Opening the Spectrum for LTE Services with Big Data Analytics

As 4G LTE wireless networks continue to be deployed and evolve, it’s providing wireless carriers with immense opportunities for identifying and delivering new types of services to customers.

The emergence of LTE (long term evolution, aka 4G LTE) represents a dynamic shift in terms of the services and capabilities that are and will become available to wireless subscribers and in how carriers go about exploiting such opportunities.

For instance, in 2G and to some extent with 3G networks, carriers could afford to “over-provision” for voice services because it was easy and it didn’t cost them much to do so, notes Edoardo Rizzi of Trendium in Billing & OSS World.

However, with 4G, over-provisioning for mobile broadband will lead wireless executives to discover “that your profit margins will totally disappear,” says Rizzi.

There are two reasons for this, Rizzi explains. First, it’s tough for carriers to predict which “pockets” of an LTE network will see spikes in demand. Secondly, LTE is less focused around voice than it is around data. For instance, streaming video eats up roughly 100 times more bandwidth than voice.

One way that carriers can use big data analytics to pinpoint new LTE revenue opportunities is by gaining a deeper understanding of the behaviors and interests of the customers and prospects they’re aiming to serve.

For example, users in emerging markets (76% of those surveyed) would be willing to pay more for LTE services than users in mature markets (57%), according to a recent Accenture report.

In fact, nearly two-thirds (63%) of all respondents say they’d be willing to pay additional monthly fees for mobile Internet services that would be 10X faster than their current connections.

Carriers can use customer and market data along with analytics to identify not only LTE services that customers are pining for but also to identify new services that haven’t yet been developed.

For its part, AT&T has started offering a residential broadband and voice service that relies on a 3G/4G modem for its link back to the network instead of traditional wireline access technologies. The new service is now available in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, DC, and parts of eastern Kentucky.

With the exception of Kentucky, all of these locations fall outside of AT&T’s traditional wireline operating territory, placing it in direct competition with Verizon. In effect, this home router service offers AT&T the opportunity to expand beyond its wireline footprint.

Analytics can also provide telecommunications equipment providers new opportunities for partnering with carriers to deliver new LTE services.

For example, Ericsson recently announced that it has deployed an ultra high speed LTE-Advanced commercial service network through its local entity, Ericsson LG, for LG U+, a South Korean wireless service provider. Through the new network, LG U+ can offer high speed mobile broadband services such as high definition video.

The ultra-competitive world of high-speed communications isn’t just reserved for traditional carriers. Amazon is reported to have tested out ground-based wireless data services provided by satellite service provider Globalstar earlier this year.

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