This blog is by Riitta Siira from the Networks business of Nokia.
Here’s another question, and this time it’s no joke. What do building an ants’ nest and rolling out sophisticated and extensive LTE networks have in common? Not much you say?
Well consider this. Both need extensive cooperation and precise coordination, with each individual worker knowing its tasks and having the skills and dedication to complete them. The result? A nest, or a network, built to serve its users’ needs and stand up to anything thrown at it for years to come.
High network quality is a major reason for the success of LTE in Korea. Launched in mid-2011, Korean operators had served over 32.6 million subscribers by the end of June 2014 with the world’s fastest mobile broadband experiences.
These subscribers are great fans of smartphones and services, consuming over 67,000 TB (terabytes) of LTE data every month in the last year – a stupendous figure that is three times more than what it was the year before. Interestingly, it seems the quality and speed of the network experience is encouraging enough for these commuters to consume even more data. Korean operators were the first to launch commercial Voice over LTE (VoLTE) services and by September 2013 had introduced LTE-Advanced to provide the fastest mobile broadband experiences in the world. So what does it take to make this happen, you ask?
Dedication and precision… not unlike the approach that has proven reliable for ants and their innate communication skills for millions of years. It has also helped Nokia deliver over 115,000 LTE sites to date in Korea. At full capacity, over 600 cells were rolled out per week to meet our customers’ ambitious time-to-market goals meet the highest quality levels, bearing in mind that many LTE and VoLTE features were world first deployments.
3 steps to successful network delivery
Nokia takes responsibility for end-to-end quality assurance, wherever the three Korean operators are deploying networks, and sticks to this 3-step approach:
Design and Plan
To deliver on ambitious roll-outs targets with detailed network design and testing, and highly focused project plans with full transparency for all parties. A key success factor was the early involvement of subject expert project management teams, who carried out risk assessments, dependencies for risk mitigation plans as well as detailed studies of local conditions. All equipment is tested prior to deployment and everyone involved has been well trained to ensure that installations are carried out right the first time.
Nokia maintains a reference cluster of sites to test the performance of hardware and software against a set of agreed, customer specific KPIs. Any necessary improvements to the KPIs discovered during testing can then be implemented throughout the wider network. Regular base station site audits are performed to ensure high quality.
During roll-out, daily contact with the operators and other project parties enabled expert teams to react immediately to any issues to meet service expectations.
Networks were upgraded to LTE-Advanced to manage the expected high traffic volumes and the latest software deployed to enable the network to balance the traffic load between the operator’s carriers. Proactive capacity expansion and optimization helped operators prepare for the Busan International Fireworks Festival for example, where 700,000 LTE subscribers attended the event and uploaded pictures and videos to social networking sites. Nokia’s Traffica solution was used for live monitoring, to understand real time traffic patterns and trigger further optimization actions.
So – just like our ant’s nest – this is definitely a network, built to serve its users’ needs and stand up to anything thrown at it for years to come. In fact, the Korean Communications Commission rated all Nokia supplied networks in its cities and provinces during 2013 as ‘excellent’.
Click here to see the story unfold in our infographic
Please share your thoughts on this topic by replying below – and join the Twitter discussion with @NSNtweets using #NetworksPerform #LTE #VoLTE #ExpertAdvantage #ServicesforLTE
For more on LTE:
Read our new success case: Nokia helps Korean operators drive revenues as demand rockets for high quality voice and data.
View our latest video: Karsten Isenbeck, responsible for delivering Nokia projects in Korea, highlights the what, why and how of providing stellar VoLTE coverage.