Why Quality of Experience should be key in price sensitive Telecom markets

Last updated: 04 January 2017




Offering voice calls at the lowest rate to subscribers – is that all it takes to attract and retain a subscriber? Thankfully, the answer is ‘no’! India’s telecom industry has one of the most competitive tariffs worldwide, resulting in substantial subscriber growth every year. Customer retention and acquisition is driven by the idea – ‘how satisfied are they from the services provided?’.

Moreover, the different service providers have encountered a varying monthly churn rate – an average of 7% with over 95% of its subscribers pre-paid. Globally, it’s been shown that acquiring a new subscriber is almost five times more expensive than retaining an existing one. And now with the launch of ‘free voice and data promo offer’ by Reliance JIO 4G, the market has entered a price war. So what’s the motivation for mobile network operators (MNOs)? Well, India’s telecom market, with a wireless subscriber base of over 1 billion, has an urban tele-density of over 150%, and has huge opportunity for growth in rural areas which only has 51% tele-density.

A sensible way to tap this potential and retain subscribers is to avoid the trap of “lowest price” and provide your subscribers the one thing they always care for: “A good Quality of Experience” (QoE)!

Currently, ‘Call Drop’ (service provider’s inability to maintain a call, either incoming or outgoing, once it has been correctly established)  is a big concern for subscribers in India and the government. Wouldn’t you be ready to pay a bit extra if your service provider delivers a much better voice quality, omnipresent network coverage and uninterrupted good data speed? Yes! And that becomes the differentiator for MNOs that every subscriber is looking for.

For this to happen, MNOs need to carefully monitor and optimize their current network before investing in expanding infrastructure. They need a solution to collect Real-Time data, analyse it and present a simple customer interface. This will help MNOs to understand the mobile devices in the field and collect information on possible issues like call-drops, loss of network coverage and drop in data speed. By using this intelligence, MNOs can prioritize developing areas.

As a subscriber, you expect a customer care executive to provide solution instantly, and not just the usual answers like: “restart your phone please” or “try again after two hours”. And this can be done, when every subscriber is treated as a unique person. With the help of the QoE solution, an executive will have true end-to-end, traffic and subscriber information across different layers. With this, s(he)  can quickly identify and provide better solutions. Thus MNOs can satisfy their subscribers and have the icing on the cake, saving on such operational customer care centre costs. QoE can even be helpful for connected devices under the IoT, which is the next revenue stream for telecom service providers in India aiming to play a key role in Smart Cities.

A consumer survey shows four main pain points of smartphone users. Such users would even agree to pay premium for better Quality of Experience and Quality of Service, so they can enjoy the benefits of their expensive phones. Whether it’s a price sensitive market like India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka or any other developed saturated telecom market, subscribers expect ‘Quality of Experience’ from their service providers. With multiple non-voice services coming on board, it’s becoming increasingly important not only to retain and attract subscribers, but also to open more revenue streams.

What do you think about the challenges ahead for Telecom Service Providers? Please share your thoughts at @Gemalto_Asia or post a comment below.

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