The assurance of best customer experience network in 4G/LTE Era

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Author: Lan Yun, President, CNBG – Huawei, Middle East

Since the rise of the 4G/LTE era, the advent of OTT services such as video streaming and social apps have placed massive data demands on networks – not just from a latency and throughput perspective, but also a customer experience one.

These services are driving new ICT, but at the same time, they’re creating a plethora of challenges with regards to user satisfaction. When it comes to the network; planning, service quality and operations are the biggest pain points – while rapid marketing campaigns, end-user perception, and price and support levels are affecting customer experiences.

To reduce the resulting churn, the enterprise has begun working to achieve the best possible customer experience network that increases the sophistication of customer satisfaction in the network while adding revenue at the same time.

Currently, the telecoms industry suffers from an immature customer experience management system – certainly in comparison to the banking, aviation and hospitality sectors. To put this right, the TM Forum collaborated with Huawei to standardize the metrics of the telecommunications customer experience management system, and publish the Customer Experience Metrics Guidebook 14.5.

The guidebook divides user behavior into three phases: buy, use, and share. The initial focus is on the use section, which represents the longest and most influential phase. This is where perceptions of the service provider are formed. From there, network performance and customer experience merge together to create the customer experience network.

Coverage, reliability, latency, and throughput are the main contributing factors to customer perception in network performance. A specific type of user prioritizes each aspect. For example, video streamers shape their perceptions based on coverage, while gamers focus on latency.

Once these factors can be measured in full for the end-users, performance can be managed and optimized. Today, a new technique is being adopted to improve the outcome of such measurements. This is known as a KQI – a key quality indicator – and was recommended by the TM Forum, and measures service quality level, as opposed to network performance level. The data used is collected from multiple sources, such as network probing, OSS/BSS, surveys, and social media.

New concepts like these often require the involvement of new entities that assure service quality. With this in mind, the Service Operation Center (SOC) was introduced. The SOC handles the service quality in the network, troubleshoots any service quality issues, and provide network data insights for the planning, marketing, and customer care departments.

As a mainstream provider for telco CEM solution, Huawei currently serves 69 operates in 34 countries. It has built 30 SOCs, and is introducing four experience centers globally. In the Middle East, Huawei cooperates with leading telco providers, including STC, Zain, ET, Ooredoo, and others. Its CEM solution became one of the most in-demand solutions in the world thanks to its multi-data source integration and big data platform enablement.