It’s All About Quality of Experience

For a show like Mobile World Congress (MWC), technologies are undoubtedly out on full display — from network infrastructure gear to devices, and from software to applications. You expect to see lots of gadgets at a mobile technology show, and vendors come out in full force, year after year, to show off their latest shiny innovations.

We’re talking about mobile of course, so you get to see more powerful and flashier wearables: handsets, LTE-based smart watches, smart meters, near-field communication (NFC) function embedded in tap and pay devices, personal health trackers, and more.

You also hear a lot about the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Internet of Everything (IoE), from connected cars to connected homes. You hear how virtually everything in the home can and will be connected and communicated via the networks: security monitors, thermostats, smart meters, lighting, cars, health monitors, washing machines, ovens, and refrigerators.

This universal connection is set to increase communication, control, and manageability while saving money and increasing security. In the IoT world, everything is connected to the Internet, including your toothbrushes, glasses, sneakers, and even robotics arms and forklifts in factories.

I get that. All devices, all connected, remote controlled via the broadband network.

But what I found interesting at MWC this year is that while the number of vendors hawking devices has not decreased, the number of solution providers and the voices for focusing on consumer experiences has visibly increased.

People are focusing more attention on network performance and its impact on the consumer experience. Delivering a consistent quality of experience (QoE) across operator networks has become vitally important. For instance, improving the quality of roaming services while giving users affordable access to voice and data services wherever they travel has become extremely important to providers of all sizes. A ubiquitous, cross-border mobile experience is required to help minimize subscriber churn to alternative roaming options. The “always-on” nature of mobile and messaging has created the challenge of delivering a consistent service experience for users at all times. Determining how to provide accurate troubleshooting capabilities or holistic views on real-time transactions, network health, device statuses, and usage trends is just one example of the many challenges that operators are facing today.

This brings up another area of importance — data analytics. Providers want to eliminate data silos – where data is spread across different channels – when a subscriber comes to interact with them. People have started using the term “federated” to define orchestrating, consolidating, and correlating all their subscriber data, with the end-goal of turning that data into actionable intelligence to provide better services. Providers need solutions to achieve this.

Enhancing network connectivity, improving user experience, ensuring subscriber loyalty, heightening quality of services, and gaining better intelligence are all areas in which providers must focus to shorten time-to-market and increase efficiency and reliability. Measuring QoE is no longer just about what operators used to be fixated on — network coverage and throughput to measure network performance — and it’s no longer just a measurement of service quality at the device level. It’s now about gaining a holistic view of the entire user experience spectrum.

If you’re looking to take a deep dive into the benefits of increasing subscriber QoE, join me at Incognito Community Exchange for my panel discussion, QoE: Manage Customer Experiences with Global Insight, where I will moderate a session with leading service providers representing Europe, Asia, and the Americas, to gain a global view on QoE.

For more insight on market trends and innovations at Mobile World Congress 2015, read this blog post from my colleague at Volaris.