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NetView 360 Can Increase Your Christmas Bonus

One of the problems in most MNO organizations is that various departments often operate as silos which makes it difficult for all the departments to work together to attain over arching business objectives. This lack of communication not only hamstrings the business but can also have an impact on end of year bonuses. This being the holiday season, we, at ClearSky, thought we would share at least one example of how ClearSky can ensure that your network engineering department works in concert with your sales and marketing departments to maximize your annual bonus.
Recently, a client used the ClearSky NetView 360® service to baseline, their UMTS network and audit their LTE network design. Their UMTS and LTE networks operate on 700MHz and 1900MHz, respectively. Base lining and auditing two networks on two different carriers is easily accomplished using NetView 360. Moreover, NetView 360 does this all at 4m resolution for traffic maps and 1m resolution for RF propagation. That in and of itself is a huge differentiator as compared to other legacy RF design tools on the market today. ClearSky further differentiated the service by being able to augment the RF analysis with sales and marketing information, or any operational metrics (i.e. churn, ARPU, etc.).
In this particular project, the MNO divided their serving area, which was an entire country, into many individual “marketing zones.” The MNO also prioritized which marketing zones were more important to them for financial and/or competitive reasons. Specifically, ClearSky provided Google Earth zone polygons, which were converted into a format that enabled statistical analysis within the polygons. The MNO also provided an economic list in PDF format, which was converted to a map of all neighborhoods. Weightings provided by the MNO were applied to enable a statistical analysis within each neighborhood.

By incorporating the MNO’s sales and marketing data into NetView 360, ClearSky was able to not only show where the network performance was poor, but was also able to show that in a variety of ways by marketing zone! This made it very easy for the MNO to decide how to prioritize their network improvements and where those improvements would best advance their over arching business objectives. Hello annual bonus!

“Dangerously Hot Temperatures Expected as Massive Heat Dome Envelops Much of U.S.”

You may have noticed that the La Niña conditions have brought hotter-than-normal weather to most of the U.S. this summer. According to meteorologists at the Weather Channel, only central and south Texas are likely to escape the heat. Here in Orlando the heat index has been over 100 degrees almost every day for the past two months. My family and I decided to head to the Pacific Northwest to get some respite, and ran into 108 degree weather in Pendleton, Oregon!
So what does this have to do with the wireless industry? Well, here’s the connection: Although the weather has been hot, densifying networks with small cells might be even hotter! According to industry sources, deployment of macro base stations has reached a saturation point-where further economic investment is not justified. One major manufacturer of base stations boldly states that HetNets are the only path forward.

In spite of the economic challenges the cellular operators are facing, their customers still crave reliable, ubiquitous coverage. Intelligent deployment of small cells can make a giant leap toward simultaneously meeting the economic and technical challenges. Nearly four years ago, ClearSky launched its SCaaS (Small Cell as a Service) offering that enabled operators in North America to enhance both coverage and capacity where needed. We launch, operate, maintain, upgrade and monitor the small cell gateway, dramatically reducing the capital cost and operating expenses borne by the operator.

But to solve the problem efficiently, it is crucial to know exactly where small cell installation will produce the biggest “bang for the buck.” Our carrier clients have surgically deployed small cells in residences, businesses, and in busy outdoor venues. The most common obstacle to solving coverage and capacity issues is confirming where such issues exist. ClearSky’s NetView 360® HetNet planning tool compares traffic demand with actual coverage, and makes specific recommendations on how to address the issues it uncovers-build new macros, add indoor/outdoor small cells, or a combination. NetView 360 can even take into account the availability of backhaul attachment points for each new access point.

As we endure the last few weeks of extreme summer heat, the ClearSky team is ready, willing and able to help you identify “hot spots” in your network, and give your subscribers the “sizzling” data speeds and coverage they thirst for.

Pokémon NO or Pokémon GO

Anyone who has a pulse and can fog a mirror has witnessed the phenomenal arrival of Pokémon GO in all walks of their lives. Here are some recent statistics about Pokémon GO:

  • #1 and Counting: Pokémon GO hit 100 million installs worldwide the first weekend of August. The game reached 50 million Android downloads in record time —     19 days — shattering the old mark of 50 million downloads in 77 days. Apple reported that Pokémon GO earned the most downloads ever on the App Store during a launch week! And what about the money? Pokémon GO has now reached daily revenues of more than $10 million dollars.
  • 21,000,000: This is the number of daily active users of Pokémon GO in the U.S. as estimated by Survey Monkey. If accurate, this makes Pokémon GO the most popular mobile game in U.S. history, but it’s not just rival games that GO has eclipsed. By some estimates, GO is overtaking the world’s biggest social networks too. On Android, at least, the game is now bigger than Twitter. And just to be clear: this is just the U.S.
  • $23 billion: That’s how much Nintendo’s value soared by in the weeks after the release of Pokémon GO, an increase of 120%, as demand for stock reached the same levels of hype as the game itself. This marks the single biggest jump in the company’s fortunes since the 1980s, and for a moment, even helped Nintendo surpass rival Sony in value, an astonishing feat given the sales share of its Wii U console versus the mighty PlayStation 4.

