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User centered planning of broadband communication networks that include Quality of Experience (QoE)

Broadband communications infrastructure remains a strategic issue, as shown by the broadband initiative of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi). A broadband Internet connection is critical not only for business customers, but it is also increasingly part of social and cultural life. More and more applications such as video conferencing, cloud computing, IPTV, interactive gaming and e-learning platforms require high data rates with a reliable Quality of Experience.

The Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the project "User-centered development of broadband communication networks including Quality of Experience" (NuPEX). The project proposes to include service differentiation, Quality of Service (QoS) parameters and Quality of Experience (QoE) at the network planning phase to better plan, dimension, and optimize broadband communication networks with respect to their efficiency.

The combination of technical QoS and QoE is the main focus of investigation within this project. The QoE has a direct effect on customer satisfaction and depends on individual expectations, type of used services used (e.g. chat, email, Internet browsing, Cloud Computing, Video Conferencing, Enterprise-Resource-Planning Tools, Internet TV, web based games), and usage behavior (e.g. time of use, parallel use of services). The results of specific tests are used to determine the effective bandwidth requirements considering the corresponding user requirements.

Effective planning functions are extracted from the research results and then integrated into commercial software for telecommunication network planning. Network planners are offered the opportunity to apply the latest research results to make optimized use of network bandwidth resources available to their customers. Thus, end users can also be supported through a combination of different network technologies according to their personal requirements.

This project incorporates the extensive experience of innovative companies and academic partners as well as results from previous joint projects such as INPLAN (Integrated Planning of Large Communication Networks). The four partners of the project are: The Quality Group it vision GmbH, OTARIS Interactive Services GmbH, the Institute of Communication Networks of the Technical University Hamburg-Harburg and the Research Group of Communication Networks of the Center for Computing and Communication Technologies (TZI) of the University of Bremen. The NuPEx project started on February 1st 2012 with a duration of two years.

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