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Anyone who’s ever gone within shouting distance of a broadband trade confab — which is going to be the bulk of people reading these words — might have had engineering dreams (or nights awake?) about subscriber quality of experience (QoE). Most operators talk a lot about it, but what’s the reality of walking the walk?

Service speed, reliable WiFi and pricing options are the most significant influences to subscriber QoE, according to a new survey release by Incognito Software Systems with 45 percent of respondents reporting service speed as the biggest influence on their QoE. Just over 31 percent chose WiFi reliability and 21 percent chose pricing – but given the choice of improving just one element of their service, nearly 40 percent would choose to change pricing.

Only 34 percent of respondents would recommend their provider to a friend, but most do not switch providers themselves: Just one tenth of respondents had changed their service provider within the past year, and – though a further 31 percent had considered it – 32 percent had not considered a change.

General web browsing (social media, shopping, online banking, etc.) still accounts for the majority of Internet use, and desktops and laptops still account for the majority of connected devices – but trends are shifting: 67 percent of 18-24-year-old respondents use smartphones to connect to the Internet, compared to 51 percent of all respondents, and 18-24-year-olds polled were 2.5 times more likely to use the Internet primarily to stream music and video. This suggests providers will have to contend with more devices and more bandwidth-intensive applications going forward, according to the report.

“In this era of subscriber monetization, it’s essential that broadband providers clearly grasp what’s important to their existing subscribers,” Stephane Bourque, president and CEO of Incognito, says. “As our survey shows, providers are expected to do more than ever before – provide faster speeds, lower prices and superior WiFi capabilities to live up to their subscribers’ demands. To meet this high bar, providers must seek out the appropriate tools to gather smarter network insights, improve device and home network management capabilities, and provide subscribers with tailored services that meet their unique needs.”

 

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