Telco priorities in 2014

Mobile Europe’s fourth annual report draws on survey findings to identify the most disruptive trends in the mobile landscape during 2013 – and forecasted priorities for 2014.

Results show that 63 per cent of the respondents (Telco industry publication readers) said that 4G/LTE has had the most disruptive impact on mobile operators; with big data causing the second biggest disruptive impact (19 per cent).

The arrival of LTE networks means a massive change is needed in Telco operations. For a start it’s much harder to predict which parts of an LTE network will see rises in demand. So in order to respond to changes in the way consumers behave, and subsequently networks, a paradigm shift is needed in the way existing optimisation teams work. Operators must focus on having ‘real-time awareness’ in areas of the network where they need to make ‘real-time decisions’ – in order to provide customer assurance. For Telcos to add 4G to its offering there needs to be a substantial amount of work to ensure technical and commercial readiness and this can bring a wealth of challenges.

And when it comes to adding new services like LTE/4G the spotlight is on Telco providers to make sure the service is right first time because, as with most things, first impressions count. To see how we helped Vodafone UK prepare for its 4G roll out read the case study.

However, the implementation of 4G and addressing or managing big data really do go hand in hand. As Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt once commented, “From the dawn of civilisation until 2003, humankind generated five exabytes of data. Now we produce five exabytes every two days … and the pace is accelerating.” With 4G being at least part responsible for this acceleration, along with the increasing use of social media and data it produces, it’s clear to see why Telcos were concerned about 4G and big data in 2013.

In 2014 big data should not been seen as a disruptive influence but rather a way to improve the customer experience. As the article Big data’s boost to brand and business points out, “Yesterday, the brand relied on advertising, launches and gimmick marketing to lock in the customer and sustain a level of service to secure loyalty. Today, the emphasis is on analytics incorporated into the social network framework, mobile infrastructure and the cloud strengthened word-of-mouth to create brand awareness.”

Customer experience is integral to staying ahead in network management, but monitoring customer experience is becoming increasingly complicated by the current paradigm of data volumes that are essential for today’s high-speed networks such as 4G. So how powerful would it be to combine traditional fault management reports with customer feedback across the increasingly utilised social networks to get a complete view of a network’s performance? Twitter storms should be taken advantage of not something to be feared.

We believe it’s extremely powerful to correlate customer experience, social network feedback and fault management reports to have an all-round view of the network. This should be the number one priority for Telcos in 2014. Do you agree?