Delivering a flawless user experience at the lowest possible cost is the universal goal of all multiple-system operators (MSOs). Achieving this goal means leveraging available Wi-Fi networks—whether they be residential access points, access points deployed within a small- or medium-size business, or access points deployed at venues such as stadiums or public hotspots—to reduce reliance on mobile network operator (MNO)-based cellular service and avoid incurring the resulting MNO-based cellular service fees.
The key challenge MSOs face is ensuring the best customer experience when using next-gen Wi-Fi. Failure to do so will result in unhappy subscribers who may choose to switch off their Wi-Fi, electing instead to rely on LTE or a 5G connection and thereby increasing MNO costs.
Four Pillars of an Effective Network Monitoring Strategy
To deliver an exceptional user experience, MSOs should consider four key pillars to an effective network monitoring strategy. The first is the instrumentation layer. Pervasive instrumentation in your network, looking at all the wireless access gateways and all radio servers, is essential to ensuring there are no blind spots. The instrumentation layer should be able to learn the network characteristics automatically—from MAC addresses and IP addresses all the way down to connected devices such as handsets and laptops.
The second key pillar is accessibility. MSOs need to know if users can connect with the Wi-Fi network properly to ensure the best login experience. How responsive is your DHCP service? How good is your authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) framework? What kind of latencies are involved when using different techniques on RADIUS interfaces? Users not only need to be able to access the Wi-Fi network but need to do so quickly.
The third pillar is usability. Once users are connected, MSOs need to know what the experience is from a subscriber’s point of view. What is the latency and peak throughput on the last mile? What kind of retransmission rate is occurring at the transport layer? When combined, these insights will present a good snapshot of your network’s usability and provide a key indicator of user experience.
The final pillar of an effective monitoring strategy is retainability. When issues arise, it is critically important to have a proactive early warning system that is multidimensional. Such a system should be able to provide rapid insights into anomalies or degradations happening in your network, along with the evidence needed to reduce mean time to knowledge (MTTK), thereby reducing mean time repair (MTTR).
Whether rolling out new services or simply seeking to meet existing SLAs, MSOs need a highly effective monitoring strategy.
Delivering Full Lifecycle Visibility
NETSCOUT offers MSOs the full lifecycle visibility they need to assure network Wi-Fi performance and thereby reduce MNO fees. Our industry-leading solution offers proactive monitoring that alerts before degradations or anomalies become widespread and impact your subscriber base. Leveraging the latest addition to NETSCOUT’s portfolio, the Omnis Automation platform combines our extensive subject matter expertise and NETSCOUT Smart Data, using the latest artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to automatically generate smart outcomes that enable network operations and engineering to deliver quality service.
By continuously monitoring your network via the NETSCOUT solution, you gain deep, actionable insights that enable service assurance continuity, ultimately allowing you to improve your network and user experience.