App Coverage

    For a user, app coverage is the geographical area where an app works as expected. For operators, it provides a key to relate user experience to mobile broadband network performance.


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    Relating user experience to network performance KPIs

    For a subscriber, app coverage is the geographical area where an app works as expected.
    To the extent that apps have different network performance requirements, and network performance varies with distance from radio base stations, in effect each app has a unique amount of coverage.
    App coverage, for any given app, is the area within which a mobile broadband network delivers sufficient performance for a good user experience.
    To a large extent, geographical performance measurements are difficult or impractical, so statistical measures are typically used to gauge radio network performance.
    App coverage becomes the probability of getting a required performance level or better.
    The value of approaching network planning from an app coverage perspective is that it becomes straightforward to relate user experience to network performance KPIs.

    How are networks keeping up?

    In the Networked Society communications are increasingly app-centric, and connectivity is a prerequisite for new ways of collaborating, socializing and innovating. Therefor people place high expectations on network performance which in turn is the biggest driver of customer loyalty.

    Smart devices and apps are rapidly evolving in this new world, which continuously increase demands on network performance. As devices become more powerful and screen sizes increase, the throughput needed for a good user experience continuously increases.

    Total mobile data traffic is also rising and in 2020 smartphones alone will generate five times the total mobile traffic of today. Mobile video streaming – one of the more demanding apps on performance – will account for just over half of all mobile traffic.

    So, how are the mobile broadband networks keeping up? It is of course varying and dependent on the actual apps and smart devices in use as well as the actual mobile data traffic – all evolving in the fast moving market place.

    This means that operators that have an ambition of meeting or exceeding user expectations will need to track use of apps and devices on a continual basis and keep up with the service performance requirements for them. They can in turn be translated into a set of network KPIs that ensures user experience of an app with optimized network performance.

    There are many alternatives to improve network performance, depending on the operator strategy. For all of them, app coverage provides a key to customer loyalty and user experience.