RAN Quality matters to NPS

Executive Summary

As mobile markets mature and competition for customer’s increases, operators are increasingly focussing on improving the Customers Experience (CE). Improving the CE will reduce calls to care centres and reduce churn. One of the key KPI’s in measuring customer experience is the Net Promoter Score (NPS); and more and more operators are focussing on the Quality of Experience (QoE) of their Radio Access Network (RAN) to help improve NPS.

Introduction

It is clear that to keep customers and ultimately make money, vendors and operators will have to adapt and evolve to meet their customer needs. The RAN departments within Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) need to evolve but this is proving difficult due to a number of reasons:

  • For over a decade Network based Performance Management (PM) KPIs have been the main focus of the Radio Engineers, but this is no longer sufficient to capture real end user Quality of Experience (QoE).
  • Traditional processes and ways of working mean the focus is on the Network rather than the customer: old issues now can, and do, need to be approached differently, there are new challenges to be tackled and new value to be extracted by shifting the focus onto the actual Customer Experience as a measure of RAN quality.
  • Engineers are often too busy and don’t have the time to think ahead, out of the box or upskill in the new technologies and tools.

The Aspire Approach

Aspire Technology offers a unique combination of experience, talent and vision to help MNOs get ahead of their competition and make real differences to their customers. Aspire combines:

  • A deep understanding of the technologies, traditional tools and processes and with a team of engineers with 20+ years of experience in the development and evolution of the RAN with a proven track of delivered results.
  • A clear vision of the current and upcoming Customer Experience challenges and key focus areas for MNOs.
  • A track record of Out of the box thinking applying new technologies to better respond to Customer challenges.

With a clear vison for Customer based Agent monitoring as the future mode of working (based on our extensive experience of monitoring and optimising Radio Access Networks) we recently launched our nSpire product.  nSpire is a next generation handset based CEM solution focussed on improving NPS.

Aspire Achievements

Operationally, over the last number of years Aspire has worked with a number of global operators to apply our experience and ways of working to deliver significant improvements.

Examples of improvements we have driven in the RAN department of one of the biggest operators in Europe over the past year –

  1. Understanding and Measuring Data Services Quality of Experience (QoE)
    What is real end user data QoE and how can it be measured? This is one of the main concerns and focus of technology departments within operators as they shift from looking at Network Quality to looking at Customer Experience. It is clear that traditional PM statistics are not good enough – does the average data download speed of a cell really represent subscribers’ experience? While it might offer an indication in some cases, more often than not it doesn’t.
    We have worked with a major European operator to introduce a new tool that measures QoE metrics (throughput, latency) per customer, application and cell. This takes the operator one step closer to measuring true QoE while also creating new opportunities: now we can accurately measure how these QoE metrics vary with load and radio conditions, which applications are affected first and by how much, where bottlenecks occur in the network, which devices or software versions have particular problems, etc..
  2. Proactive VIP Monitoring
    One of the most time consuming processes in technology departments has always been the investigation of VIP complaints, often due to the fact that the information provided in these complaints is unclear or incomplete for engineers to resolve in a reasonable time.
    In Aspire we have turned this around through a proactive monitoring of VIPs where a weekly report is automatically generated and an alarming system is set in place. Operator Account Managers no longer need to wait for VIPs to complain, and engineers can initiate investigations earlier and with clearer information. This system has also helped identifying underlying trends and common issues in the network.
  3. Redefining Targets for Regional RAN Optimisation Engineers
    Traditionally, targets for regional optimisation engineers have consisted of a set of KPIs measured with Performance Management statistics, mainly focused on voice services. The future is Data, in fact the present is Data!
    Aspire has worked with operators to define new KPIs and better ways to improve the measurement of the old KPI’s.
    Traditional KPI metrics have been enriched by adding Geo-location and enabling easy identification of issues which impact the RAN KPI’s which are not directly related to the RAN, such as faulty devices or Core Network issues. At the same time new areas for investigation were uncovered such as areas of high pilot pollution, areas not following the network strategy or areas where customers end calls more frequently (for example due to poor quality or corner effects).
    We also introduced a new customer-centric approach where the operator now has the capability to geo-locate individual subscribers having a poor experience and at risk of churn. For example, customers experiencing poor coverage in home, recurring call drops at specific locations or customers frequently failing to access LTE. This is an invaluable source of intelligence, not only for the RAN department but also for sales or customer care teams.

Summary

The Aspire team has been in the driver’s seat of the Mobile industry for the past 20 years. Our combination of experience, talent and innovation is helping network operators tackle new industry challenges and to provide a more customer focussed service.

For more information on how Aspire can help drive increased value from mobile operator networks, visit our website at: http://www.aspiretechnology.com.

José Rodríguez, September 2016



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