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.
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.
On Jan. 23, Broadband World News hosts a Calix-sponsored webinar that explores several ways CSPs can enhance customer experience and find new business opportunities to avoid devolving into a speed race where nobody wins, not even the customer.
As the pool of savvy, fiber-rich operators across the US rural and regional landscape wanes, the financial community will grow even more interested in acquiring or investing in them, a CoBank report says.
It wasn't long ago that TV was ranked by subscribers as the most important service in the bundle provided by their communications service provider (CSP). Recent research indicates that for nearly three quarters of subscribers, broadband is now the most important service. Broadcast TV is the most important service to only 15% of North American consumers, replaced by OTT video streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. In addition, many different competitors are moving aggressively to stake a claim in consumers' homes.
In 2020, CSPs need to fight back by transforming their business models, which are becoming more reliant on a single source of revenue: fixed broadband services.
This webinar will focus on helping CSPs transform their business models by placing a firm focus on delivering a sensational subscriber experience and by offering compelling new services that generate value for subscribers. These actions will reinforce the CSP's strategic position in the home network and position themselves for growth in the next decade.
Key topics include:
Being the first to market with WiFi 6 technology, in response to consumer purchases of new devices over the holidays;
Having the insights needed to proactively resolve issues, often before your subscribers even know that there are issues;
Providing help desk agents with the visibility they need to resolve common subscriber issues more quickly;
Delivering a mobile app, in response to consumer demands for the ability to do some things themselves, rather than having to call technical support; and
Addressing consumer concerns around device security, privacy and control with enhanced security and parental controls.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.