How telecom companies are using big data analytics

Telecommunications is a pretty hot topic nowadays, especially considering the Net Neutrality debate that has flooded United States news outlets over the past few months.

Adoption rates are soaring
Whether or not telecom companies should create hierarchical Internet services, there is one technology enterprises such as Verizon, Comcast and AT&T use to identify and capitalize on competitive advantages. If they can access the data that travels through their networks every second to find better ways to deliver phone, Internet and TV provisions, why not analyze the heck out of it?

“The telecom sector’s use of data analytics tools is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 28.28 percent over the next four years.”

Given the fact that telecommunications providers have made a business out of information, it’s not surprising that they plan on investing in qualitative data analysis programs. A recent report, “Global Big Data Analytics Market in Telecom Industry 2014-2018,” discovered that the telecom sector’s use of data analytics tools is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 28.28 percent over the next four years.

Making the most of what exists 
The value of data analytics, as it relates to the telecom sector, lies in the software’s ability to show industry leaders how their services are being used. For instance, assessing how much video the average telecom customer accesses on a daily basis gives companies such as Verizon and AT&AT a clear picture of how its assets (multiplexers, optical fiber transmission lines and satellites) can be leveraged to improve the delivery of such content. 

The point highlighted above is worth mentioning. Each telecom provider has spent billions of dollars establishing a nationwide or continental infrastructure. Although IT and communications researchers have developed new technology that allows information to be delivered faster and more efficiently, it doesn’t make much sense for a telecom company to replace existing property with more advanced assets (economically speaking).

Is real-time analytics the answer? 
Napatech, a provider of network management and security acceleration solutions, wrote a white paper that detailed the ins and outs of real-time data analytics as it applies to the telecom industry. It describes two assets telecom companies already have in their arsenal:

  • Probes are implementations that collect information for the sake of delivering it to solutions capable of analyzing it.
  • Appliances are devices capable of both aggregating and scrutinizing data, but the finished intelligence produced by these processes is stored locally (wherever the appliances exist).

“Napatech maintained that both appliances and probes serve as valuable sources of information for real-time analytics software.”

The latter of the two assets are usually assigned to carry out certain tasks, such monitoring the performance of other systems or making security assessments.

Napatech maintained that both appliances and probes serve as valuable sources of information for real-time analytics software – a connection between the three simply needs to be established. The following efforts have come to fruition:

  • Telecoms have been able to significantly reduce data packet loss, which occurs when networks are overloaded.
  • Real-time time stamping creates exact measurements of jitter and delay in mobile networks, allowing telecoms to improve customer experiences.

“By considering [real-time big data analysis] in a more strategic way, [telecom network managers] will gain a better source of information for planning decisions, while opening up new opportunities for additional services,” wrote Napatech CTO Peter Ekner in the white paper.

That’s where the real value of real-time analytics lies: the ability to identify opportunities for new, innovative services.

 

Learn how Altair helps Telecom Companies. Read more here.