The drumbeat of recent network sharing agreements is a good indication of the benefits, which include lower investment and operational costs. Building and operating one network rather than two is a good way to offset the growing cost of providing more capacity to meet exploding data demand. And as long as operational processes and the related tools are in good shape, network sharing also simplifies operations.
So far, so good. But there is a missing link, and a missed opportunity, which is to differentiate with customer experience. Along with the benefits of lower costs, operators can and should provide a service experience that stands out in the market. The key here is to plan and manage shared networks with tools, processes and systems that enable full visibility across all networks, services, devices, subscriber data and insight KPIs.
I have been following and taking part in network sharing projects for the past decade, and one of the key lessons learned from successful projects is the importance of end-to-end visibility. Operators need to be able to follow their customers’ experience across both their own network and the shared network, without any operational barriers in between. In cases where the shared network becomes a blind spot, it is impossible for operators to proactively identify and take action to resolve problems affecting the customer experience.
Fortunately, this is a challenge that has a solution. Good process planning is the first step to achieving end-to-end visibility. Next is to use operational tools designed specifically to manage multi-vendor, multi-technology and multi-domain networks. When combined with advanced capabilities for customer experience management, operators can turn the deep insight from their networks into targeted actions that improve the customer experience and drive loyalty and profitability.
Share your views on network sharing
I am always excited to see a new network sharing project come across my desk. Making a plan and putting it into action with our customers is a source of real satisfaction for me. What are your views on network sharing? Do you see other opportunities and barriers to successful network sharing? I would welcome hearing your thoughts and ideas.
This post is by Miikka Karhuluoma from the Nokia Siemens Networks product management team.