How Connected Mobility is changing our lives
For many of us who travel on business, the car has become our mobile office. We take conference calls on the move, arrange appointments using mobile virtual assistants like Siri, Google Assistantand Cortana, and also use them to ask for directions and reminders.
August 16, 2018
For many of us who travel on business, the car has become our mobile office. We take conference calls on the move, arrange appointments using mobile virtual assistants like Siri, Google Assistantand Cortana, and also use them to ask for directions and reminders. Even though we (hopefully) don’t actually surf the Web while driving, we could be doing online shopping using the mobile assistant, or telling the home heating system to warm up the house before we arrive, and between times we may listen to a podcast or stream music over the mobile connection. However, these features will only work with a good connection, which is why the connected experience across the highway network is becoming so important for modern life. We now expect the same level of mobile experience in the car, on a train, or moving around the city, as we get at home or in the office.
Commuters, whether on a train or in a car, expect to be able to work or be entertained on their journey, and it’s not uncommon to see a train carriage full of people all watching movies on their phones and tablets – sometimes over on-board WiFi, but more often over 4G. That must create some headaches for the network engineers as a cluster of high-speed data connections moves down the track at about 200km per hour!
In our leisure time, families on the move want the same online entertainment (games and videos) and access to information services in the car or train as they get at home. My personal experience confirms that many a family argument can be avoided if the kids can watch a movie or play Minecraft to make the journey less boring.
In all of these scenarios, subscribers do not expect their calls to drop, or their videos or music to start buffering. They want a seamless, near-perfect connected mobility experience. They do not care whether the shortcomings are caused by fallback to 3G, misaligned antennas or poor handoff, they just want the service they’ve been promised.
Things are set to become even more challenging, as 5G will bring with it a raft of mission-critical use cases like the Autonomous Car, for which network under-performance is simply not an option. The self-driving car looks set to be a bandwidth-hungry mobile device in its own right, with a continuous need to offload many terabytes of data generated by its sensors, cameras, and on-board data processing. With a larger software footprint than a NASA space shuttle, even over-the-air software updates will be a major network challenge in autonomous cars. Optimizing the connected mobility experience has to be a top priority.
Conventional methods for assessing mobile coverage and quality are primarily focused on the subscriber who, even when away from home or office, is essentially fairly stationary while making or receiving a call, and particularly while involved in a data session. This simply doesn’t reflect how our usage of mobile connectivity is evolving. There is a pressing need to put realmobility at the heart of our mobile experience analytics, and to see metrics from the point of view of the highly mobile user.
With all the recent buzz about AI, can this be used to help improve connected mobility? The availaibity of new connected mobility analytics based on AI makes it possible for operators to accurately pinpoint routes with problems, and to recommend dynamic network adjustments that keep the experience for passengers and drivers as close to perfection as possible.