- What are the performance measurement parameters of broadband and mobile access networks?
- Are there economic importance of mobile broadband access networks?
- What are the effects of broadband and mobile access networks in business operations?
Types of Mobile Broadband Access Networks
Mobile broad band is very vital in our lives today in various activities that we engage in right from communication, business and other vital management activities (Hui, 2012). The speed at which technology is developing and improving communication is one thing that any other person would stand to praise. The multipurpose devices particularly the cell phones that have high capacity of internet services such as the 3G and the 4G/Lite have made the broadband service so essential and useful in life long activities (Ross, 2012). The mobile broadband (MBB) have experienced rapid growth and annually it is being estimated to have 66% growth (Akerman, Gaarder and Mogstad, 2015). The emergence and development of Wi-Fi is seen to resulting to competing the MBB 3G and the 4G/Lite since it is faster. The use of Wi-Fi is not efficient when using mobiles since the access point coverage area is a challenge since it affects the quality of connection and speed (Camps-Mur, Garcia-Saavedra and Serrano. 2013). Smart phones and tablets have currently taken over the market all over the world replacing the cellular phones that could hardly access internet or were not connecting at all to the MBB networks. Irrespective of the place people might be, the broadband and the mobile access networks have made it easier for people to communicate through emails, video calls, voice calls etc. due to availability of the MBB networks that change the access of internet from static to mobile (Sundaresan, Burnett, Feamster, and De Donato, 2014). The broadband have made the information transmission so fast and easy since it allows the transmission of a lot of information within a short period of time.
Mobile broadband exists in four different forms i.e. Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), fiber optics, satellites and cables. Dial-up connect connection is one of the non-broadband networks that is being replaced by the broadband service since the users are shifting to the broadband. DSL utilizes the unused telephone wires that will have no interruption on the telephone services whatsoever (Vigdor, Ladd, and Martinez, 2014). Depending on your distance from the switching station, the speed of use of DSL will be affected. If the user happens to be closer to the switching station, the speed of the devices tend to be faster unlike when the user is at a distant from the switching stations. For cables, the local cable TV provider provides the broadband cables to the users (Hamzeh, Toy, Fu, and Martin, 2015). The speed is affected with the number of users connected to the service at a given time since the bandwidth is shared by the users McKeown (2015). Fiber optic is believed to be the fastest and the most recent broadband in the market for use. Most parts of the world are still receiving this broadband coverage and it is seen expensive to install due to the workload involved and its requirements but once installed, it is cost effective and time saving since it is the fastest of all. Satellite on the other hand provides the slowest broadband services as compared to other broadband networks. It is better and mostly used by people in remote areas since it took over the dial-up but its cost of installation is higher. When and where the data is needed, the data networks are supposed to be available for the satisfaction of users. Reliability of performance of MBB network is what keep the users to a particular broadband network (Rahman, Haque, and Khan, 2012). The speed of broadband networks is measured from bps, kbs, mbs etc. while in use, the speed of the broadband keeps on changing depending on the network coverage and the type of broadband in use.
Performance Measurement Parameters
Engagement and incorporation of mobile broadband performance in various day to day activities have made it gain its popularity. Businesses now days change from sampled data where the business would collect some sampled data then generalize with assumption that the collected data represented the true picture of what the business need to find out (population parameter) to electronic data (Chen, Chiang, and Storey, 2012). The MBB access networks have enabled the collection of these data with a lot of ease due to the strength and consistent coverage of the networks. These data are collected in the business from clients in the form of emails, videos, audios, images etc. where they are analyzed for the betterment of the business (Le, Quelen, Alberti and Durand-Zaleski, 2014). Big data enables businesses to draw important information from the data and make informed decision that will suit the customer needs in the market. The measurement of performance of broadband and mobile access networks can be done through investigating the characteristics of 3G MBB networks. The characteristics vary from connectivity, packet loss, delay and also hand off performance. Measurement of these characteristics could be done both in mobile and static scenarios.
The primary objective of the proposal will be to determine the performance measurement of broadband and mobile access network. Every raised issues and discussions will be aimed at building support towards meeting the key stated objective.
- To determine the performance measurement parameters of broadband and mobile access networks
- To determine the economic importance of mobile broadband access networks
- To determine the effects of broadband and mobile access networks in business operations.
