Getting Quality Returns from Investments in Mobile Networks

Mobile devices are playing a vital role in more and more elements of our lives. Users expect immediate responsiveness when communicating via social media, watching a live stream on Facebook or Hulu, or using their favorite sports app. Meanwhile, investors are pouring billions of dollars into new ventures that will entice mobile customers to do even more on their devices, meaning demand for network services will continue to rise.

This steady increase in usage creates a remarkable opportunity for mobile network operators. It also brings serious challenges. As customer demand rises, so too do expectations for reliable and responsive service. Operators that fail to deliver a consistently superior customer-received usage experience (CRUX) are vulnerable to negative customer reviews and increased churn.

In a highly competitive and rapidly growing marketplace, operators are fighting for their futures. They’re struggling to generate sufficient cash flow to make the necessary investments in capacity and technology that will provide customers with the CRUX they demand. As a result, operators face rising congestion in mobile cells, hampering their ability to deliver great user experiences. This puts mobile operators in an untenable position: Unable to make desperately needed improvements to their services, they often cut their rates to keep customers from defecting to rivals, which can trigger destructive price wars.

In this challenging environment, carriers that figure out how to deliver a superior customer experience can break out of the cycle and increase both their market share and their pricing power. Winning companies will be those that profoundly shift their focus from a system that relies on rigid, engineering-oriented measures of network performance to one that actively manages CRUX. Telcos that succeed will be able to sense how their customers are using the network, decide how much bandwidth is required to generate a good usage experience for each activity and then act on that information in real time.

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