Every year, mobile network operators allow billions of euros of potential revenue to disappear, almost literally, into thin air, according to Actix founder and CEO Rob Dobson.
This is because in nine-tenths of cases where network connections are lost, the culprit is the same – the air interface, or the radio-based link between an operator’s base station and the user’s handset. “Radio’s inherent complexity makes it the
most difficult part of the network to manage,” says Dobson. “The health of this last mile link is an increasingly powerful factor in network profitability as growing voice traffic, text messaging and new-generation packet services compete for limited radio spectrum.”
In short, the performance of the last mile wireless link can make the difference between cost-effective operations and satisfied subscribers on one hand, and leaking traffic revenues, escalating churn rates and major hitches in introducing new services on the other.
All Actix’s products are based on its ActixVision technology. This is a data analysis and statistical reporting engine that can take high-level reports, such as a high number of calls failing in a particular region, and ‘drill down’ into the low-level wireless data at the last mile in order to diagnose and resolve performance problems.
Each Actix product addresses a different high-level problem. Product areas include planning validation (measuring the potential success of the commercial roll-out of a new service) and network optimisation (for troubleshooting specific problems with end-user experience).
“Our products give network operators the means not only to detect problems, but also to analyse them in fine detail and solve them,” says Dobson. “In addition to making services work, we also provide the tools to manage them on an ongoing basis.”
Actix supports most of the major technologies, systems and data formats deployed by mobile phone network operators around the world – differentiating Actix’s product from the proprietary performance measurement tools that equipment manufacturers such as Ericsson, Motorola and Nokia bundle with their own hardware.
Actix is entirely self-funded and sales from its 130 operator clients have grown at an annual rate of 80% for the past four years. The company is also profitable, says Dobson. Furthermore, with services such as photo messaging already being rolled out, Dobson sees “huge opportunities” for growth.