How to Increase Network Utilization in the Telco Industry

Parallel Wireless   May 15, 2023

In a world where resources can be scarce and expensive to acquire, such as the telco industry, efficiency is vital. Any telco company seeking to optimize its efficiency levels should begin with an assessment of its network utilization.

Network utilization measures how much of a network’s total capacity is being used for the transmission of data and communication. It is typically expressed as a percentage, and it is an effective measurement of how efficient a network is.

It is crucial to constantly monitor and analyze your network utilization rate, learn from it, and take steps to maintain an optimal level of utilization across the network.

This blog post will explain why, while also addressing top key strategies to improve and maintain network utilization.


The Importance of Network Utilization

Network utilization is one of the most significant metrics for telco companies to keep track of, for various reasons:

  • Demonstrates how efficient (or inefficient) your network is, as it shows how much of your resources are in use.
  • Helps companies understand if they require additional infrastructure to meet the demand (if high levels of utilization), or if there is currently an inefficient use of resources (if low levels of utilization).
  • Enables companies to increase customer satisfaction and maximize profits.
  • Identifies the need for improved capacity and bandwidth in certain areas.
  • Equips companies with information to make data-backed decisions on how to optimize resources.

In short, network utilization is important for MNOs to optimize network resources, ensure high-quality service, plan for future capacity needs, and improve customer satisfaction.

Strategies for Maintaining Network Utilization

Ultimately, the main objective for telco companies should be to maintain optimal levels of network utilization across the board.

High network utilization levels can result in network congestion and slower data speeds, while low levels can indicate inefficient use of network resources.

With optimal utilization rates, you can rest assured that your network’s resources are being used efficiently, without any unnecessary waste or loss of value.

Various technologies and strategies can be used to maintain an optimal network utilization level in the telco industry.

A forward-thinking, future-proofing approach is recommended, coupled with consistent monitoring and shrewd management strategies.

Here are the top key practices companies should focus on to maintain optimal network utilization:

1.Traffic Management

Another crucial component for managing and maintaining network utilization rates is traffic management.

Telco companies can harness an array of traffic management techniques and tools to make the most of their network’s resources, keeping data flowing without overloading or under-using any part of the system.

Various techniques can be used to achieve this:

  • Load balancing
    • Can help distribute network traffic in an equal and balanced fashion, ensuring that each user has a speedy, convenient, and optimal experience with the apps or services they’re trying to use
  • Traffic shaping or packet shaping
    • This form of bandwidth management helps provide peak levels of performance for high-priority applications, guaranteeing that network resources are allocated in the most efficient and effective manner

There are even some technologies that enable traffic steering in a way that proactively manages peaks by keeping a constant eye on site capacity and usage. In doing so, demand can be constantly regulated and spread among sites so that network crashes are avoided.

2. Multi-site Carrier Aggregation


You’ve likely heard of the term ‘carrier aggregation.’ It occurs when multiple frequency bands or carriers are combined into a single data channel to optimize resources and efficiently answer customer needs.

Carrier aggregation is commonly used in 4G LTE and 5G networks and is an important technology for delivering high-speed data services to users.

Similar to carrier aggregation, multi-site carrier aggregation also combines multiple frequency bands into a single data channel. The difference is that multi-site carrier aggregation utilizes multiple telco sites.

In doing so, multi-site carrier aggregation offers a way to increase network utilization by putting more network resources to use, elevating network efficiency, and more efficiently answering customer needs.

However, it’s important to note that in order for the benefits of multi-site carrier aggregation to be maximized, MNOs would do well to implement RAN Centralization technology. This enables multiple sites to be managed in clusters by one manager, which is then able to most efficiently allocate the network’s resources.

3. Interference Management

Interference is the disruption of signals caused by the presence of other signals, noise, or other electromagnetic disturbances.

It can occur in various forms and negatively impacts the quality and reliability of telecommunications services.

For these reasons, telco providers invest in interference management to mitigate these network disturbances and provide reliable signal to customers. But it’s not easy to do, especially since it is difficult to understand where the interference is coming from.

That is, when each individual site is being managed individually.

However, when using technology that manages multiple sites in one cluster, it is much easier to understand where interference is coming from, and therefore minimize it.

In doing so, MNOs increase network utilization by maximizing network resources all while decreasing interference.

4. Scheduling

An additional method telco operators can use to increase network utilization is scheduling.

A scheduler is a critical component responsible for managing the efficient allocation of network resources and determining the order in which data or traffic is transmitted.

Basically, the scheduler is like the orchestrator of network resources – using data to assign the ‘right’ piece of the spectrum to the most appropriate users.

Efficient scheduling is a must for increasing network utilization. But to maximize the benefits of a scheduler even more, networks can consider adapting cluster-based architecture.

Why? Because when a scheduler has data from a cluster of sites instead of just an individual site, it both has more resources to allocate between users as well as more users to provide coverage to.

This means the scheduler has more flexibility to properly assign resources and truly increase network utilization.

Final Word

By utilizing traffic management, multi-site carrier aggregation, interference management, and scheduling, MNOs can optimize their network, improve performance, and provide the reliable, swift, and efficient services their customers expect.

Focusing on these four vital strategies can enable telco companies to maintain optimal network utilization levels and therefore provide better service, reduce costs, increase revenue, and remain competitive in the marketplace.

And it’s important to note that adopting cluster architecture, which can be achieved through RAN Centralization technology, can even further heighten the benefits of these actions by providing more data, more flexibility, and more efficiency into increasing network utilization.

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