Subscribers want to be always connected using a wide range of applications on their phones. But when they get a slow connection or their phone battery is quickly drained – who do they call? They call their operator to complain and expect it to be fixed also when the problems are caused by the applications themselves which the operator has no control over.
Many mobile apps are constantly running even when a user is not actively using his or her phone. Whether frequently checking for new content and updates or collecting data on users for analysis, those chatty applications generate a higher level of signaling traffic due to the frequent connection requests and are likely to drain phone batteries. To illustrate, when a Facebook mobile app update for Android and iOS was launched in 2012, the app became responsible for an increase of almost 60% in the signaling load and 25% in network activity. Prior to the update release, Facebook signaling and network activity time already accounted for an overall load of 10% on 2G and 15% on 3G networks.
Applications can be greedy not only on handset devices but can also gobble up a lot of bandwidth at the operator’s side which may directly impact subscribers’ Quality of Experience (QoE). When bandwidth usage goes beyond the network range, such a network becomes frequently congested. Classic examples of bandwidth demanding activities include watching videos. For example, when the popular IM application Snapchat introduced its HD video chat, the bandwidth usage of the app soared. Within two weeks Snapchat jumped to the top 15 applications by bandwidth usage.
What can operators do? Some operators, such as Verizon, have established a common practice for ranking chatty and greedy apps that will impact the digital experience and proactively inform its subscribers in advance to prevent running into such issues.
Allot’s Applications Movers dashboard highlights which applications make the biggest changes in network activity or in bandwidth. Allot tracks and ranks the applications according to their instant change from day 1, also displaying the past trend and supporting statistics to make it easy for operators to take action. For example, which application jumped 34 places in rank since last week and is likely to load the network? Was it caused by a substantial addition of new users or is it an indication that a new feature was introduced or a chatty update took place?
Allot ClearSee actionable network analytics allows the operator to track abnormal moves in applications network activity or bandwidth and proactively respond to those changes to maintain user experience, plan the network and prevent calls to the care center from frustrated users.