Given the above statistics every MNO should be asking:

  1. How much data traffic does Pokémon GO add to my network?
  2. How popular is Pokémon GO with my current subscriber base?
  3. How bandwidth intensive is Pokémon GO relative to other protocols on my network (e.g., Netflix, YouTube, etc.)?
  4. How can we turn this phenomenon into a win for our business?  (Where a “win” is defined to mean incremental revenue and/or the ability to reduce churn.)

If you don’t have the requisite traffic analysis and management platform to answer the first three questions, then your only options are to do nothing, or to create new Pokémon GO data plans and hope you don’t clog your network with traffic you can’t handle. In the best case, you will generate a flood of calls to your support center or in the worse case, increase subscriber churn-and no MNO wants either of those outcomes.

ClearSky’s Total Traffic Manager (TTM) can answer the first three questions for you and much more. If you already use ClearSky’s TTM service, great! We’re eager to help you analyze your Pokémon GO data traffic. If not, please call us and we’ll help you decide if you should Pokémon NO or Pokémon GO!

GCI Deploys Northernmost Small Cell in America

“Can you hear me now? How about now?” When was the last time you had that exact same conversation? Everybody expects excellent cellular service whether they’re outside or indoors —  regardless of their proximity to a cell site. And when Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) cannot deliver on the promise of ubiquitous coverage, subscribers tend to vote with their feet.

As the top provider of voice, data and video services in Alaska, GCI recently signed a multi-year contract for ClearSky’s Small Cell as a Service (SCaaS) offering. SCaaS enables GCI to deploy residential and enterprise small cells to address coverage challenges unique to Alaska.

GCI has since deployed many residential small cells and has recently begun deploying enterprise small cells. The Juneau Police Department was the first location to benefit from GCI’s enterprise small cell capabilities and now enjoys 5-bar coverage. “This is a win-win for us and the Juneau Police Department,” said Dan Boyette, GCI Vice President of Wireless. “Any GCI subscriber employed by the Juneau Police Department, as well as citizens that visit the police department, now have excellent in-building coverage, In addition to making customers happy, GCI has increased network capacity by offloading a percentage of traffic from our macro network.”

GCI is currently in the process of deploying enterprise small cells at Pump Station 1, located on the North Slope of Alaska, at Prudhoe Bay. When deployed, GCI will have the unique distinction of operating the northernmost small cell in the United States.

ClearSky Technologies Launches Small Cell as a Service in Alaska with GCI

Deployment of residential small cells addresses capacity and coverage issues to reduce churn.

ORLANDO, FL, November 19, 2015 – ClearSky Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of hosted mobile data infrastructure and managed services to wireless operators, today announced that GCI, Alaska’s largest Mobile Network Operator (MNO), has launched its Small Cell as a Service (SCaaS) into commercial production. GCI signed a multi-year contract with ClearSky earlier this year to further improve coverage and capacity for its wireless users.

Alaska’s extreme climate and rugged terrain create one of the most challenging environments for MNOs in the United States. Residential and enterprise buildings constructed to withstand harsh Alaskan winters are often difficult for radio waves to penetrate. Furthermore, with only 12,000 miles of paved roads, Alaska’s high mountains and low valleys are not conducive to providing ubiquitous mobile coverage.

As the top provider of voice, data and video services in Alaska, GCI hopes to overcome these environmental challenges by filling coverage gaps and delivering the consistent, reliable service its subscribers demand. GCI will initially deploy residential small cells to subscribers experiencing poor in-home coverage. As the market’s leading provider of communications services to enterprise customers, GCI also plans to deploy enterprise small cell access points to expand network capacity for its corporate accounts.

“Our strategy is to leverage small cell technology as a churn prevention tool by improving in-home and in-building coverage, and thereby increasing overall customer satisfaction,” said Dan Boyette, GCI Vice President of Wireless. “As the only provider of SCaaS in the Americas, ClearSky allows us to accomplish those goals at a fraction of the cost and in half the time it would take to address the issues internally.

“Virtually every MNO in the world today is challenged to address coverage and capacity issues in their respective 3G and 4G networks,” said Tony Tagliareni, ClearSky Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, “Since 2012 ClearSky’s SCaaS has brought to the industry a complete small cell ecosystem that includes a small cell gateway, RAN management system, Small Cell Service Center for automated provisioning and integration to legacy OSS/BSS systems, as well as a comprehensive portfolio of 3G and 4G small cells for residential, enterprise and outdoor deployments. Moreover, for those MNOs that may lack the empirical network performance data to tell them where the small cells should be located, what type of small cells (i.e., indoor or outdoor) should be deployed, the number of small cells they need, ClearSky’s NetView 360® service answers all of those questions and more.”

About ClearSky Technologies, Inc.

For more than a decade, ClearSky Technologies has been a leader in providing hosted infrastructure to mobile operators. ClearSky’s powerful array of products and services includes hosted small cell as a service, traffic and policy management, LTE services, SMS, MMS and mobile Internet access. Headquartered in Orlando, ClearSky currently provides mobile data services to more than 50 wireless operators across the Americas. For more information, visit www.clearskytechnologies.com.

About GCI

GCI is the top provider of voice, data and video services in Alaska, through which consumers can experience entertainment everywhere. GCI is also the leading provider of communications services to enterprise customers, particularly large enterprise customers with complex data networking needs. More information about GCI can be found at www.gci.com.