Friday, 16 January 2009

Analysing end user metrics - the next battleground in mobile broadband?

I had an interesting meeting the Simon Bransfield-Garth, European MD of Carrier IQ this morning. We discussed the applicability of Carrier IQ's user experience analytics tool to mobile broadband. It's a target segment for them and they are certainly making strides.

The principle is that mobile broadband device vendors can embed a client in a USB modem (or other device) to inform MNOs of what the user is experiencing. Not what the user experience should be, but what it actually is.

There are a number of smart applications for this kind of information:
  1. Customer service can use it to analyse the source of a client's problem. They will be able to pinpoint which element of the service is underperforming. As a result they will be able to tailor upgrades, refunds and repairs much more accurately.
  2. Retention will be able to identify which groups of users are more or less attractive for retention and tailor their offers as appropriate.
  3. CTO can use it to identify gaps in coverage. MNOs today know theoretically where their coverage is good but gaining insight on the actual user experience for their customers will allow them to determine where there are gaps that need filling.
  4. Propositions can use it as a stepping stone towards offering different grades of service. This is an appealing prospect for MNOs given the commoditised nature of mobile broadband. However it is impossible to offer grades of service without being able to measure and validate user experience.

In short, in a highly commoditised and rapidly maturing market, customer analytics allow MNOs to deliver mobile broadband more efficiently, wringing every cent out of its subscriber base in the most efficient manner.

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