Increasingly cable operators are stressing a broadband-first approach, which means making sure the network is primed to provide the demanded speeds. But it is also about making sure that with the growing number of devices connected in the home that the operator is in a place to be able to diagnose issues and ensure that the customer is on a plan that makes sense according to usage.
"There is not an industry (out there) growing in demand as fast as this," said Mark Trudeau, CEO and founder of OpenVault. "There is 30% growth year over year per household …. (Operators) need to grow revenues to support the demand on their networks."
Studies indicate that potential cord cutters already use 15-20% more bandwidth than the average customer before they leave cable, Trudeau said. Once the set-top box goes away in a household and every TV is connected to the Internet, there is a lot of simultaneous video streaming happening, yet two-thirds of the time the subscriber stays on the same broadband package.
"To us, all those subscribers are big time revenue opportunities," Trudeau said. "(The operator) should consider trying to upgrade right there (at the moment the cord is cut) and drive (more) revenue per month. They can replace video with a much higher revenue on the broadband side."
With visibility into the network and into the devices behind the modem, operators are better able to pinpoint which subscribers are ripe for a plan upgrade. For example, if a particular household is bumping up against the provision speed every Friday when they are having a family movie or game night, they could be a candidate for upgrade.
"(Visibility) helps shine a light on those types of (situations)," Trudeau said.
Data consumption over time can be tracked, and average megabits per second consumed can be compared to what has been purchased.
"Thirty percent or more of subscribers would be happier with a higher bandwidth speed," Trudeau said.
The ROI of analytics is promising as it only takes a small percentage of customers to upgrade in order to recoup costs. Ongoing revenue can be increased by 10-20%, Trudeau said, while at the same time truck rolls and phone calls can be reduced. "Both ends improve, and margins increase substantially."
Specifically, operators assign a figure of $100-150 per truck roll, which is a costly default solution, Trudeau said, particularly when there often is nothing a field technician can do so solve the problem.
"Maybe the network is congested, or it could be a subscriber on the wrong plan. It is really important with a broadband-first strategy that ducks are in a row, not just with the network but operationally with customer care," Trudeau said. "Sales teams (should be) armed with the information they need to 'right size' the customer bandwidth to usage needs."