Mobile broadband annotated as (MBB) is described as the high speed internet broadband services designated to spread signals to laptops, mobile phones tablets and other digital devices that cover a wider geographical location making use of the wireless technologies (Hu et al., 2015). Both developed and developing countries are enjoying the market share of MBB internet services taking care of the needs of the users with improved speed and mobility making their coverage available anytime anywhere (Young et al., 2015). Broadband operators are ensuring that all the different forms of the broadband available in the market are improved for efficient use by the customers. Mobile access networks have improved from first generation 1G to second generation (2G) to third generation (3G) and currently to fourth generation (4G)/LTE (Dahlman, Parkvall, and Skold, 2013). The improvement and changes in network generations are with the aim of effecting the speed at which broadband supply data according to the need of users (Pentikousis, Wang and Hu, 2013). 1G and 2G were slower and served for some time in the past years where it was taken over by 3G and 4G which have been in use even in the present and are faster than their precedent generations (He et al., 2016). The emergence of 3G has been accompanied with benefits to the users since it is fast and saves time in the communication process and other activities it is engaged in (Adamcztk et al., 2016). Technologists were still not satisfied with the speed at which the widely used 3G and went further ahead to implement 4G which is still not so popular among users. The rate of growth of technology and the direction of focus it takes shows that technologists are still not at rest since they might be on the verge of designing another generation (5G).
Mobile Broadband and Economic Growth
Reviews of literature showed that second generation technologies included technologies such as the Global System for Mobile abbreviated as (GSM) which is the time division access (TDMA) utilizing the frequency of 25MHz in the band of 900MHz or more (Luo et al., 2013). General packet radio (GPRS) evolved from GSM in order to improve the data services and also the quality of service (QoS) of 2G mobile broadband networks. Likewise, another 2G MBB networks is the enhanced data rate for the evolution of GSM (EDGE). In recent past, 3G MBB access networks took over the market around the globe and is classified into universal mobile telecommunication services (3G UMTS) and the 3G CDMA2000 (Fattahi et al., 2014). Air interface has been defined by third generation partnership project (3GPP) meeting the intended objectives of IMT-2000 specifications. Examples of forth generation technologies that are currently in use and faster than the third generation technologies include long term evolution (LTE) and mobile WiMAX (WiMAX 2) use fully as the mobile broadband access networks.
Measurement of the performance of mobile broadband (MBB) access networks can be done through considering some parameters. One of the parameters that can be used in the measure of the quality of performance of MBB is the connectivity of mobile broadband access networks (Chanclou, Cui, Geilhardt, Nakamura and Nesset, 2012). The measure is given in the consecutive number of received packets with no loss at all. Observations are made that packets are received in the continuous loop in the entire operation of the broadband access networks or none are received (Kempf, Johansson, Pettersson, Lüning and Nilsson, 2012). The measure of mobile broadband network connectivity determines the frequency at which the connection is done with no disruption. The loss of connectivity implies of issues such as congestion, link down, handover etc.
Furthermore, from the previous research, during the transmission of network packets, the total delays that might occur in the process were referred to as latency (Bertaux et al., 2015). This would be experienced in almost all the generation technologies right from the analogue 1G all through to the current generation 4G. Various factors are sited to have effect on the latency of network generation. For instance, 3G mobile broadband network have its latency depending on the access network type, packet loss, protocol and the specific configuration of the MBB providers. Various types of latencies can be evaluated for geographical locations and varied traffic patterns. For fully informed and reliable information, delay characteristics variations for different scenarios need to be observed as well.
With reference to the literature reviewed, congestions, transmission errors, insufficient buffers and the end points and the handover in mobility are some of the key components resulting to the packet loss that might be experienced in 3G MBB networks (Mehta and Gupta, 2012). One of the vital requirements for the measurement of MBB networks quality of service (QoS) is the packet loss. The number of packet loss will help to determine the reliability of the networks in use during transmission or communication since it affects the available bandwidth and latency (Sundaresan, De-Donato, Feamster, Teixeira, Crawford and Pescapè, 2012). In either way i.e. uplink or downlink, packets can still be lost.
The emergence of mobile broadband and access networks have contributed greatly to economic growth and development in different parts of the world (Rohman and Bohlin, 2012). Broad band’s critical importance is that it improves human capital which is deemed necessary for growth of economy and competitiveness (Frias and Pérez, 2012). This is as a result of open access to information from all parts of the world through internet by people from benefits of broadband. Internet users are estimated to be spending almost over 64% of their time on the internet than on dial-up or any other access networks (Bosomworth, 2015). Broadband can enable the workers to acquire and improve their skills through development of broadband social networks facilitating communication and their economic integration (Fil and Ryan, 2014). As well, the deployment of broadband have been associated with business organization improvements running from speed, timing of business process and the automation of process through integration of networks through to improved processing of data which upon success of businesses will result to input in economic growth (Van der Wee, Verbrugge, Sadowski, Driesse and Pickavet, 2015). Documentations by previous literatures have shown that growth of firms have been promoted by the broadband access networks (Katz, Vaterlaus, Zenhäusern and Suter, 2010). Business have managed to cut costs incurred in some business solutions since some of the business solutions are now days collected from the internet thus increasing firms’ revenues. Work have as well been made easy since some work activities in the business can be carried out from anywhere with the help of broadband network access as reported by British Telecommunication to have had about 8,500 workers completing their work from home using broad band (Sun et al., 2012). Broadband networks have made learning of various skills easy and contributing to knowledge economy of the countries in all parts of the world since broadband users are spread all over (Bold and Davidson, 2012). Business seminars, workshops and inductions are made easy since the members can decided to have no physical contact but to employ broadband in carrying out video conferencing.
