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Predictive analytics key to solving mobile network challenges


Johannesburg, 29 Jun 2022
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New technology that predicts mobile network performance could solve a growing problem for the South African telecoms industry, according to software innovation company Sonalake.

Sonalake has developed an analytics software solution that can forecast the impact of weather on quality of service (QOS) and anticipate radio access network (RAN) congestion in mobile networks. This award-winning technology allows mobile operators to accurately predict network issues up to seven days in advance. Over time, it can also highlight wider problems that need to be addressed.

It will prove to be an invaluable solution for South African operators trying to address an increasing demand for mobile bandwidth and satisfy customer expectations around service quality and resilience.

“Mobile operators are facing an increasing demand for mobile bandwidth along with modern customers’ expectations around service quality and resilience,” explains Niall Sisson, Head of Data Analytics at Sonalake.

“We integrated this cutting-edge technology into VisiMetrix, our network service analytics system, and the results achieved have really helped our clients improve customer experience. Predictive analytics can empower companies by helping them to anticipate problems before they happen, tackle common issues that can affect network performance and gain a better understanding of wider network issues that need to be addressed over time. We believe it could be a game-changer for both new and established operators in South Africa.”

Sonalake has integrated this technology into its VisiMetrix network service analytics system, which is currently used by major European operators such as Vodafone and Three.

Major challenge for the industry

The pandemic proved to be a watershed moment for telecoms operators in terms of customer behaviour and demand. According to an OECD study: “Demand for broadband communication services soared, with some operators experiencing as much as a 60% increase in internet traffic compared to before the crisis.”

The appetite for high-quality video streaming, online gaming and video calls has remained high, even after lockdown. The increase in remote working has also placed additional stress on mobile networks.

Service quality and resilience matters to consumers. According to a report by Ericsson, 83% of respondents said ICT helped them cope with the pandemic. For 64% of respondents, it was very important that service providers maintain the resilience and quality of the network.

The challenge for telecoms operators is to make already-stretched networks meet increased bandwidth demands. One way to help achieve this is by being able to anticipate issues before they happen.

VisiMetrix can provide operators with up to seven days’ notice of potential issues, giving them time to take pre-emptive action to ensure service quality.

Harnessing new technology to predict the future

VisiMetrix uses time series analysis to sift through a wealth of data and make accurate predictions. To predict how weather will impact QOS, it considers external weather conditions like temperature, humidity and precipitation as well as network features such as antenna height and distance. In predicting RAN issues, it also considers seasonal variations and trends. Not only is VisiMetrix able to predict network congestion, but it also narrows the prediction to specific services.

Sonalake believes that predictive analytics will be key to anticipating network issues in the face of increasing demand and maintaining customer confidence.

Sonalake, which is based in Ireland, Poland and Slovakia, boasts deep domain expertise in telecommunications products and services and it has software partnerships with some of Europe’s largest telecoms brands.

For more information, visit the Sonalake website.

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