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Ingredients of “Good Service” in Wireless Communications

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Ingredients of “Good Service” in Wireless Communications

  1. 1. Ingredients of “The Good Service” in Wireless Communications (Disponible enEspañol)Posted by jormarguo on Apr 30, 2012 5:36:45 PMThe concept of a good service in telecommunications sometimes can get shortsighted if it onlyconsiders the way the end user perceives service, of course, if you cannot provide a servicegood enough so most of the users are satisfied, then is over. But in order to provide a servicewith the tag “good” in it, from my humble opinion, one cannot be one sighted, the conceptshould include, in a comprehensive way, several dimensions within the society, and so, theterm Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) may come to the mind as the frame in which such aservice should be bounded, I agree, CSR polices are enabling service providers to achieve thegoal of long term sustainability with responsibility and social conscience inside a holisticapproach, social challenges like bridging the digital divide, protection of the environment andenriching society are often included in these policies; but, is it enough? I’m a passionate person,and I consider that if you cannot find that thrust inside of you driving every effort you make tocomplete a task, then something is definitely missing, and I think industry lacks passion todeliver a good service.Are We Missing Something Important?I do not intend to disregard industry efforts in several aspects like adopting green policies andthe like, but I cannot help thinking that business exploitation models predominates in theworld, where focus on O&M, planning for growth, insipid customer service and hugecommercial structures overlook aspects like, innovation, constant search for improvement,scout for talent, among others. I know it’s a business, that’s the reality, and to continue doingbusiness industry is slowly driving its boat towards long term sustainability, the factor that canmake that boat to navigate quickly is PASSION, whether for a career, for the country, or just forthe people. As a member of the industry, I must start the change from the inside, why notremembering how I felt when I graduated as an engineer many years ago.Ingredients of a Telecommunications Service of Excellence Image courtesy of Paola Buelvas (papolareina@yahoo.es)
  2. 2. Wireless communications services extend to many aspects of our lives and promises of futuredevelopments only seems to enforce this opinion. So the challenge of a good service is alwaysgrowing bigger but should always comprise the following five ingredients; Environmentalconscience; the adoption of green policies is gaining importance worldwide, the next step inthis direction is to measure the positive adoption impact and extend the influence of suchpolicies. Reliability for social responsibility: Wireless technology has integrated so well into ourlives that several mission critical and emergency systems depend on them, how to provide aservice that even under catastrophic events still works is one key challenge. Dynamic Security;new trends and usage patterns as well as the need to integrate new services expose thenetwork to both familiar and never seen before threats. Cross layer Quality; several catchyterms have been used to designate specifically aspects of the quality, its importance isundeniable and must be considered as a wholes as well. Willing to give back to the community;this last ingredient will allow the service provider to gain more than subscribers in its execution,since it will create that sense of loyalty and gratefulness in the community, the service providerhas several dimensions to choose from in order to give back, ranging from generation ofemployment to involvement in country productivity growth, but in my opinion where the majorpositive impact can be exerted is promoting education, whether in poor communities or asmeans of future human talent investment. Every ingredient is composed of complicated anddiverse technical challenges that should be addressed having in mind the long term existence ofthe service and its legacy, next I’ll briefly address the first four ingredients.Environmental ConscienceSeveral green initiatives are being put on place globally and recently more and moreinternational groups, professional associations and standardization bodies are promoting andconstructing polices related, and service providers are starting to adopt those initiatives, theproblem is that active involvement is scarce. Action implementing organizational green modelsthat allow them to assess the impact that every step of the service life cycle has on theenvironment is a display of real commitment; after which application of counter actionmeasures against green house emissions must be taken. One important move SP should makeis the request of green certifications issued by independent organizations on devices andtelecom equipment. A clear statement in service provider objectives for environmentalconservation must be made, and above all, efforts towards the fulfillment of those objectivesmust be put into action. Regulation and law making decisions in the matter must be a synergiceffort of all the actors of the industry in a country. From the technical point of view one of themain trends in green polices is the minimization of power consumption, especially in the ratioaccess network where several studies have shown that most of the power is consumed, but italso has been demonstrated that resources also have long idle times and it can be proved thatpower network consumption is independent of traffic load. Several challenges must beaddressed; like moving the investigation from spectrum efficiency towards energy efficiency oreven better a conjunction of the two, other aspect is the design of energy efficient MIMOschemes and cross layer interference coordination in heterogeneous networks for powerconservation.
  3. 3. Reliability for Social ResponsibilityDuring catastrophic events, it is expected that mission critical services maintain an acceptablelevel of accessibility to assist victims and perform rescue tasks, but even in regular serviceoperation the reliability is a key factor, so self configuration and healing technologies must beconsidered, traffic balancing techniques and user centric polices most be included in the checklist of a resilient radio access network. In the core network an important concept has beendeveloped where the core is considered as a massive pool of resources instead of a one to oneassociation towards the access network, in such architecture radio network access functionalentities do not depend on one core functional entity but the core dynamically responds torequirements in the event of failures or high traffic demand. Additionally the construction of areliability plan must be an important step towards the delivery of “The good” service, such planmust specify the critical geographic areas that cannot be left without coverage in case offailure, the most evident obstacles or threats must be indentified and countermeasures mustbe considered ahead, even the personnel chosen to provide network management in suchsituations must be carefully chosen. The importance of agreements between incumbent actorsof the industry in a country becomes evident and must be encouraged by governments in favorof the wellbeing of the community.Dynamic SecurityMost of the service providers approach the security matter with secrecy and often in a limitedenvironment, but the applications running on top of the network and usage patterns demandfor security policies that transcends to every layer of the network, when all the layers of thenetwork are included in the policy, that makes it dynamic and alive. It’s clear that domainsegmentation is necessary in order to implement security schemes but general rules must beglobal in the network, must not be tied to utilities or equipment brands and must reach theuser. An informed user will make better decisions when using the network if he understandsthe threats he is exposed to; at the other side of the spectrum is the application, long ago thecarrier was able to ignore what was running on top of the network but now it’s a totallydifferent story. The security polices cannot be something that comes down onto the network,every area must actively participate in its development, since behavior of the security breachescan be different at different layers of the network. Planning a scheme that stands growth andtechnological evolution is ideal but challenging, so strategic alliances with manufacturers andkey security players in the industry can make the difference. Finally, most of the time thewireless channel is considered more vulnerable to attacks, but recent research has proven thatthe fast decorrelation nature of the wireless channel can enrich security schemes with featureslike channel based authentication and secrecy.Cross layer qualityQuality in wireless networks is being widely discussed, and its undeniable that represents adifferentiating factor for the service provider, the real challenge is to consider a quality crosslayer model that can be dynamically adaptable and aware of the context. In order for the model
  4. 4. to be cross layer it should be considered from the radio access network to upper layers, accesscontrol algorithms working tightly with resource reservation schemes and both coordinated byan efficient bandwidth reservation algorithm that in time feeds the QoS provision at the packetlevel is an option. Also good quality models feed from several tools including businessintelligence and monitoring, and the most important factor is, that these models consider theuser expectations of the service along with the constant evolution of the same and itscontinuous improvement.More wireless cellular topics in my twitter account @jomaguo. For more discussion on everything mobile, be sure to visit us here: http://communities.cisco.com/community/solutions/sp/mobility