Carriers put bandwidth before service

Carriers put bandwidth before service

Four out of five Australian businesses deal with poor network performance due to impractical network management services provided by carriers, according to network monitoring and management application vendor nMetrics.

nMetrics' chief technology officer David Britt said the managed network services that carriers do offer are aimed at large companies and are extremely expensive, making them well and truly out of reach for the average Australian business.

"It makes sense why carriers have overpriced managed network services to businesses - they make so much money selling bandwidth," Britt said. "If companies were able to monitor what was going over their network and knew how to manage their network behaviour, they wouldn't need to continually buy more bandwidth from carriers."

nMetrics stated managed network services offered by carriers are superficial and impractical because they are typically restricted to monitor throughput and availability to ensure the network has enough bandwidth to carry customer data.

It claims to have conducted "customer research" that revealed 80 percent of business have poor network performance due to lack of management.

Suttons Motor Group's network manager Ambika Bali said since using the nMetrics solution and re-configuring QoS on the company's routers, the entire network has been running smoothly and efficiently.

"We no longer pay unnecessary costs for network outages and we've dramatically improved our response time to network issues," Bali said. "Also, we can now utilize our network bandwidth efficiently and no longer have to continually spend money with our carrier - this has all definitely made a positive impact on our bottom line."

A spokesperson for Optus said it is difficult to comment on the remarks because the customer research referred to by nMetrics is not specified.

"Optus would welcome the opportunity to look at the research referred to in the press release and come back with comment," the spokesperson said.

A spokesperson for rival carrier AAPT said nMetrics' claims are "not really worth commenting on" but did say that AAPT's hosted voice solution aims to give smaller businesses the kind of functionality traditionally only available to larger corporates.

Telstra responded to nMetrics' claims by stating that it is essentially a sales tactic by the company.

"Without network management, Telstra could not provide the high performance of its networks today," the spokesperson said. "Telstra has maintained and improved network performance in the face of exponential business data volume growth."

Telstra provides monitoring of access link bandwidth utilisation in an averaged/historical sense, which is of general use in reviewing network design, she said. "Telstra can also offer more granular and real time reflections of access utilization via managed services offerings."

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