They want mobile phones, WiFi, and data service everywhere and anywhere. They want automated home-network systems that learn their unique routines and help them with daily mundane tasks. They want seamless integration between all their devices so they can use data in the home and on the go without interruption. They want all this, and soon they’ll want even more.
This trend has a major impact on MSOs. It demands a solution that delivers unified provisioning and activation of services in a variety of domains, including voice, video, data, television, and beyond. The key is convergence, but it’s not just that simple. There are other things service providers must also consider.
Provisioning and activation solutions can no longer be pigeonholed into just one or two devices. Instead, operators must open their networks to an array of protocols, standards, and customer-premises equipment (CPE). In a world of plug-and-play devices, subscribers expect their CPE to just work. Without the capabilities to discover, configure, and activate services to this wide range of vendor devices, converged platforms lose their effectiveness almost immediately, and operators lose ground to their competition.
Another consideration for providers moving into the converged network service space is managing the growing volumes of bandwidth consumption that go along with it. Operators must proactively monitor and measure their network’s bandwidth consumption or they risk becoming inundated with a high volume of customer complaints. They need to intelligently invest in infrastructure that can increase their network’s bandwidth capacity and keep customer Quality of Experience (QoE) high, as well as enforce fair-access policies and bandwidth caps that make sure subscribers are paying for the bandwidth they consume.
And speaking of QoE, this trend continues to be of vital importance for increasing consumer loyalty, so operators must also shift their focus to ensure that QoE on customer devices stays high. To begin, they need automated notifications from key performance indicators that allow them to discover issues before they become a visible problem for their subscribers. But beyond this, they need the ability to efficiently resolve customer issues when they do occur. Nobody wants to wait around for issue resolution, myself included.