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How to Solve Your Network Performance Problems

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Everyone wants their internet and private networks functioning at top levels all day, every day. For many people, it means quicker responses to queries, seamless communication, and tasks getting completed in good time. It’s what makes work smooth and productive for many people and businesses.

We get frustrated when networks degrade or fail. Our work slows down and productivity levels dip. And if connectivity is an important part of your business’s service delivery, your customers may experience network defects as a poor product of customer experience coming from your end.

If you don’t solve the problem early enough, you could lose clients. In the end, it might cost you a lot of (unearned) money.

So you’ll want to deal with your network issues as quickly as you can. Even better, you should be preventing them from happening in the first place.

First, you need to know what network performance issues you’re most likely to face. When you’ve learned this, you’ll be better able to prevent them, or deal with them if they crop up.

Common Network Performance Issues that Businesses Face

  1. Congested Bandwidth

Maybe you often use more data at any given time than your bandwidth can take care of. It’s not large enough to accommodate the amount of traffic that goes through your networks. If you have the right monitoring tools, you’ll see what users and devices contribute the most to the congestion.

  1. Failed Hardware

In some cases, network outages are the result of failed devices in the network infrastructure. Common culprits in this category include broken cables and damaged switches. Disabled devices can also cause networks to slow down or shut down.

  1. Network Loop

A network loop is when there are multiple paths to two endpoints on a network. This usually happens if there’s a problem with the way the network is configured. When there’s a loop, traffic keeps going back to its source– and growing in the process –instead of stopping at its destination. The expanding traffic will choke your bandwidth and slow your network.

  1. Incorrect Device Configuration

When devices are poorly configured, they won’t function as they should. This, in turn, causes performance problems for the networks that they support, or are a part of.

  1. Hidden Devices

Your employees may have connected more devices or applications to your network than what’s officially accounted for. These additions could be slowing your network speed. Unless you have a network monitoring tool or system that tracks these things, you won’t know what’s weakening your network’s performance.

  1. Prolonged Backup Process

Let’s say you set data backup to happen overnight. But for some reason, it extends into the working day. If it’s still going on during work hours, it could impede traffic on your networks. Prolonged backup processes, regardless of when they’re initiated, will slow down other significant traffic being generated at the same time.

How Do You Know When You Have a Network Problem?

There could be a problem with your network if you detect any of these things:

  • Network services are not available for your users at a particular time
  • Increased network latency (i.e. slow network)
  • Complaints about slow response times from your end-users
  • Clients frequently get disconnected from your applications

How to Solve Your Network Problems

Here’s how to prevent common network issues from cropping up, and deal with them if they arise.

  1. Increase Your Network Visibility

Deploy network monitoring tools to help you track the traffic on your networks. They will give you greater visibility of your networks and reveal what the data consuming users and devices are, so you can curb the excess traffic that may be coming from them.

  1. Prioritize Applications

Assign more bandwidth to applications that are closer to the top of your priority list, and less to those closer to the bottom. You may even have to remove some applications from your systems if they don’t contribute to your operations or productivity.

  1. Use Compression

One way to free up your network channels is to compress large files before sharing them. There’s a catch: it may take a while to compress files, especially if they’re really large. If you’re dealing with transactions, you will be better off adopting a technology that enables the speedy transmission of data instead.

  1. Time Your Traffic

This solves the problem of backup-induced network slowdowns. You can restrict heavy-duty work like backups to times in which networks have little else passing through them. This spreads out your traffic more evenly across the time that you have.

  1. Shut Out Junk Traffic

Put up things like firewalls and spam filters that can prevent irrelevant traffic from clogging your channels. Malware could also affect your network’s performance as well, so you should have a reliable antivirus installed too.

  1. Check Device Configurations

If poorly configured devices are a cause of network difficulties, it makes sense for you to ascertain that their configurations are in order before they are in full use. This will reduce the incidence of network loops and slowdowns.

  1. Educate Your Staff

Encourage employees to adopt data saving practices. They can access documents from a single cloud platform, instead of sharing those documents and holding them in private storage. Let them know how connecting more devices to the network than you authorize can stifle network speed and ultimately cost your company. Train them to react appropriately to risks like malware and DDoS attacks that could slow your networks.

