“This is big, really BIG!” That’s what Procera heard after we launched ScoreCard this week. The response has been phenomenal. ScoreCard is simplifying how carriers think about their network quality and even more importantly – think about it from a subscriber’s perspective. It’s simple in its sophistication and powerful in its ability to enable action. It’s BIG!
There could not have been a more suitable place to launch ScoreCard than at Light Reading’s BIG Telecom Event. Stephen Saunders, Light Reading CEO, is doing a fantastic job of making the event a major player in the telecom space, differentiating the event as well as building value for the attendees. Let him be the example what the telecommunications industry needs. Operators also need to differentiate.
Differentiation isn’t easy in a world where broadband only is explained by speed. Comcast recently launched a 2 Gbps residential service. I congratulate them, that is, if they succeed in explaining what the customer needs this speed for, and how customers will experience a difference with increased speed. Someday this speed may be needed, once all our devices have super-retina displays and we are watching 8K video on our handheld devices (Google seems to think that time has come). But everyone we talked to this week thoroughly agrees with us: we need to start talking about quality and talk about it in a way the subscriber will understand.
Subscribers care about their applications, not about theoretical maximum speeds. They care about fast video startup times, immediate social interactions and being able to win at real-time online games. Nobody likes to wait those dreadful seconds of page-load times to get to their favorite shopping portal. They want quality! And what they don’t understand (how could they), is what quality to expect from a broadband service defined in Mbps or Gbps.
Procera is urging operators to start thinking differently. ScoreCard will reveal an Operator’s Network score and report it in 7 common categories used by subscribers:
- Web Surfing
- Streaming Video
- Social Media
- Real-Time Gaming
- Voice Applications
ScoreCard presents the score in a simple to understand format scaling from A to F, so it is easy for subscribers to see what kind of quality the network is capable of delivering.
Wouldn’t it be great if Operators revealed their score to customers and used it to explain what kind of service they deliver? Instead of once-a-year regulators testing maximum theoretical speed (check my previous blog here), imagine a portal where quality is compared openly. An interested prospect customer would be able to have an objective look at who provides the best service in his area for his needs. Is he a gamer? Then select operator A. What about a TV series junkie? Then select operator B. Or select between the services from one operator, one connection delivering OTT streaming video in HD, another in SD – but at a totally different price point. There are many different subscriber needs out there and it’s time Operators started meeting them.
The BIG Telecom Event was a huge success, both for LightReading and for Procera. Light Reading’s launch of New IP Agency is great, simplifying the NFV ecosystem and accelerating the industry transformation from the inside out. The industry is entering a period of “extraordinary and irreversible change” (as Stephen put it himself in his keynote). I fully agree and would like to add: let it not only be about under the hood technology, let it be about the Subscriber!
Check out the ScoreCard video here: