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Testing LTE Network Performance for

New Service Requirements

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Today's Presenters
Patrick Donegan
Chief Analyst
Heavy Reading

Assaji Aluwihare
Director of Product Management,
Assurance Solutions, JDSU

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Why The Mobile Network Still Isnt Meeting Expectations















All networks & services are affected

Some networks & services are affected, but not all
Only one type of network or service is affected
Source: Mobile Network Outages & Service Degradations, October 2013

Outages & Degradations

Congestion the main cause of degradations
The well-known problem of bursty traffic
hasnt gone away.
User impact in the first five years of mobile
broadband era.
Risk of a far greater impact with new
service innovation around delay-sensitive
apps like VoLTE, interactive video & gaming.
Operator business objectives heavily reliant
on these new services.

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Planning & Configuring The Mobile Network


Packet priortization
Capacity planning
Configuration settings
Policy control
Committed Information Rate (CIR), QoS Queues and
the Committed Burst Size (CBS) buffers.


Network Test & Measurement results.

How the network has been performing.

A step change needed in outputs & inputs

Phenomenal job being done

More intelligent contention without congestion

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Testing Performance In The Backhaul An Increasingly Heterogeneous


Different physical layers

L2 & L3 protocols
Different architectures
Multiple hops
Third party wholesalers

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Traditional Performance Monitoring Does Not Reflect User Experience

Todays PM is synthetic and inadequate
PM methods are single technology, networks are
End-to-end tests often only provide a roundtrip view
Synthetic tests must be designed into the network
Samples are at fixed time slots, do not adapt to real traffic
Pre-defined test windows often miss transient issues

Traditional service management is inadequate

RFC 2544

Only uses statistical data from network elements

May only have data from synthetic test based tools

End-to-end visibility requires correlation of huge amounts of data

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Long Traffic Samples Intervals Disguise Smaller Bursts

1-15min sampling intervals

causes smoothing of QoS
impacting traffic


Link Total Bandwidth - Downlink (Mbps)




Limits visibility of bursts


DateTime1 (1 secs)

Critical for traffic engineering,

shaping and policing

DateTime2 (30 secs)

DateTime3 (60 secs)
DateTime4 (300 secs)

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Lack of Segmentation Delays Trouble Resolution

Modern networks have
complex aggregation schemes
hub and spoke
End-to-end tests do not reveal
performance at each hop
Problem isolation could take
hours or even days, involving
expensive dispatches

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Segmented Performance Monitoring With Live Traffic

Hop-by-hop visibility into performance

Granular view of utilization finds bursts
Must meet MEF compliant standards-based testing

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The Value of Segmentation and Performance Monitoring with User Traffic

Live subscriber performance metrics across

routes, by circuit, DSCP value, or service
Passively monitor application performance
Measure to rate of traffic not fixed timeslots

Find network hops and QoS values with excess

one-way delay or jitter in real time
Capture packets for deep analysis
Detect and correct or optimize worst hops
contributing to poor E2E performance

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Use Sampling Rates That Adapt to Traffic Rates

Traditional periodic
sampling leaves gaps
Real-traffic based
monitoring adapts the
number of samples to
the data rate
Visibility into true
performance is

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High Resolution Sampling Provides Visibility into Micro Bursts

Model networks without
overly averaged utilization
Find burst by seeing live
1 second metrics
100ms micro-burst analysis

Real Example: Micro-burst

peak observed at 420% of
network element metric

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Use Case: Find Bandwidth Utilization on Key Circuits

Monitor bandwidth utilization:
- Total bandwidth used
- Bandwidth by DSCP class
For each path with aggregated traffic to and
from eNodeBs
For groups of paths:
- a group of traffic classes
- a group of eNodeBs in a region
- a group of eNodeB attached to a specific RNC
Aggregate groups up to regional or all
network level (management dashboard)
Compare current used BW with baseline
obtained from turn up tests
Understand usage trends

*Source: Amdoc 2013


Backhaul can be 26% of operator OPEX*

Identify opportunities to consolidate backhaul
Identify opportunities to re-engineer circuits

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Conclusion: The Benefit to Operators

Save OPEX on backhaul
Understand and optimize backhaul links for actual throughput and QoS requirements
Find misconfigured network elements
Identify, unexpected, superfluous traffic
Measure at true rate for shaping and policing (100ms vs mins)
Ensure all third party backhaul SLAs are being met

Accelerate service deployment, minimize impact on subs, resolve issues faster

Understand how new services impact existing service performance of real subscriber
traffic vs synthetic traffic
Ensure quality of low-latency services like VoLTE, in real time
Avoid problems such as microbursts; measure real traffic loads, avoid under sampling
with synthetic traffic
Detect QoS problems that could create costly issues such as customer dissatisfaction
due to calls drops

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