Conclusion

The quality of your network will play a part in determining your organization’s productivity. If you have continuous connectivity problems, it could negatively affect your work, your customer’s perception of your business, and your revenues in the long run.

It also helps to have a proper IT services provider take care of your network issues. That’s what you’ll get from us at Layer3. For over a decade, we have helped organizations in the public and private sector solve their IT problems. We continue to deliver network security, virtualization, and data center solutions to our clients across Nigeria, enabling them with technologies that drive them up the growth ladder.

Is your business struggling with network issues? We can help you fix them. Send us an email via [email protected], or contact us here, and we’ll get back to you.


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Huawei Launches Mondia Pay on Huawei Mobile Services in Nigeria, Others

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Huawei, in cooperation with digital payment entity, Mondia Pay, now offers Direct Carrier Billing service (DCB), for seamless, contactless payments for users in the MEA region through Huawei Mobile Services (HMS).

Mondia Pay is a leader in the digital payment space and provides a simple, fast and secure way for consumers to pay for services using their mobile phone.

Huawei has been working closely with Mondia Pay, the MEA region’s top digital payments fintech company, as part of its commitment to supporting developers in the MEA region. This strategic partnership will allow for increased DCB coverage and IAP (In-App Purchase) kit capabilities for global developers.

As a result, Huawei and smartphone HONOR users in almost 20 countries including, Egypt, South Africa, Tunisia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Madagascar, Liberia, and Botswana, will be able to make cashless payments securely without the need for bank cards by downloading the app from Huawei’s Application Store, AppGallery. In addition, Mondia Pay will also market Huawei’s games content in Egypt.

The number of mobile internet subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa has quadrupled since the start of 2010 (World Bank Data) and, for many consumers, it’s the only way they can get online. With low credit card penetration rates in most markets, contactless, online payment solutions can reach wider audiences looking to consume digital content.

“This new partnership with Huawei is an endorsement of Mondia Pay’s industry expertise and deep routed knowledge of Africa. Customers across the continent will benefit from our fully integrated digital payment technology to make frictionless payments in a fast, safe and secure manner. We also support the natural progression towards cashless societies, fast-tracked by current affairs such as COVID-19,” said Simon Rahmann, CEO Mondia Pay.

Mondia Pay is available on Huawei’s AppGallery as direct carrier billing and e-wallet services to facilitate online consumer payments. Huawei’s AppGallery allows users to explore the best local and global apps.

Adam Xiao, Managing Director, HMS and Consumer Cloud Service for Huawei Consumer Business Group MEA, said: “We welcome the opportunity to partner with Mondia Pay to provide our users across the MEA region with even more payment options.

Mondia Pay allows for contactless payment without the need for bank cards in a safe and secure manner that protects the privacy of users. This partnership is part of Huawei’s ongoing commitment to make it easier for local and global developers to offer their services to millions more people in the MEA region.”


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Sub-Saharan Africa 5G Connections to Reach 18m by 2025 – Report

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Mobile technologies and services are expected to significantly increase in Sub-Saharan Africa, with over 137 million new mobile subscribers forecast to be added in the region by 2025.

An estimated 27% (165 million) of total mobile connections will be made on 4G and 3% (18.4 million) on 5G, by this period.

This is according to the latest “Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa 2020” research report released by the GSM Association (GSMA) to coincide with the GSMA Thrive Africa virtual event.

It consists of an in-depth study that explores the latest data, forecasts and mobile trends for the region.

According to the report, mobile-enabled platforms and services will increasingly disrupt traditional value chains in Sub-Saharan Africa, as it remains the fastest-growing mobile region globally, with 477 million mobile subscribers at the end of 2019.

The additional 137 million subscribers expected over the next five years will take the total mobile subscriber base to just over 614 million, representing around half the population in the region and a CAGR growth rate of 4.3%.

While spectrum availability will promote strong growth in 4G and 5G connectivity over the next few years, 3G mobile connections will continue to dominate the region, says the GSMA.

The report calculates the strong growth in mobile connectivity across Sub-Saharan Africa will generate around $184 billion in economic value contributed to the region’s GDP by 2024.

“The findings from our Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa report clearly show the importance and value of digital connectivity,” says Akinwale Goodluck, head of Africa, GSMA.

“Realising the full potential of a progressive digital future requires an informed policy debate. Governments and policymakers should implement policies to enhance access to connectivity and drive investment in more resilient digital infrastructure for the future.

This is crucial to reactivating the region’s economy post-COVID-19 despite the sizable contribution mobile technologies and services generated in 2019, growing at 9% of regional GDP.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the digital landscape around the world, and the mobile industry in Sub-Saharan Africa has largely risen to the challenge of keeping individuals and businesses connected during the pandemic, despite changes in data consumption patterns, the report points out.

However, with nearly 800 million people in the region still not connected to the mobile Internet, it has never been more urgent to close the digital divide, it advises.

Mobile money services, infrastructure and mobile-based content/services, as well as the application of mobile big data for social good, are expected to record the highest rise in the next five years, notes the report.

“The 2020s will see strong growth in the number of Africans connected to mobile broadband. As 4G and 5G grow together throughout the decade to come, spectrum preparation can drive cost-efficiency and promote growth,” according to the GSMA.

“Efficient and effective management of spectrum is also key to maximise the opportunities that mobile connectivity can bring to society. Making sure the required spectrum resources are available under the right conditions will lower broadband costs, increase coverage and boost connectivity.”

In 2018, mobile technologies and services supported almost 3.5 million jobs (directly and indirectly) and made a substantial contribution to the funding of the public sector, with almost $15.6 billion raised through taxation, according a previous report.

As countries increasingly benefit from the improvements in productivity and efficiency brought about by the increased take-up of mobile services, this is expected to significantly boost the informal economy, which accounts for a large part of the mobile ecosystem in Sub-Saharan Africa, notes the GMSA.

Nigeria and Ethiopia will record the fastest growth rates of mobile connectivity, between now and 2025, growing at 19% and 11% respectively, it adds.


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Ndukwe Reveals Secret of MTN’s Dominance Of Nigeria’s Telecoms Space

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Dr Ernest Ndukwe, Erstwhile Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has been speaking on why foremost telecommunications services provider, MTN, has continued to dominate the Nigerian telecom space like a colossus.

Ndukwe, speaking on Tuesday as a guest at the Virtual Digital Africa VIP Leadership Series powered by Digital Africa, organisers of the annual Digital Africa Conference & Exhibitions, noted that three factors – strong financial position, good management and discipline in terms of managing resources, separate MTN from the rest of the pack.

“I think it is important to say that MTN is a particularly disciplined company right from its roots; it has always been a well-run organization. It has not had the board squabbles of its competitions. Since the first board of MTN (Nigeria), some of the board members just retired last year (2019). Meanwhile, their competitions have had various owners, various quarrels, and various issues,” he said.

Ndukwe, who is the Chairman of MTN Nigeria Board, said that nobody can be blamed for this position as the way organisations manage their affairs translates to the kind of position they occupy in the business environment.

“One thing that people don’t know also is that for the first five years of existence of MTN in Nigeria, it did not pay dividends to its shareholders. They recognized the importance of scale and were pumping in all the earnings, all the profits into building networks. They started building their own microwave links; they started building their own fibre optic links all across the country because it’s a matter of planning.

“Let it be said that technology changes, the best company today might not be the best company tomorrow. A few years ago, Facebook was not on the reckoning but today, is a much bigger company. People might not make it in terms of telecommunications service delivery because in certain countries, there is actually a certain number after which the market gets saturated. There are opportunities in the technology space; all that is needed is for operators to discover them and leverage.

“When Zoom started, no person knew it was going to scale to the level it has now reached; thanks to Coronavirus. People should continue to look for opportunities and niche markets and go there because that’s where they can scale. There are many companies that are doing very well in the financial technology space in the country too.”

Dr. Ndukwe also talked about NITEL, 5G, the Stock Market, companies he admires in Nigeria and the concept of a single African Telecoms network.


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