Mobile broadband access networks have resulted to various benefits ranging from improving business performance to contributing to economic development as from various literature reviewed. In the future, research should be carried out on the negative economic impact of broadband access networks to the user states.
In this section, we shall discuss qualitative and quantitative research approaches, the techniques that will be used in the research, research instruments and the data analysis methods that will be used thereafter when data will be collected.
This is descriptive procedure correlating the research questions, collection of data, analysis of data and data interpretations. The approaches aimed for use by the researcher includes qualitative and quantitative approaches.
These are the methods that are employed by researchers in determining the relationships that would be existing between variables keeping the primary objective of analyzing and mathematically representing data through statistical analysis (Creswell and Creswell, 2017). A part from being correlational, the method focuses its intent in the determination of the degree of relationship but with no cause determination. Casual comparative is as well involved in the quantitative research methods that can be employed by researchers to bring the understanding of the reasons for the difference between groups under examination Lewis (2015). In this method further, the experimental designs can be part in testing the treatments, ideas and programs to check for the differences they make. In the experimental design, there are two groups i.e. control group and test group. In regards to this, groups are randomly assigned to individuals under examination.
This kind of approach will be employed when the goal of the research is to have an understanding of a situation from historical or case study and gather materials within a given period of time (Taylor, Bogdan and DeVault, 2015). Narratives in this method focuses at describing the lives of individuals under study with the aim of extracting meaning from them (Creswell and Creswell, 2017). In order to bring an understanding of a phenomenon or any given situation with intent of developing a theory or model for the interactive factors, the grounded theory is applied under this method.
These describe systematic plans that will be used in the research process to bring rationale of the research and data analysis. Researchers in most cases depending on their subjects of study mix up the techniques at the time of data collection (Mayoh and Onwuegbuzie, 2015). Deciding and sticking to a particular techniques minimizes errors that would arise from mixed techniques and improve the consistency due to sample structure and population coverage (Bryman, 2015). Each of the applied techniques have their merits and demerits and therefore important for the researcher to take time and wisely choose a technique or techniques to involve in a research. Some of the available techniques that could be applied in this project are interviews, surveys, focus groups, observation, desk research and tests.
Depending on the media used by the researcher, interviews can be conducted physically and electronically. In interviews that are computer assisted, specialized computer software is used in conducting interviews through telephones whereby the responses are instantly recorded in the database by the software (Aborisade, 2013). It is best for quantitative research. As well, paper and pencil interview involves the use and presentation of questionnaires where respondent respond to the questions in face to face meeting and can be done anywhere. Qualitative research interview includes individual in-depth interview where moderator uses interview guide and records responses.
This deals with collecting information from the participants by using pre-prepared questionnaires. Respondents record their answers either on paper or electronic questionnaires. The interviewer in this case has limited task to undertake. Questionnaires are structured with open-ended, semi-open ended and closed ended questions.
This is used qualitative data collection procedure where skilled moderator uses guide questions to collect the views of the respondents from the discussion. The respondents has an advantage of confronting their views in the type of data collection.
These are commonly used when there is new product and in advertising materials and is conducted where there is product features. It is widely used by businesses.
This involves use of existing resources (i.e. press, internet and reports) in search for information for referencing and data collection.
This is used as the corrective measure of the survey methods when provided data do not reflect full nature of the group under study.
This involves the statistical techniques that will be used in drawing meaning from the collected data. The collected data will be organized and entered into statistical tools for analysis such as Stata, R-studio, SPSS, Excel spreadsheet etc. Frequency statistics will be used by the researcher to represent qualitative data whereby data will be presented on frequency tables and charts. Descriptive statistics (mean, standard deviation, etc.) will be used for the analysis of quantitative data. In order to generated themes from the interview qualitative data, thematic analysis can as well be applied.
This proposal will be making use of both qualitative and quantitative methods. From the varied techniques discussed, the researcher will employ interviews, surveys, desk research and observation techniques in the collection of data for research. By picking interviews and surveys, structured questions in the questionnaires will be used with different question types will be used. The proposed techniques and tools have been chosen due to their benefits of ease and reach of the target population at the time of data collection.
In conclusion, response to proposed claim of determining the parameters of broadband performance measurement, connectivity, latency etc. were found from the reviewed literature to give the performance measurement. The broadband networks have undergone evolution since its emergence from first generation to fourth generation i.e. 1G to 4G technologies. Literature reviewed showed that broadband have positive economic influence and also improves business performance.
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