This blog is written by Carlijn Adema at Nokia Solutions and Networks.
I often have a desire to leave the city and escape to the countryside. Clean air for the kids, great views of England’s rolling hills… However, like many of you in Telecoms, I work from home on a regular basis – and this is what’s holding me back. How can I explain to the people I work with that I can’t be reached via my mobile as there’s hardly any coverage in my future home, let alone a 3G connection? For operators, the big issue is how to get a return on investment for service provided to 800 people who live in the average country village in England – or in any other village around the world for that matter?
Prioritize 3G or 4G rollout
NSN’s managed services came up with a great solution that allows operators to pin-point high concentrations of smartphone users in rural or semi-rural areas. This way, they can selectively choose whether to roll out 3G or 4G and focus on those areas that will give them a good ROI. As this Customer Experience Management (CEM) powered solution identifies where heavy data users are located, operators can evaluate whether the area is better served by 3G or 4G – both of which are preferable to the typically poor fixed broadband connectivity in rural areas. If 4G were offered as the only alternative for high-speed broadband in the area, it certainly wouldn’t be a difficult decision for data-hungry users to make.
Subscribers are willing to pay more
Once the choice of where to roll out 3G or 4G is made, special data packages can be created for semi-rural users. I, personally, would be more than willing to pay extra for better service. And NSN’s recent acquisition and retention study confirms that I am not the only one: almost one-third of customers (29%) are willing to pay more for special mobile services, and an impressive 47% of respondents believe that operators should offer excellent network quality even if they charge a higher price for it.
Asia Pacific case: 100% increase in heavy data users
We employed this approach for a mobile operator in the APAC region to prioritize its rollout of 3G. We mapped out the locations with high concentrations of 3G-capable handset users accessing 2G. We also pointed out the locations with many heavy 2G data users that were located in a 3G coverage gap. These insights were then used by the Network Planning Optimization team to guide the operator’s 3G rollout priorities. The marketing department then targeted heavy data users who were struggling to get data over 2G with specific 3G data packages. And here’s the impressive result: the number of subscribers using over 50 MB of data increased by nearly 100%.
I can hear the countryside calling my name… Now, if only I could get my calls!
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