Quality issues and cost pressures are leading telecommunications carriers to ramp up their investments in analytics tools that can be used to help them improve the customer experience, lower churn, and identify opportunities for improving operational efficiencies, according to a newly-released study from Accenture.
Executives across 30 communications and media companies say they plan to invest in network analytic tools to improve network planning, enhance the quality of service, and improve the customer experience, according to the survey.
Carriers commonly use network analytics tools to analyze network data alarms, performance measures, trouble tickets, and customer churn due to dropped calls and other network performance and reliability issues.
Seventy-seven percent of the respondents say that managing the quality of services is the biggest challenge for telecom operators, particularly in a shared network environment. The use of analytics software can help carriers better prepare for and respond to these challenges in a number of ways.
As consumer demand for mobile data continues to surge, carriers will increasingly rely on big data analytics to determine gaps in network performance and capacity.
However, even though carriers are investing heavily in 4G LTE (long-term evolution) communication services and radio network upgrades, operators may not be planning sufficient investments in backhaul to meet consumer demand over the next five years, according to a study conducted by Tellabs.
Global mobile data traffic has increased 13 times in the past five years and it’s anticipated to grow five or six times more by 2017, according to the study, which also predicts a $9.2 billion global backhaul funding gap with a 16 petabyte shortfall in backhaul capacity by 2017.
Individual carriers and those that are partnered in a shared network environment can use analytics to evaluate the likely growth in data traffic for specific customer segments and geographic areas. Carriers can then use that information to craft strategies for building out network capacity in different locations.
Carriers can also use analytics to help create virtual network models by combining network technology configuration and topology with the behavior of network elements to more accurately predict utilization for dimensioning and to predict resource shortages, notes GSMA, an organization that represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide.
As carriers build out network capacity, they can also use analytics to identify new business opportunities and services they can offer consumers and subscribers.
For instance, in a report that focuses on opportunities for mobile operators to deliver “smart” mobile services, Accenture rattles off a number of different applications and services carriers can develop in cities around the world including:
- Mobile health remote monitoring solutions that can be used by chronically ill patients to optimize home medical visits around specific medical needs
- Smart traffic control through the use of embedded sensors in roadway equipment that can be used to proactively reroute traffic to avoid congestion and direct traffic to underutilized roads
- In-vehicle telematics applications that can be used to help stoke eVehicle adoption by alerting drivers to nearby charging stations, wait times and availability
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