4G Network ‘Quality Wars’ Come to India

As has happened elsewhere, especially in very competitive markets, Indian 4G LTE network operators are now engaged in ‘quality wars,’ duking it out to differentiate their offerings based on network and user experience quality rather than price. In a recent guest article onTelecomDrive, Accedian’s David Dial (VP Sales, Latin America and Asia Pacific), explores this trend and the tactics likely to help operators emerge victorious. 

Several factors are at play here, Dial said:

  • Operators have mostly given up on content ownership, putting them in a position of very thin margins when it comes to price competition. 
  • Over-the-top (OTT) services are driving network utilization to the breaking point. 
  • Monetizing LTE networks involves precise alignment of transport and core elements with LTE radio parameters. 

Under these conditions, quality of service (QoS) and quality of experience (QoE) emerge as the new, primary 4G differentiator—even if it’s difficult to achieve. 

A consistently exceptional 4G user experience is not impossible, though.

Proven out in other markets, the most effective weapon in the ‘quality wars’ is a uniform, centrally-managed, software-based (virtualized) network-wide instrumentation layer to track real-time performance and enable dynamic resolution of issues. 

Paired with big data analytics platforms and network control systems, this instrumentation results in a programmable, quality-optimized network that can deliver newfound extra capacity (without additional infrastructure investment), which is good for both short-term revenue opportunities and long-term customer loyalty. Operators are quickly rolling out such instrumentation, since the stakes could hardly be higher. 
As Dial pointed out in the article, the quality wars isn’t a skirmish: “It’s a large scale conflict that positions newcomers like Reliance Jio against formidable networks in their own right. The spoils are worth fighting for. Driving digital inclusion for more than 1 billion people is transformative at a scale unimaginable anywhere else.”

Who will emerge as the winners? We will be watching closely to see how the war plays out.

Read the full article for more insight into the role of virtualized instrumentation for 4G LTE QoS and QoE optimization.