The mobile phone market appears to have hit an inevitable inflection point. IDC reports that the total number of smartphones shipped annually in the United States will decline from 174 million in 2014 to 169 million by 2018.
Even as emerging markets around the world go mobile, the health of the mobile market in the U.S. continues to dictate revenue streams for operators globally.
With subscribers holding onto their devices longer in an oversaturated mobile market stateside, operators need to shift their focus away from bringing in new customers and toward nurturing their existing subscriber relationships.
It's not hard to see that many are already taking note of this. In their advertising, for instance, mobile operators have shifted away from pushing new smartphone deals and are instead touting quality of service (QoS) metrics.
However, while operators may be busy expounding on mobile network performance, they could be overlooking the importance of taking a subscriber-aware approach to network performance management.
In a Crowded Forest, Watch Out for the Biggest Trees
This is the opposite problem presented in the “see the forest for the trees” idiom. Mobile operators have no trouble seeing the big picture when it comes to network performance, whereas they face significant challenges when it comes to getting granular information that could help reduce subscriber churn.
Visibility into subscriber data pertaining to network performance and QoS is abundant, which is actually a large part of the problem. It's much easier for a mobile operator to lump all of its subscriber analytics together and take action in response to overall trends.
This approach is effective enough to establish credibility among the vast majority of customers who generally pay a common rate for mobile services. But with enterprise or VIP subscribers having a larger role than ever in dictating revenues, mobile operators need to at least be selectively subscriber-aware to prevent churn that will damage their bottom line.
Justify Premium SLAs by Proactively Troubleshooting Network Issues
By combining both subscriber geo-localized analytics and end-to-end network intelligence, mobile operators are better able to track subscriber QoS. This enables them to detect the network problems that are most relevant to specific VIPs and prioritize troubleshooting — and ideally proactively detect the issues — to prevent churn that would hit revenue streams hardest.
Proactive network performance monitoring also enables mobile operators to reflect improvements in QoS in their service-level agreements (SLAs) with important clients. This gives mobile operators the justification to charge a premium for their services, but also the tools to potentially drive similar enterprise or VIP subscribers away from the competition.
At this year's Mobile World Congress, InfoVista demonstrated two updated products — Planet 6 and VistaNEO — that can facilitate a granular, subscriber-aware approach to network planning and performance management. These solutions allow mobile operators to combine real-world measurements with advance predictions when planning or expanding the mobile network, as well as to monitor network performance on a subscriber level in near-real time, empowering them to deliver on high subscriber QoS expectations.
Learn more about InfoVista's suite of network planning and optimization products that can help improve network performance and, ultimately, prevent subscriber churn.