possible about the device being used. Sometimes the device itself it the barrier to high QoE, not the network. 
Technologies and methods for accomplishing these QoE assurance tasks now exist, or are rapidly being developed.

Take assuring VoLTE QoE as an example. Here, a key element of assurance is detecting call quality issues
like problems with one-way audio degrading somewhere along the session paththat originate in the RAN, which in the past would have been invisible using centralized analyzers at the core. Where is the packet loss impairment occurring? 

At Mobile World Congress next week, Accedian (booth 8.0I27) and Sandvine are demonstrating a method of isolating such impairments, using a distributed packet broker solution (FlowBROKER) paired with centralized deep packet inspection (DPI). 


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