Can operators sell Network Quality?

To sell network quality operators need to measure it
Operators need their own Quality Index
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To sell network quality, you first need to measure it

As mobile device users we all know network quality can dramatically differ.  As mobile industry insiders, we know there are a lot of variables that impact the quality of the network.  Even defining network quality can be an issue – how far up the stack do you go?  Is ICMP and round trip times a good enough or even relevant measure? I guess the answer depends on who you are defining the quality for?  In order for operators to sell network quality, they will need to figure it out.

Just today, Celcom Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Seri Mohammed Shazalli Ramly said “Customers are willing to scout around for quality data network rather than take up a super-discounted plan and become disappointed because it does not provide rapid access to the Internet … We are confident we can attract customers for the quality which we offer and are prepared to cater for this preference.”

Just how many customers out there are willing to pay a little more for quality is yet to been seen, or even understood let along measured.  The quality issue, while hardly new, has re-emerged of late as OTT players such as Netflix are pumping out HD and 4K content streams all over the world.  Will streaming video aficionados fork over a few extra bucks to guarantee (you that term loosely) the quality?

Netflix provides an ISP speed index, showing customers how fast Netflix streams over each telecom/cable operator network in the country.  Interestingly enough, no mobile operator data is currently available.  Netflix tends to name and shame operators into improving their quality (read – ability to deliver Netflix) – more here.

If operators seriously intend to sell network quality, they will need to come up with their own standard and definition for network quality.  They will also need to give customers impartial tools to verify it.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking this is an engineering issue.  It’s probably 10% engineering and 90% marketing, so bring the creative folks into the discussion.

More Here [NST]

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