Legacy networks are very much like highways. They were built to accommodate specific levels of traffic. However, just like highways have slow-downs during rush hour, peak calling times and heavily trafficked locations can overcrowd a network, slowing down service for some while dropping calls and connections for others.
Like highways during rush hour, there is often an underutilized portion of the network. While network circuits may be beyond capacity in the evening near a stadium during a football match, at the same time network circuits near business centers may be excess capacity for network traffic.
The last five years have seen tremendous leaps in network optimization through virtualization. By adding software-defined elements into the network infrastructure, African MNOs would like to optimize their existing network infrastructure, so that all available network resources can be utilized.
Gilat Telecom recently introduced Gilat Smart Steering (GSS) to the African MNO market. GSS is based on software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) technology, which enables MNOs to optimize their circuits and take full control of their expensive tall trunks.
Rather than using expensive hardware elements, GSS relies on software. It sits on the application layer in the network and helps route cellular traffic toward available network elements. This cuts down on unused capacity and protects mobile users from slow service and dropped calls during peak times, creating customers who are more satisfied with their MNO provider.
Developing a successful GSS system requires several months of studying network traffic patterns and understanding existing network infrastructure. Once determined, the custom GSS solution is built for the specific network, ensuring an optimal network optimization deployment.
The solution has been deployed at MNOs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic. Both MNOs are reporting high ROI, based on considerable cost savings and enhances customer satisfaction.