The wholesale, open-access approach to service delivery is increasingly prevalent in markets across the world. It makes sense as many operators don't have the means, or desire, to take on the massive investment required to build their own infrastructure.
It also comes with many challenges in managing services to the wholesaler, retail Internet service provider (ISP), and end customer, spanning ordering, provisioning, activation, and assurance. Add in increased remote-work and connect-from-home demands, and the pressure is even higher.
Incognito's Fiber Service Orchestration solution can help overcome these issues, improving customer satisfaction and operational efficiency through benefits including:
- Deep visibility to network insights.
- Smoothing and acceleration of business-critical processes.
- Robust suite of tools to optimize service quality.
- A central platform to automate provisioning and service upgrading.
Let's take a closer look at the main operator challenges, their business impacts, and recommended steps to tackle them, as well as a couple of practical examples:
Customer satisfaction / QoE
1) Decreased customer satisfaction and lost revenue
Challenge: Error-prone and cumbersome fiber activation retail ISP ordering processes can not only be frustrating for customers but can cause you to lose business to incumbent wholesale operators.
Solution: Facilitating provisioning and service activation by offering retail ISPs a portal or API (application programming interface) will smooth and accelerate these business-critical processes.
2) Diminished NPS (net promoter score)
Challenge: Unsatisfactory fault-response time reduces customer satisfaction and loyalty. NPS (net promoter score)—the measure of a customer's likelihood to recommend your business—is considered the gold standard of customer experience metrics, and this problem will cause yours to suffer.
Solution: By providing wholesale access to network insights, it's easier to triage subscriber service quality issues and to determine network availability. In the Incognito and Light Reading fiber survey, 47 percent of operators said this type of end-to-end visibility would help provide these insights.
3) Reduced QoE
Challenge: High subscriber demand—driven by the work (and do-just-about-everything-else) from home requirements of the pandemic—has pushed home-delivered digital broadband services to the limit, and there's no indication of them coming back down anytime soon.
Solution: Supporting your fiber capacity with a robust suite of tools, including device diagnostics, speed tests, remote configuration, and more, will optimize service quality—even under pressure.
4) Difficulty meeting service-level agreements (SLAs)
Challenge: When wholesale fiber also supports business and enterprise services, it can be hard to provide highly available B2B/B2B2C cloud services and support on-demand connectivity service changes.
Solution: A central platform can enable the automated provisioning and upgrading of services and address different types of fiber services, such as mobile backhaul.
Operational cost / efficiency
1) Difficulties scaling services
Challenge: Manual provisioning can't keep pace with ambitious fiber rollout, high activation volumes, and frequent service changes, and this can reduce your operational efficiency and service velocity while increasing costs.
Solution: Move past manual provisioning—automate your fulfillment process from the service layer down to fiber EMS (element management system) or direct OLT (optical line terminal) activation.
2) Delayed order-to-cash interval
Challenge: The all-too-common issue of a lengthy provisioning process can cause both wholesale operators and retail ISPs to experience cash flow problems.
Solution: An integrated portal can enable you to streamline service ordering and provisioning processes. In the Incognito and Light Reading fiber survey, 52 percent of operators said they would like to see wholesale service providers offer this type of interface to help their business to keep pace with consumer demand.
3) Competing needs
Challenge: With a growing retail ISP subscriber base generating increased order-fulfillment and activation demands, it can be challenging to focus on segmenting multiple network operators and protecting subscriber data while also managing operational costs and resources.
Solution: Implementing a centralized multi-tenant provisioning platform will help you virtually separate B2B fiber network operators on a shared infrastructure.
Incognito Customer Examples
1) Wholesale FVNO (fiber virtual network operator)
This communication service provider (CSP) needed online tools to manage fiber service delivery for FVNOs. They required multi-tenancy—support for multiple FVNOs—which had to be network agnostic, e.g., shared OLT ports across multiple FVNOs.
Incognito provided a cloud-hosted FVNO portal offering the following benefits:
- Management/deployment/diagnosis for fiber services
- Multi-tenancy and role-based access control (RBAC)
- Service diagnostics
The improvements to the CSP's business include:
- Solution monetization (through online tools and reporting).
- Fast time to market (with out-of-the-box product-based solutions).
- Holistic network view across international borders.
2) Tier 1 APAC (Asia Pacific) Operator
This operator was embarking on a national fixed broadband network rollout connecting retail ISPs. They faced challenges including limited internal skillsets and high operational costs.
Incognito helped by enabling end-to-end service fulfillment, which provided the operator with the following benefits:
- Increased operational efficiency, thanks to automation.
- Centralized service fulfillment visibility spanning newly deployed and existing infrastructure.
- Rapid new service introduction via productized suite.
The ever-changing telecom landscape, intensified by the pandemic, has shown the importance of flexibility and agility if businesses want to survive and thrive.