The proliferation of the internet of things, video streaming services and new applications such as augmented and virtual reality are three trends driving the use of data analytics solutions for network visibility, according to Rohan Joy Thomas, research analyst with Frost & Sullivan’s communication testing practice.

Handling the needs of both types of network traffic — lower data rates but many devices, in the case of IoT, and high bandwidth requirements for video streaming and AR/VR — means a re-architecting of the network including densifying and virtualizing the network to increase its efficiency, Thomas said, especially as the industry looks forward toward a 5G world.

“This is, in essence, what justifies the requirement of a data analytics solution, because when you actually deploy this, you would require an analytics solution with strong automated and machine-learning capabilities that can actually predict and analyze what the future data traffic could be; using geolocation capabilities, identify where the major congestions are across cell clusters and find and neutralize them,” he said.

Service providers expect network visibility analytics solutions that are pervasive and can be easily deployed across hybrid (virtualized and physical) network infrastructure environments, Thomas said. A key differentiator among the data analytics solutions provided by communications testing companies are the ability to get visibility into encrypted data traffic, which makes up as much as 75 to 80% of traffic or more, Rohan said. Service providers need to be able to access and utilize many pieces of information on what type of connection (wireless or wireline) that a user has, what type of application they are using and what service within that application (such as watching a video stream while using the Facebook app), whether the video stream was part of a zero-rated service and what the quality of the experience was for the user.

Watch the full interview with Thomas below:


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