NSN Launches Crowdsourced Mobile Broadband Quality Monitoring App

Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) has launched a Mobile Quality Analyzer (MQA) for Mobile Broadband that uses a mobile device client to report on the quality of 3G connections. It can combine this data with subjective feedback from subscribers, as they download data or surf the internet, to get a clearer picture of their mobile broadband experience, effectively crowdsourcing mobile network optimization. The application is part of the company’s Insight & Experience Framework.

NSN says the application is one of the most cost effective systems to measure mobile broadband performance. The company recommends that operators clearly outline to subscribers the client application’s use, exactly what sort of data it collects, and how their privacy is protected. It adds that take-up rates could be improved by offering bonuses, such as additional SMS and voice minutes or data allowances to those who accept its use. The MQA can also provide real-time insight into device and network operation to customer service agents, helping them to accurately troubleshoot and resolve user issues.

“The mobile broadband market is growing rapidly, and improved broadband service quality is fast becoming a differentiator for operators globally,” says Jari Eskola, insight & experience solution expertise at Nokia Siemens Networks. “MQA for Mobile Broadband provides operators with information to plan and efficiently adjust their network capacity, as well as speed up resolution of customer complaints.”

MQA for Mobile Broadband consists of a client-server architecture, based on technology from Ciqual. The measurement client can be downloaded by subscribers to their laptops, netbooks or notebooks with external or embedded 3G modems.

The client app evaluates signal strength in the cell and measures if broadband throughput rates are sufficient for the online services being accessed. The results are then sent to a measurement server for real-time display and analysis.

To complete the active tests that measure connectivity quality, MQA for Mobile Broadband can also periodically present an optional, brief questionnaire to assess the user’s personal experience. The client-software can be used without affecting price plans or causing tangible effects on speed of the broadband connection or even battery life.