How Operators Can Improve the Home Broadband Experience
With the rapid development and popularity of optical broadband, the number of home broadband subscribers has reached 450 million in China, with the global the figure hitting nearly 4 billion.
Currently, every home in the country has optical broadband, but overall revenue growth is slow. Due to the global health crisis, homes have gradually transformed from just living spaces into multi-functional spaces for both work and living. Mom and dad attend Zoom meetings at home and children study online. This requires a stable and preferably improved broadband experience to a completely new extent.
The value of home broadband services has shifted from large-scale connection-oriented operations to “experience dividends”, and this has been accompanied by the arrival of the blue ocean era of experience-based home broadband services.
For carriers, the new opportunities are balanced by challenges.
- More than 70% of network issues occur on the home network side. The quality monitoring and analysis system based on current network KPIs and STB soft probes cannot accurately reflect the real experience (for example, frame freezing, disconnection, and slow response) of online gaming, video, and education applications. Though monitored network KPIs perform well, users still frequently complain about poor network conditions during NPS surveys. This is why improved user experience is imperative.
- There are no efficient broadband maintenance tools. When a user reports a fault, field engineers have to manually check from the OLT CO to the user terminal segment by segment. They spend 90% of their time locating and analyzing a fault on site, leading to low efficiency per unit time but high staff turnover.
- Conventional marketing and subscriber development methods (for example, outgoing calls, home visits, and flyers) are used, and marketing and sales personnel may work every day or even at night. Though the investment is vast, the marketing success rate is low.
These pain points are closely related to user experience. The key to eliminating them lies in detecting, locating, and monetizing user experience.
Huawei introduced the all-optical autonomous driving solution in 2020 to imbue access networks with intelligence, which in turn powers an innovative intelligent distributed OLT solution. We upgrade conventional OLTs to intelligent OLTs, with the goal of collecting application data (such as delay, packet loss, and jitter) in real time, and perform edge computing. In addition, iMaster NCE leverages big data analysis to accurately analyze, locate, and identify user experience requirements. We’re also building a foundation for digital experience operations integrated into the edge, terminals, and cloud, enabling accurate detection, location, and identification, and helping carriers enhance network quality and increase revenue.
An Advantage Hatrick
- Accurate detection of user experience: The solution implements data collection in seconds and data analysis in minutes. The collection frequency and analysis capability surpass the industry average by 900 times and 15 times, respectively. The solution adopts superior transmission and computing power to achieve intelligence and precision. With this solution, you can detect disconnection and slow response issues such as poor Wi-Fi coverage, strong interference, and insufficient bandwidth. Within 10 minutes, you can detect poor application user experience caused by frame freezing, with an accuracy of over 95%.
- Accurate location of network issues: The solution changes the need to scatter data across 5–10 sets of systems, which results in data inconsistency. It aggregates networks in a unified way and aligns application and network KPIs in time and space. In this way, issues on the home network, PON, OLT, and bearer network can be demarcated and over 30 typical home broadband faults can be accurately located and analyzed. As most faults occur on the home network side, the solution can accurately restore the home network topology, identify poor-quality routers, and visualize and analyze coverage and interference issues. Moreover, our field service app will provide feasible suggestions to field engineers, enabling them to proactively rectify, trace, and close issues.
- Accurate identification of potential subscribers: The solution fully exploits the value of data to address the low sales rate. Based on massive big data collected by intelligent OLTs in seconds, iMaster NCE performs governance analysis according to experience requirements, and generates structured label fields in terms of usage, experience, bottlenecks, and networking. With information from the BSS domain, iMaster NCE accurately identifies potential subscribers for bandwidth upgrades, home networking, FTTR, and scenario-specific broadband.
Case Studies in China
China Mobile Tianjin
Currently, this solution has been deployed to 39 sites in over 20 provinces and cities in China. In one city, iMaster NCE manages 380 OLTs and 590,000 subscribers, and proactively identifies poor-QoE subscribers with an accuracy of up to 95%. With accurate poor-QoE analysis results and improvement suggestions, we’ve significantly enhanced user experience.
In the face of homogeneous competition in the home broadband market, China Mobile Tianjin worked with Huawei. It aimed to boost the home broadband experience by guaranteeing high-value services, such as home entertainment, online education, and cloud office, without frame freezing, anytime, anywhere.
Taking the FTTR as the breakthrough point, we teamed up with the industry partners to aggregate the ecosystem and provide an integrated solution that meets the diverse, intelligent, and secure requirements of home terminals.
To enhance user satisfaction with better Internet access, we established a Premium Broadband 2.0 work team, developed an elaborate implementation solution, and set up an analysis model that connected poor-QoE home broadband subscribers to multiple OSS and BSS systems. In this way, we are able to:
- Locate subscribers experiencing poor QoE.
- Perform root cause analysis and rectification tracing.
- Continually optimize automatic closed-loop management capabilities
- Optimize the full-lifecycle network and service capabilities for home broadband.
We helped China Mobile Tianjin embark on a new journey of premium broadband. According to the verification result in the pilot area, the poor-QoE subscriber rate has decreased considerably, with the current solution covering 600,000 subscribers.
China Mobile Dongguan
The Guangdong operator aims to enlarge scale, build its brand, foster an ecosystem, and add value.
In 2019, Huawei inaugurated the XPIE lab in Songshan Lake, Dongguan, and in 2020, China Mobile Dongguan and Huawei initiated an innovation project to improve the home broadband experience.
According to the results of a pilot study, the average handling duration of user-reported faults was 35% faster, which not only improves the rate of resolving faults once, but also enhances the experience of silent subscribers through proactive rectification, thereby reducing the churn rate. In addition, the marketing success rate of home networking services has significantly improved. Through innovation in the pilot area, four major changes have been achieved:
- From complaint-driven O&M improvement to proactive poor-QoE management.
- From segment-by-segment troubleshooting to accurate root cause analysis and efficient troubleshooting.
- From silent churn to proactive user retention by eliminating user experience risks.
- From poor experience to finding potential opportunities and precise marketing.
Visit the iMaster NCE to see the full product range.
Disclaimer: Any views and/or opinions expressed in this post by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Huawei Technologies.