Poor indoor coverage – Missed Opportunity?
Poor indoor coverage continues to frustrate users
How many times have we been inside a building and needed to make that all-important call, only to find there’s no mobile signal? The experience can be infuriating! Although we spend around 90% of our time indoors and about 80% of mobile data is consumed there, indoor connectivity still remains inferior to outdoor network coverage in many areas.
User expectation has risen to a point where people expect the same experience for voice and data services indoors as they get outdoors, regardless of whether that expectation is reasonable. For mobile operators, achieving the right balance between outdoor and indoor network experience can be challenging. And it’s not just about technology and equipment.
An effective Network Experience Management (NxM) strategy can help service providers create significant competitive advantage by treating the network as a single optimized whole – whether the user is indoors or outdoors.
A recent survey commissioned by iGR found that 39% of executives with IT decision-making responsibilities in large businesses say they have experienced issues with poor in-building mobile coverage or capacity. The survey also revealed that 35% of IT managers would be prepared to move to a wireless carrier that could guarantee a better indoor solution.
This is both an opportunity and risk for mobile operators. High-value enterprise premises can lose their rental or resale value if mobile user experience is compromised due to poor indoor coverage. If operators can improve indoor coverage sufficiently in high-value locations, especially in hard-to-reach high-rise and basement offices, this represents a significant differentiation that can be monetized by boosting rental values as part of a “connect anywhere” offering.
A holistic approach
But taking a technology and equipment-based solution approach alone, such as adding macro/small cells or distributed antenna systems (DAS), can be very costly and inefficient. Many operators who have made such CapEx investments still haven’t been able to achieve parity between indoor and outdoor coverage. The key to resolving this is to optimize what is already in place and employ a deployment strategy that focuses on the user experience.
But still, the experience needs to be effectively measured. Operators who rely on coverage prediction tools to determine indoor coverage often find they yield results that differ widely from the actual coverage and QoE users are experiencing. What is therefore needed is a holistic approach to experience management that considers both indoor and outdoor coverage, while also taking into account the location and experience of high-value VIP customers.
NxM is a cost-effective, end-to-end approach to addressing network-relevant challenges. It utilizes a combination of technical and commercial criteria to resolve problems, while focusing on what actually matters: the customer experience of the network and not just the network itself. NxM brings the experience of end-users into play, so that the network operator deployment and optimization efforts start with this end goal in mind.
Choosing to work with an independent partner to help deliver an NxM strategy can ensure that the best combination of technologies and network experience management tools are adopted. This can then enable an exceptional mobile experience, while avoiding unnecessary CapEx investment.
Explore how an effective NxM strategy can treat your network as a single optimized whole, whether your subscriber is indoors or outdoors.