When consumers go to purchase services from Broadband companies, it can be extremely confusing. Broadband, both mobile and fixed, is a product that people buy with next to no information about what level of service they will likely receive. It’s not like a hotel guide with a star-rating system – something like that prepares the consumer for the quality s/he is about to purchase. For broadband, something like that does not exist.
There may be savvy consumers who consult Ookla speedtest.net or Netflix ISP Speed Index data before making their purchase choice, but realistically, most people won’t go to those extents before purchasing broadband services. And even the savviest of consumers have difficulty in understanding what upstream and downstream throughput really means to their user experience. They want to be able to say, “I play video games, I love Facebook and other social apps. I use screen sharing on my device and OTT VoIP video conferencing – which broadband provider will give me exceptional service for when I use these applications?”
What if network operators had a means to communicate their network quality to their subscribers, broken down by application? And what if they could show their customers their expected network quality in an easy to understand format?
This is why Procera invented Scorecard and launched it today. ScoreCard scores a network's capability to delivery quality in categories that matter to subscribers. At the same time it helps operators to plan their capital expenditure investments around improving subscriber experience.
Operators aren't to blame for this lack of communication– they don’t really know what quality they are delivering today! They think in terms of coverage maps and other speed tests of their networks. But these are very specific metrics that are incomplete, do not represent the applications all their consumers are using, nor can Operators do anything with this information to make their subscriber experience better!
I was travelling all over the world talking to operators who often asked the same questions:
- How do I climb to the top of the Netflix ISP Speed index?
- We spent a ton of money upgrading our network, but we’re still several megabits below our competitors on average. What else can we do?
- How can I make sense of these speed-test metrics? What kind of subscriber experience does this represent?
The situation is really no different from the early days of voice communication before Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) like Mean Opinion Scoring (MOS) was introduced. Right now, there simply aren’t any good KPIs for Internet usage. There are a lot of complicated ones, like video resolution and buffer stalls, VoIP MOS, HTTP page load times, etc. But what does that really mean for subscribers?
The vast majority of issues that affect subscriber experience typically has to do with the operator’s network. It’s rarely the device, the codec, the server software, the peering links, nor the DNS server. It’s the capacity and configuration of the network.
Once the subscriber’s experience can be quantified and visualized in a powerful way, operators can start having an intelligent discussion about how to improve subscriber experiences. Procera’s Scorecard helps operators quantify what improvements would make the biggest difference to the most of their subscribers.
Is it upgrading your silver tier plans speed or quota? Maybe it is deploying a more intelligent congestion management system for your congested cells? Should you incentivize your feature phone subscribers to a new 4G enabled handset, or should you upgrade a number of your backhaul or core links to provide a higher average throughput during peak hour for a large number of your subscribers?
Scorecard profoundly impacts these kinds of discussions and decisions, ultimately benefiting both the subscriber and the operator.
We created ScoreCard to help operators improve their subscriber experience. We are extremely excited about how this will benefit consumers and operators alike. For more information on ScoreCard or to see a demo, please visit: Procera Networks Defines Broadband Subscriber Experience with Scorecard.