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How signaling spikes affect networks: 3 real-world examples

By: Josee Loudiadis, Director of Network Intelligence, Alcatel-Lucent

Data and signaling growth are usually good news for network operators, since growth often translates into higher revenues. But when growth is averaged over a month or quarter, the daily highs and lows of network activity are smoothed out. And signaling spikes remain hidden within the averages. These spikes can overwhelm available signaling capacity, which impairs the customer experience, as well as the operator’s reputation.

What happens when a spike occurs? Typically, a CPU Overload alarm appears on various mobile nodes. And the Network Operations Center (NOC) immediately starts praying that the burst is short-lived and doesn’t go over maximum peak-rate capacity. Because when that happens, all consumers are denied service access. Then, the process of identifying the source of the problem begins. This can be arduous, because it often involves applications completely out of NOC control. And the issue can’t be resolved easily without solid network analytics that enables engagement with application and device developers.

That’s the reason signaling information is a crucial part of the Alcatel-Lucent Mobile Apps Rankings report and why LTE World 2014 devotes an entire pre-conference day to the topic. It’s also why this blog offers a closer look at how some real-world disruptive signaling spikes got started — and were finally resolved.

How signaling saps phone batteries - and what you can do about it

By: Josee Loudiadis, Director of Network Intelligence, Alcatel-Lucent (@joseeloudiadis)

What do consumers know about the effects of signaling? We pay attention to our data plan costs — such as how many bytes of data we use for Skype calls, sending photos or watching YouTube videos. But signaling remains mysterious, because we don’t pay for it in any obvious way. And because it operates transparently, we are not aware of its impact.

Rankings have arrived: Mobile Apps' Impact on Networks and Consumers

By Josee Loudiadis, Alcatel-Lucent

Operators, consumers and application developers are fully interconnected in the mobile world. Yet they rarely recognize the impact they have on each other. That’s why Alcatel-Lucent has released its Mobile Application Rankings report — to increase awareness among consumers and the mobile industry and to promote app optimization. Here’s a sampling of the “blind spots” the report addresses:

Shared Data Plans: A Tool for Attracting and Retaining Subscribers

Alcatel-Lucent’s Rich Crowe opens a new chapter of the Six Degrees of Mobile Data Plan Innovation blog series by examining consumer interest in shared data plans.

Shared data plans have become popular with mobile operators. Today, 19 of the world’s 25 largest mobile operators by subscriber base size[1] offer data-sharing options. Many others are following suit and offering subscribers the ability to connect several users or devices to the same pool of mobile data.

For operators, the addition of shared data plans is about clearing new paths to market expansion, subscriber stickiness and bottom-line growth. But what do mobile consumers think of shared data? What factors make them more or less likely to embrace it? And what impact does it have on whether they stick with a mobile operator?

How to Kill Shadow IT: Step One - Recognize that Resistance is Futile

By Bryan R. Davies, Senior Director of Enterprise Communications Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent

The first step in resolving any problem is to make sure you understand the core issues. So here’s the crucial question for shadow IT: What is the biggest challenge it presents for your IT department?

Holding back the flood?  

Today’s flood of mobile devices and cloud services is making shadow IT a bigger headache than ever before. But it’s nothing new. It started with the first enterprise employee who ever put an application in place without the knowledge or approval of IT staff.

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