Businesses want to roll out mobile applications, but ‘best effort’ is not enough and expectations are not currently being met. This means SLAs for mobile communications will be increasingly important.
On October 10, BELTUG invited Proximus and Mobistar to a “BELTUG Challenges”, to discuss the topic of SLA for mobile communications: an important issue for BELTUG members. The event brought together a mix of representative BELTUG members - from national and international, public and private, smaller and larger organisations – for a discussion with the mobile operators. A number of specific issues were brought to the table. There is obviously still a long way to go, but BELTUG is willing to continue discussing this with the telcos.
- LTE makes prioritisation possible, allowing certain applications to be treated faster than others. Mobile operators need to think about this: how will they offer services?
- Smartphones are becoming 4G-ready. But there is a lot of confusion in the market. For example, the Apple iPhone 5 is "LTE-ready”, but doesn't cover all the frequencies in different parts of the world. That means some customers will be frustrated, because their phone will not work as a 4G device.
- Regarding the link to net neutrality, could poor regulatory decisions prevent interesting SLA offerings from being possible?
- How will SLAs to companies be offered? Based on the type of application? Based on the SIM card?
- At the beginning, the network coverage will be an important issue.
Machine To Machine (MTM)
- What will happen with the existing technology? Customers need to have a transition period during the 2G phase-out, for example.
- Indoor coverage is a significant problem: in the BELTUG survey one out of four respondents indicated this as an important topic. It also appears in a lot of RFPs to operators.
- Operators will start including indoor coverage products in their portfolios. This is already an issue for 3G.
Performance of the mobile networks
- The performance of the mobile networks is a permanent challenge for mobile operators, especially with the explosion in data volumes. How can operators keep congestion under control? Antennas need much more capacity.
- All the estimates about the growth of data were wrong; the reality was always higher.