App Experience Optimization from Ericsson is a new service that takes optimization to the next level by allowing operators to improve the end user app experience.
It enables operators to consider all aspects of network performance, while keeping up to date with the latest developments in the ever-changing app ecosystem, as well as regional variations in usage patterns and behaviors.
In addition to the conventional key performance indicators (KPIs) for networks, App Experience Optimization utilizes service KPIs to measure network performance. These KPIs are tailored to the specific services they measure, but are generally linked to four key criteria: availability, accessibility, integrity, and retainability.
If any weaknesses are identified in an operator’s network, Ericsson’s 10,000 network design and optimization experts are ready to perform the optimizations necessary to deliver an optimal app experience.
Staffan Pehrson, Vice President and Head of Product Related Services at Ericsson, says: “Data surpassed voice traffic globally in 2009, and operators have long since adapted and optimized their networks for data. However, they now need to adapt to the new reality and optimize their networks for apps.
“This is a major challenge, since it involves keeping track of a wide spectrum of fast-evolving apps and making continuous adjustments to optimize the end-user experience. As the global leader in telecom services, Ericsson has the scale and skill required to overcome this challenge – as we proved through a recent project with XL Axiata, one of Indonesia’s largest operators, and Facebook, the developer of one of the world’s most popular mobile apps.”
Name, title at Facebook, says: “Ericsson and Facebook have signed an extended collaboration agreement whereby we will continue to work together to optimize mobile networks for app performance.
“Replicating the methods proven in the XL Axiata case, Ericsson’s new fully industrialized service offering – App Experience Optimization – will bring unique benefits to operators and ultimately improve the experiences of countless end users. The sharing of measurement feeds between Facebook and Ericsson will lead to optimizations that produce significant, noticeable improvements for end users.”
Jason Marcheck, Service Director for Service Provider Infrastructure at Current Analysis, says: “Ericsson is setting itself apart with a compelling proposition to operators, marrying strong optimization service capabilities with insights from over-the-top collaborations … (full quote will be provided by Jason and is still being finalized).”
A study conducted by Ericsson ConsumerLab in 12 countries in 2013 “Keeping smartphone users loyal” found that, for smartphone users, network performance is the single most important driver of consumer loyalty.
But how do you measure network performance? Most operators do so using conventional, long-established (KPIs) such as radio access network availability, packet loss rate and session activation time.
Unfortunately, networks that perform well against these KPIs don’t necessarily deliver an optimal app experience for smartphone users. Given that the time spent using apps has increased rapidly in recent years – by as much as 63 percent in the space of two years in India, according to a 2014 ConsumerLab study “Performance shapes smartphone behavior” – operators need to reconsider the way they measure network performance.
In a recent project, Ericsson optimized XL Axiata’s network for performance of the Facebook app. Ericsson developed a series of metrics on end-to-end network experience as it impacts app coverage.
Then, using a test agent developed by Facebook, typical app interactions were triggered and measured on different mobile devices across XL Axiata’s network. Ericsson was then able to make substantial, targeted improvements to the radio access network, core network and CDN.
As a result, app experience – defined as the ability to complete transactions within a maximum time of three seconds – improved by between 20 and 70 percent. Time to content improved by up to 70 percent, while upload time improved by up to 50 percent.
These results show that it is possible to optimize app experience using existing network resources – thereby satisfying operators’ most demanding end users.
Following the overwhelmingly positive results achieved in Indonesia, Ericsson has refined and industrialized its methodology for optimizing networks for app performance. The resulting service offering – App Experience Optimization – will be launched at Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona.