Customer Call Center is vital for each customer in a service. About customer experience, what definitely matters is how customers take advantage on the services they have purchased. In the operator’s side, this means making sure that the customers can get the benefits of what they paid for. Such services may include upload/download speeds, bandwidth allotments, connection reliability, and etc.

From time to time, people are consuming bandwidth more than ever with each new generation on how we use technology, which left the operators a challenge: How and where to best invest in the outside plant to deliver the needs for today and scale for tomorrow. As our technology evolves over time, a just-in-time strategy is needed, but when will that just-in-time happen?

A Healthy Service Network for Everyone

Making sure to deliver the proper speeds to your customers is essential for a great customer experience that can also have an impact on your network’s health. You may encounter some problems though. Such example is the accuracy of how upload/download speeds are being delivered. Maybe these issues occur because of packet corruption? Revenue losses because of provisioning errors or bandwidth theft? Subscriber edge problems where a subscriber is accessing an infrastructure over wireless connections and is now experiencing congestion or maybe signal to noise ratio issues?

Infrastructure Planning: Data-Driven Decisions

Making sure the network infrastructure and capacity to be delivered on a subscriber’s expected quality of service is one of the operators most important thing to do. By applying a just-in-time infrastructure build out, operators may face different challenges in order to get accurate infrastructure statistics. A survey from 2017 of Capacity Planning in the Broadband industry shows that approximately one third of technical teams are unhappy with their current capacity planning processes. It’s also revealed in the report that a large amount of guesswork is involved when operators are planning for capacity requirements. Such factors include:

  • Inaccurate network congestion detection platforms
  • Metrics that are not up to standards in the industry
  • Prioritization is lacking from executive teams
  • Misunderstood metrics and network-probing processes

To improve customer care by ensuring proper usage and improving capacity planning, Accurate analytics is here to save the day.

With a lot of multiple sources to view usage records, IPDR ( Internet Protocol Detail Record ) is one of the most commonly used to view such records. With IPDR, operators now has the ability to view holistic pictures of their network’s usage, from both the network and the users perspective. It’s also recorded in real-time from the actual headend equipment. This is a great way for operational teams to track usage of a subscriber’s contract and can also be used to manage congestion on a routing element or node.

One of the recent discoveries about obtaining these accurate usage records is that operators can now use this data as a predictive analytics platform. Infrastructure teams can take advantage of this to make accurate capacity planning decisions by basing subscriber usage on real data, including:

  • Regional trends, such as subscriber growth or attrition, or distribution in service tiers
  • Commercial or residential consumption patterns within the day and a week
  • Abnormalities in subscriber consumption indicating flight risk or upgrade opportunities
  • Headend and node peaks in the day
  • Projected capacity requirements if a service plan was increased
  • Consumption patterns from one package to the next
  • Visibility of the top talkers and when/how they impact capacity

By taking advantage of data-driven decisions, customer’s experience will definitely maximize given the investment.

Constructing the High-Speed Highway: Which Infrastructure Network is Suited for Your Organization?

As the operator’s footprint continues to grow or densify, one thing to put into consideration is which access network can deliver the highest amount of bandwidth required as its requirements continue to grow. Services like OTT ( Over-the-top ) and content producers are abundant in the modern era, and Virtual Reality systems that are used for live sports and gaming are being widely used these days. A large amount of bandwidth is required to maintain such high quality experiences. The use of such reliable and low latency systems are essential for health and well-being when the time comes where autonomous driving becomes a reality. Capacity planning departments must study the advantages and disadvantages of FTTx, DOCSIS 3.1, G.Fast, 5G or a converged network approach to know which of these access networks can fit their subscribers’ needs.

Fiber Optics is considered to be the future of network access technologies, either it’s a fixed-line, wireline, or wireless operator to be used for extending reach and backhauling purposes. Usage Analytics can also provide insight in your decision making process, this can help prevent adding unnecessary overcapacity in the outside plant and can also help to view how the infrastructure will turn out over time.

A lot of arguments can possibly happen for each network access technology. And probably the best choice depends on the operator, subscriber density, environment, topology, and most importantly: the use of connectivity. But for some operators, a converged network works best for them.

Nonetheless, converged operators may need to use activation to get a consistent abstract view of the subscriber, orchestration and provisioning stack, regardless of access technology.

Subscriber Awareness: Intelligence at the Edge

As customers, we always think of how we can assure these services can benefit us. Assurance is a component of the equation but is usually prescriptive. This is more of a reactive care approach. We have a saying: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Most of us understand that this is more than the assuring service is delivered to the gateway but it’s actually a complete experience to the customer. This is where proactive care will be used.

Proactive care are automated activities that alert or take prescriptive actions whenever telemetrics will show issues. Over a decade ago, CAT5e is one of the most used piece of tech where every Internet of Everything devices connected to broadband services. Today, wireless connectivity or WiFi for short takes the throne and becomes one of the most used type of connectivity by residential and commercial devices. To sum things up, WiFi is now part of the subscriber experience and must be a required component of proactive care equation. Knowing about the wireless environment/topology at the edge is vital to ensure your customers will have a great experience. Modern access points serves plenty of information to diagnose and adapt to optimal settings using the traditional SNMP or push mechanisms such as TR-069. Besides WiFi, most access points provide thorough information such as negotiated speeds, noise floor, packet loss, spectrum utilization, and even neighboring access points.

WiFi is important when it comes to customer experience. A recent report by Incognito, it shows that 40% of respondents felt that better WiFi hotspot coverage is the most appreciated service option to add on to their existing service plans.

One of the internal studies from Tier One customers showed that no matter how satisfied a customer to a service, there’s a 37% of probability that the customer will leave the service provider within three months because of an issue. So what is the key to avoid such attrition? The answer is constructing a network where service issues are no longer experienced.

With intelligence at the edge and data on how and when subscribers use the services they have paid for, operators now has the ability, tools and data to provide a healthy network and a  satisfied subscriber. And also the skills to thoroughly plan and scale for network capacity requirements in the future.