Phil Twist, NSN Q&A: Enhancing network performance

25 March 2014 |


In February, Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN) extended its service portfolio to help telecoms operators enhance network performance. Phil Twist, head of portfolio marketing at NSN, talks Capacity through some of its latest solutions.

How is NSN aiming to help carriers improve network security through its portfolio expansion?
NSN estimates only about 3% of end users globally have deployed any form of anti-malware protection on their mobile phones.

This is despite the fact that there are more than a million malware-infected applications that can be downloaded, which can wreak havoc with a device and go unnoticed by the end user for a lengthy period of time. The malware could share personal details, cause a phone to initiate a premium-rate text message, or access bank details to make unwanted bank transfers.

NSN Mobile Guard, a network-based security solution for smart devices, has compiled a database of typical actions of a malware-infected phone. The solution then looks for traffic patterns in the network so it can recognise any unusual activity from a phone. This is a very similar situation to when a credit company phones up a customer to verify if it is really them using the credit card, after it spots an unusual pattern in card usage.

Now network operators are following in the footsteps of credit card companies. The network operator can inform the end user that unusual activities from the device have been detected. The operator can block the device while it waits to hear from the end user to confirm if it is them initiating the commands from the device or not.

How is NSN hoping to support carriers with their move to the cloud?
Following a series of trials last year, Nokia Solutions and Networks has commercially launched its Telco Cloud Management (TCM) service. The release supports operators looking to host their network functions on cloud-based infrastructure.

NSN’s TCM solution is made up from two main components: the NetAct Operations Support System (OSS) for managing virtualised and non-virtualised network elements, and the new Cloud Application Manager for managing applications in the telco cloud.

NSN’s virtualised network functions are designed to be platform independent, by separating the hardware and the software in the core network building blocks.

Cloud Application Manager automates many phases of a telco application and even manages cloud resources, to ensure the right network capacity is always available to run applications.

The solution offers network management, application management, software and a database to support operators as they migrate services to cloud-based networks.

The first commercial shipping is expected during 2014.

How is NSN supporting managed services?
New to NSN’s managed services portfolio is Predictive Operations, which spots potential service degradations and outages so they can be fixed before subscribers notice quality issues.

The Predictive Operations service looks at all of the network performance, and combines this data with factors such as the weather forecast and even social media trends, allowing the network to find patterns in the data. Using these patterns, the network can identify when it might have a future problem.

The solution has a 95% accuracy rate and can make predictions up to two days in advance. This technique is quite significant for improving the network as far as the end-user is concerned. The service is also a useful tool for scheduling maintenance. It is a technique that has been used in other industries but we have not witnessed it in telecoms like this before.

What other areas of the telecoms market is NSN targeting?
NSN’s Smart Wifi solutions allow operators to steer network traffic, making LTE work with existing 3G, 2G and Wifi.

It enables an operator to make a device move from 4G to 3G or to Wifi depending on what the user wants to do. At the moment, the handset picks which network to use, which is not always right for the user.

Elsewhere, NSN’s new traffic-steering solution allows network operators to use their capabilities much more effectively, and achieves more effective load balancing for greatly improved network utilisation.

The traffic steering solutions are in commercial launches now.