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Six reasons to remove the drive tests for field performance measurement

Six reasons to remove the drive tests for field performance measurement

The physical drive test has been the standard for field performance validation of mobile networks for decades. But does it provide the insights and does it have the agility mobile network operators and subscribers need today? There's no question that drive tests are resource-intensive, carbon-intensive, and yield data sets limited to the route and time of the drive test. Nokia’s Enhanced Field Performance Validation (EFPV) service leaves drive tests idling in the dust.

EFPV measures network performance through data collected centrally from subscriber equipment such as smartphones wherever they are in the network area — including indoors. While completely anonymous to protect the privacy of end-users, EFPV provides more precise and comprehensive data from the subscriber experience perspective so that network performance decisions can be taken with more accuracy and confidence. Below are six reasons to take a closer look at EFPV.

You want a complete view on network performance

Drive tests provide only a snapshot of network performance along the drive route, which gives you fragmented picture of the network performance in a specific place and time. EFPV captures a comprehensive data set that reflects the real user experience over the entire coverage area, including indoors and outdoors, based on the data of thousands of user devices instead of just one.

You aim to reach your target network performance faster

Drive tests are resource-intensive to plan and carry out. EFPV accelerates the time to insight, issue resolution, and network acceptance since it is 100% automated with centralized data collection that does not require any scheduling. The full automation results in shorter lead time from data collection to reporting. Performance data can be reported 24/7 from the complete coverage area and actionable reports can be created at the frequency you want. You can obtain performance data from all areas of the cell, including parks, railroads, ferries — everywhere where devices and signal coverage are.

You love big data insights

Drive tests collect data, which is limited to the drive route, usually outdoors only, with a single user device model. EFPV accesses and processes a big data set for a detailed view of performance across the entire network area. With thousands more samples than drive tests can gather, EFPV provides higher statistical relevance. In addition, event density can be visualized with GPS accuracy (5m x 5m), 24/7. The secured, anonymized data helps you understand network quality, capacity and coverage without compromising the privacy of users and operators.

You live and breathe on this beautiful planet

Your company has sustainability goals and you're proud that the work you do can make a difference for our planet. Drive tests are an environmental problem that can be solved. Each drive test generates CO2 emissions. Replacing that drive test with EFPV leads to zero CO2 vehicle emissions, helping reduce the carbon footprint of your business.

You want road safety on the job

Road safety is essential to the well-being of people, and it also has an economic impact on transport operations. No drive tests means no related road safety risks or accidents for the drive test crew. And by eliminating thousands of drive tests, you can even improve traffic conditions in the communities where you operate. In addition, reducing traffic accidents can impact other important aspects of your business, such as transport and deliveries.

You’re an innovator and you’re happy to adopt a proven solution

The innovative EFPV solution is field-proven and already successfully in use by many mobile network providers worldwide. In just two years, we replaced 180,000 drive tests with Enhanced Field Performance Validation and avoided 1,600t CO2 emissions.

Find out more about how Enhanced Field Performance Validation works and can do for you in our new whitepaper.

Martin Holecek

About Martin Holecek

At Nokia, Martin is combining the technology and business side of innovation, and he is an author of many digitalization use cases. Martin is heading Mobile Networks Network Planning & Optimization (NPO) Service Unit since 2021. Right from the early days of 5G, he has been advocating for the transformative benefits of 5G in terms of mobile network spectrum efficiency and energy efficiency.

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