This blog is by Leslie Shannon from the Networks business of Nokia.
Not long ago, I posted a blog that focused on using Customer Experience Management (CEM) to identify where 4G-capable devices were using 3G data in the network in order to help target future 4G rollouts for a maximum ROI. This was the natural outcome of seeing eye-catching data from Mobidia which showed that the majority of 4G-capable Android phones in many countries never ever use 4G. As I mentioned, this can be because of rate plans, provisioning, or coverage – then I went on to speak about coverage.
I just met with an operator, however, who really showed the importance of proper 4G provisioning. We were in a meeting and I asked how many LTE customers his company has. The immediate answer was “One million.” At this, the Nokia engineer started looking a bit nervous, then cleared his throat. “Actually, only 200,000 are provisioned in the HLR.” “WHAT??!” was the operator’s response. And it was true – the actual number of LTE handsets in the network was indeed one million, but the number provisioned for LTE use was only one-fifth of that.
This particular operator is in a part of the world where many people travel in and out of the country and where operators directly sell handsets to only a small postpaid minority. This combination has translated into a very large number of handsets in the network coming from outside. And when lots of handsets come in from elsewhere, the operator’s provisioning systems may not recognize all LTE handsets as LTE-capable – and automated provisioning fails.
I knew that this scenario could lead to a lot of LTE-capable handsets being shut out of the LTE network, but I never dreamed that it could be 80% of those on the ground. Scary. And the operator itself had never noticed.
So – if you’re an operator, pick up the phone right now and call the HLR guys. See if their number of LTE-provisioned handsets matches yours. In most cases, you won’t get any bad surprises. But in some parts of the world . . . well, let’s just say the sooner you check it out, the better!
Read other recent blogs by Leslie here:
Please share your thoughts on this topic by replying below – and join the Twitter discussion with @NSNtweets using #LTE #4G #smartphone #NetworksPerform.