Customer experience is what will be important for telcos to set themselves apart from others at a time when connectivity prices are dropping, margins are squeezed, and energy prices to power broadband are soaring. Aggressive promotions will often drive spikes in churn. Does it have to be this way?
Equipment providers such as Huawei have sought to help telco’s promote telco brand loyalty and advocacy by moving technological capability from best effort transmission to a differentiated user experience. This is the convergence of service assurance with business grade SLAs. It speaks to the requirement to move from basic connectivity to guaranteed experience. It is also underscored by a services layer (e.g., gaming, conferencing) with a digital home partner ecosystem.
Remote working offers opportunities for Telcos
Beyond the connected consumer, the research is showing that flexible and remote working will be a constant despite corporate policies. And investment in the last residential mile is a must. As much as digital transformation brought permanent changes to education and health, the home is also being transformed for work. The average household, for example, is becoming a multi-generational, homeworking, and home-studying environment. Homes are also supporting entertainment, gaming, and any array of connected things streamed to the home.
Rather than selling a port in a one-to-many connection-driven services, there is an opportunity for Telcos to offer managed services for the residential segment to account for these market shifts. This environment extends users (e.g., gamers, video conferencing, online learning), devices, low-latency applications, and consistent network performance regardless of room or location in the home. Networks are being designed and dimensioned to deliver cloud-like consumption, security, and on-demand services with new commercial models.
Orange, for example, recently upgraded its broadband offers to include concepts, such as Home LAN for the differentiated experience. As opposed to delivering a signal to a router, this offer comes with self-configuration. This allows users to check and manage QoE (quality of experience) to all connected devices within the home LAN; visualise, evolve, and develop the network to the usage requirements (e.g., consistent connectivity while on the move). Underpinning the improvements is support for WI-FI 6E. (In France, this comes standard with the Livebox 6).
WI-FI 6E advantages
What edge does Wi-Fi 6E bring? Most Wi-Fi only uses two bands: 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Wi-Fi 6E leverages a third band: 6GHz. Wi-Fi 6E extends the same Wi-Fi 6 capabilities into the 6 GHz band to allow greater efficiency, higher throughput, and increased security. This starts to solve connection and congestion issues, offers wider channels (up to 160 MHz) which is ideal for high-definition video, augmented or extended reality. There is also significantly less interference. The 6GHZ frequency band and provides fibre speeds of up to 2 Gbit/s downstream (and 800 Mb/s upstream).
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Instead of propagating a signal to an access point, Orange is looking to create a home network that deliver a seamless experience from room to room and device to device through the effective use of additional spectrum and management tools. GlobalData research shows consumers will be willing to pay for a differentiated and personalised experience.