This post is by Vishal Agnihotri from Nokia Solutions and Networks.
An advanced software feature from NSN has enabled a major Indian operator to generate additional capacity and make room for more smartphone users over existing sites and infrastructure. The software helped generate more than 3% overall additional capacity that can be used to accommodate more smartphone users or alternatively to increase the voice capacity, a huge improvement with a single software feature.
Typically, when smartphone users connect to the GSM network, even for a quick check of their email or to update their social network status, the radio resources (time slots) needed for the data connection are allocated according to the handset’s multi-slot capability. This is a throwback to the early days of smartphones, when data usage was small and the number of smartphone users was limited. This means that, for example, handsets with five time slot capability were given five time slots for transferring data.
Today, most data packets transferred over smartphones are small and can be addressed with a single time slot. Yet, the network persists in allocating five time slots to the user, wasting valuable radio resources.
With growing smartphone usage, operators face a huge data capacity challenge, especially in countries with a large GSM subscriber base. Radio resources are precious, so continuing to waste them by allocating more time slots than needed is no longer sustainable.
NSN Smart Resource Adaptation (SRA), part of NSN’s Liquid Radio GSM Software Suite, addresses this challenge. The network performs packet inspection before allocating the resource for data connection – only one time slot is allocated for small packets while for large packets, allocation still depends on the handset’s multi-slot class. This allows GSM operators to assign resources for data connection more efficiently, and thus support up to five times more smartphone users on their existing networks. As a result, users on GSM networks will be able to achieve higher data throughput and experience less congestion with enhanced data efficiency.
The software feature was initially tested with the operator in a specific province and yielded impressive results. Data connection established with one time slot grew significantly – from 2.85% to 58.88%. Conversely, data connections established with four and five time slots decreased significantly – from 84% to 34%. Fewer radio resources were needed for carrying existing data traffic, boosting capacity by an additional 3%. With this kind of proof, the operator didn’t hesitate to implement the feature across the country, covering thousands of base stations.
This Indian customer joins the 100+ operators around the world to whom NSN’s SRA feature has already been delivered.
We have more to share on NSN’s innovative GSM software capabilities here.
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