New revenue opportunities
An end-to-end approach to 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) lowers the total cost of ownership (TCO), enables new mobile business models and redefines the end-user quality of experience (QoE). With the move to a 4G LTE solution comes the transformation to a flat, end-to-end IP architecture. This approach leverages:
- IP network intelligence
- Robust operations, administration, and maintenance (OAM)
- Resilient transport
- An IP optimized mobile core
- Subscriber and policy management
- Open application programming interfaces
- Consistent IP operations and management across the end-to-end network
As mobile operators change their revenue mix and introduce new business models, they recognize that 4G LTE data capabilities enable expanded end-user applications and services that users want to buy, while at the same time enable lower operational costs. For example, to decrease TCO and increase network efficiency, mobile operators can deploy network elements that support 2G, 3G and 4G LTE and play a role across mobile and transport networks. A prime example is the next-generation service router that provides both transport and service gateway functionality as part of the mobile core. Another example is end-to-end service-aware network management. Linkages across the Radio Access Network (RAN), mobile backhaul and wireless packet core networks give mobile operators the cross-domain visibility necessary for end-to-end QoE as well as dynamic policy and subscriber management. These capabilities are essential to redefine the end-user experience. For example, mobile operators can deliver advanced services that incorporate personalized content and ensure high QoE. They can also give end users the opportunity to instantly upgrade their services and their connection speeds. To enhance application enablement and deliver advanced services, the end-to-end 4G LTE network must be service-, subscriber-, and application-aware. With these capabilities operators can take advantage of new mobile business models that leverage relationships with application and content providers. These relationships require an end-to-end network that supports agile, scalable and open service creation and delivery. This approach enables mobile operators to expose end-to-end, high-value network capabilities to trusted application developers who can incorporate the capabilities into their mobile applications, giving mobile operators fast and easy access to innovative new offerings that will generate revenue.
The right single vendor increases value
Mobile operators that partner with a single vendor, such as Alcatel-Lucent, for the 4G LTE End-to-End solution will realize increased benefits. Bell Labs business modeling results substantiate the value of working with a single vendor. In a sample case study that compared a single vendor strategy to a multivendor strategy over a five-year period, the Bell Labs study found that a single vendor 4G LTE network resulted in:
- 70% greater net present value (NPV)
- 8% incremental cost savings (total network capital and operating expenditures)
- 2% incremental revenue growth
The all-around value of working with a single vendor for an end-to-end 4G LTE solution goes beyond financial benefits. As networks continue to rapidly evolve, mobile operators face aggressive timelines. In addition, the need for close coordination and integration across all network elements, interfaces and parameters becomes even more critical. Multiple vendors have different procedures, processes, implementations and ways of working. These factors drive complexity, risk, delays and costs for mobile operators who must take ownership of overall network integration and performance. Network growth, modifications, feature introduction and optimization of network-level parameters all require end-to-end integrity. Partnering with a single vendor who provides an all-around, pre-integrated and pretested end-to-end 4G LTE solution eliminates the challenges of multivendor networks. Alcatel-Lucent partners with mobile operators to help them choose the best upgrade path and plan for future growth. This can save the operator time and money when compared to working with separate vendors to piece together the network and determine the best network design. Selecting a single vendor lets mobile operators:
- Mitigate deployment and evolution risk: Working with one vendor can help accelerate mobile network evolution to all-IP. Field-proven business and network transformation services can also help reduce risk. Confident that technical and marketing roadmaps are aligned means mobile operators can focus on sales and marketing activities. As well, end-to-end accountability can expedite problem resolution.
- Rapidly launch advanced services: A prevalidated 4G LTE solution and new relationships with application and content providers accelerate the introduction of advanced services. Greater visibility of network evolution improves planning for advanced services. A rich and open ecosystem of devices, applications and content lets operators unlock new revenue streams and allows them to participate in innovative business models.
- Enrich the QoE: End-to-end network efficiency and visibility improves the QoE. It offers a unique end-user experience cost effectively with a scalable, smart and efficient network.
- High QoE improves customer satisfaction, increases market share and reduces churn. It also decreases customer support requirements.
- Increase scalability and cost efficiency: End-to-end network optimization ensures scalability. In addition, a single vendor reduces interoperability testing (IOT), installation and commissioning costs. Improved quality of service (QoS), self-care, coherent network management, decreased maintenance and faster repair times all reduce operating expenditures (OPEX).
A single vendor approach to an end-to-end 4G LTE solution makes it easier for mobile operators to outsource network build, operations and management to a trusted partner.
An all-around wireless IP package
Partnering with a single vendor for an end-to-end 4G LTE solution provides all of the network elements and services needed to decrease costs while increasing revenue and service differentiation (Figure 1):
- 4G LTE-enabled converged RAN elements for smooth evolution, maximum asset reuse and high performance
- IP-enabled mobile transport for converged, cost-efficient 2G, 3G and 4G LTE transport as well as high QoS
- Service-aware wireless packet core network with advanced QoS and scalability for dynamic IP, mobility and policy management
- Coherent network management across all network elements
- Wireless intelligence that allows for end-to-end network visibility to harness knowledge and enable a differentiated user experience
- Open Service Delivery Environment (SDE) to efficiently blend telecom and Web 2.0 technologies
- Transformation and integration services for planning, migration, integration and growth across the end-to-end network
- Access to a rich ecosystem of devices, applications and content, such as the ng Connect Program, as well as market research and go-to-market services
The time to act is now
Over the next 5 years, the number of smartphones is expected to jump from 20% of mobile phones to 80%. With large numbers of smartphones and the popularity of mobile devices, such as tablets, mobile data traffic is expected to increase 30-fold over the same time period. The mix of data types will put further pressure on mobile operators’ networks. Delay-sensitive and QoE-dependent services, such as mobile video and streaming multimedia, will only become more popular. With more advanced services, the volume of messaging required between mobile devices and the network will also increase dramatically. Many of the leading mobile operators around the world have already committed to 4G LTE - AT&T and Verizon in the United States are among them. VimpelCom Group in Kazakhstan is another important example. Many more, including China Mobile and Orange are actively trialing 4G LTE solutions. Action today will help mobile operators ensure they have the network, advanced services, relationships and market position required to lead and differentiate as demand increases. To contact the author or request additional information, please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
-  LTE is a trademark of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)