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.
— Alison Diana, Editor, Broadband World News. Follow us on Twitter or @alisoncdiana.