Denver -- CNG2019 -- The in-home WiFi market may be paved with challenges, but some cable operators are using AI and analytics to fill those potholes and generate opportunities for new revenue.
"Customers don't care that their service is bad or why the service is bad. They want 100-megabit connections and they're only getting 10, it's our fault. And it doesn't matter if they have a router that's 10-years old: It's our fault their service isn't good," said Tom Williams, vice president of engineering and technology at Schurz Communications. "It doesn't matter how many truck rolls we sent. It doesn't matter how our customer service reps interact with the customer; they want 100 meg service for their wireless service."
Cracking the In-Home WiFi Challenge
Panelists included (L to R) Jeffrey De Sarno, chief technology officer, Westman Communications; Josh Redmore, lead architect, Wireless Research and Development, CableLabs; Justin Wolf, director of software product development, ADTRAN; Tom Williams, vice president, engineering and technology, Schurz Communications; and moderator Alan Breznick, cable/video practice leader at Light Reading.
About seven years ago, Westman Communications decreased this problem when it began a managed WiFi service, said CTO Jeffrey De Sarno. Today, 75% of new customers take the service, he said. One problem is education; the other is the analysis of the data all these customer-connected devices create, he said.
With insight into residential networks, operators are more proactive about problem gear, outages or other issues, Kamalini Ganguly, senior analyst at Ovum told Broadband World News, citing the research firm's ongoing consumer surveying.
"Today a large portion of consumers have the speed they want -- they can stream all the video they want. They want reliability," Ganguly said. "We are seeing that particularly among younger consumers. They're happy as long as they get a certain degree of speed and they're willing to churn if they perceive another operator to be more reliable."
By deploying mesh network technology and managed WiFi, Westman saw an immediate, positive impact to its bottom line, said De Sarno. For its part, Schurz Communications' recently deployed offering is growing rapidly, said Williams.
"Our quota's completely full on the next ten days of deploying this," he said.
In a flurry of activity throughout the week, Donald (DJ) LaVoy, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development at the US Department of Agriculture, and his team spent about $145.8 million in the non-urban or suburban areas of seven states.
Calix reported revenue of $120.19 million – up 4% – in Q4 2019, putting a bounce in the step of company president and CEO Carl Russo and a shine to Calix's ongoing transition from hardware vendor to a provider of platforms enabled by cloud, APIs and subscriber experience.
Looking to curtail e-waste and improve the bottom line, BT will require customers to return routers and set-top boxes, although subscribers will not have to pay a fee when they receive regular broadband equipment.
Deploying DOCSIS 3.1 across its entire footprint gave Rogers Communications the ability to offer speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s,
contributing to a broadband segement that generated about 60% of the Canadian operator's $3.05 billion (US) in Q4 cable earnings.
Over the next two years, approximately 60% of service providers (both large and small) will adopt virtualization on a wide scale across their networks, according to the latest survey report from Ovum. Why are providers making these moves? Is there an easy way to start?
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