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Recently, Procera Networks conducted its very own Mobile Subscriber Experience Survey and received both some expected and some surprising results. More than 540 consumers responded to Procera’s Mobile Subscriber Experience Survey, with 30% coming from the U.S., 35% from Europe and 35% from the rest of the world totaling 62 countries in all.

These are highlighted below with more in the accompanying infographic below.

  • 80% of respondents say it’s critical to have high speed coverage
  • However, 60% feel they don’t have continuous high-speed coverage
  • 75% stream video on mobile devices several times per week with 80% expecting this to increase in the future and 70% rating it very important to have good quality video streaming
  • But 90% experience video quality problems every day

What’s so surprising?

  • A combined 90% rated their worst experiences as falling into only two categories: poor video quality; and basic connectivity/ coverage problems.
  • Despite the combination of high consumer expectations and poor experiences with mobile coverage and video quality, a combined 85% of them never, or rarely, call customer service.

These figures are especially troubling considering the trend towards a mostly-mobile lifestyle that is taking place globally. Ipsos conducted a survey asking U.S. adults, “Which Industries Have the Worst Customer Service?” While the government ranked the worst garnering 39% of the vote, the telecommunications sector came in at a close second, with 38% of people saying telecom has the worst customer service in the country. This is especially bad when you consider that the third worst-rated customer service sector, healthcare, is a full 20 percentage points lower (better) ranked than telecom. So, what can Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and others in the telecom industry do to improve the subscriber and customer service experience?

Clearly analytics and intelligence play a role in helping MNOs keep subscribers happy, whether that means setting policies that can more effectively manage the subscriber experience, enabling first call problem resolution, allowing engineers to see and fix network problems before subscribers even notice or report an issue, providing key info for executives to better plan their capex spend, or marketing new revenue generating services that consumers want. The need for better analytics visualized and contextualized specifically to meet the demands of the various departments at broadband operators is why Procera launched its Internet Intelligence Insights solutions.

Most MNOs are able to measure only rudimentary key performance indicators (KPIs) based on the signaling between the devices and the handset such as measuring basic connectivity (i.e. dropped calls) and the amount of data going to the handset. The KPIs that really matter to subscribers including video buffering and stalls, social networking feeds not loading, slow page load times, or slow sync times for cloud services are beyond the ability of most operators to diagnose or resolve today. Often the issues experienced by subscribers directly correlate to their location. To achieve real network visibility and to consistently deliver a higher QoE, MNOs must have cost-effective access to real-time location awareness. This is why Procera launched its RAN Perspectives solution.

For MNOs and other operators, the solution to subscribers’ QoE problem has long been to throw more bandwidth and/or additional antennas at the problem. While that does address some issues, the expansion of data usage continues unabated and the expected data increase that will accompany 4K/UHD video and other high bit applications that have yet to be launched make this approach an incomplete fix. To ensure high quality video streaming, operators need solutions that provide video-specific metrics that align with customers’ perception of quality. Currently, video has an extremely large impact on mobile networks and, therefore, the subscriber experience. This is why Procera launched its Video Perspectives solution.

When it comes to finding out what impacts subscriber QoE the most, generally speaking, 90% of these issues are caused by operators’ own networks including a lack of bandwidth, bad queue management, and a bad signal or coverage. These are mostly things that operators can do something about. However, 10% of these problems cannot be fixed by operators. These involve: content issues (Facebook or Twitter being slow or down); service availability (DNS issues); device issues (low battery, hardware faults, software problems); or OSS issues (invalid configuration or service configuration). Very few of this 10% represents things operators can affect, but knowing the cause could save them valuable time and save their subscribers additional exasperation.

Scorecards such as Netflix’ USA ISP Speed Index and Google’s Video Quality Report are popular with media due to their controversial nature. However, they offer very little past measuring bandwidth speeds which are an incomplete measurement of subscribers’ QoE. Operators require granular network traffic data to correctly identify problems including the user’s ID, location, application, device type, web content and a wide variety of other metrics. Networks and their subscribers generate massive amounts of data and this data needs to be visualized as usefully as possible to so that it is simple, actionable and each person within an MNO can best use it whether they are executives, engineers, customer care representatives or work in marketing.

Stay tuned to see what solutions are coming next from Procera, but in the meantime see our full Mobile Subscriber Experience Survey results in the infographic below!

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Topics: Expert Insights, Mobile Subscriber Experience, Subscriber Experience Survey Results