5G is coming but it’s going to be significantly more expensive than previous generations of mobile technology. MNOs need to make more of LTE, which means taking steps to deliver a better customer experience, particularly for key services such as video. By collaborating with Tambora, they can do so, cost-effectively.
There has been a great deal of news over the summer regarding early-stage 5G launches that are due to take place in the coming months. One report, from the GSA, an industry association, suggests that as many as 67 operators, spread across 39 countries have announced their intention to launch 5G services between 2018 and 2022. This list is sure to grow.
This is exciting, but we need to be realistic. Such is the cost of deploying 5G networks that commercial success will remain a distant ambition. It’s not just the infrastructure, we must also consider site acquisition, planning applications, backhaul and more. 5G will be expensive, although costs will doubtless fall in time, but that’s some years away. MNOs need to cover these costs and increase returns from their current investments.
That’s why it’s important not to be carried away by the hype and to remember that we already have a powerful mobile network. In most countries, 4G / LTE is well-developed, provides extensive (though not universal) coverage, and offers high-speed access with rates that are comparable to or better than many fixed access techniques. Despite these advantages – and the sunk costs – the potential of LTE has not been properly exploited. Many users suffer from a sub-optimal experience, particularly when viewing on-demand or streamed video, which means that they are unable to consistently enjoy the content they wish to access.
This is a problem for both MNOs and Content Providers alike, as a negative experience can deter users from returning to view video or encourage them to churn to rivals. MNOs and Content Providers need to ensure that they deliver on what they promise, both to meet current expectations and to unlock new opportunities through the creation of targeted packages, offers and bundles.
While some are focused on the potential of 5G to deliver this, LTE is perfectly capable of providing a means to deliver both premium content as well as a consistent experience. It’s just that MNOs and Content Providers have not been able to do so.
That’s because they haven’t had a way to optimise user sessions, in real-time to overcome any service inconsistencies or disruptions. If they were able to offer a guarantee of service performance for video consumption, for example, they could maximise the performance of LTE to deliver a better experience today – and monetise it through premium offers. That’s what Tambora enables.
What’s more, it’s not just video. There is a huge opportunity for MNOs to drive more business from their existing LTE assets and to introduce innovative commercial models. Quality assurance in general is an overlooked but immediate opportunity. It’s something that is long overdue for monetisation and this can be achieved on anything from mission-critical applications and enterprise services, all the way to other forms of entertainment, such as gaming.
Tambora Systems unique gQoE solution allows MNOs and Content Providers to deliver premium and optimised video experiences to users, in real-time and per session, which means they can make the most of LTE services effectively and efficiently. The same solution can enable guaranteed quality assurance for a wide range of other services, creating further monetisation opportunities.
It’s available through a true collaboration model, which means there’s no CAPEX – allowing MNOs to leverage service optimisation and to sweat existing LTE assets without additional investment. So, before jumping to 5G, why not take steps to make more of your existing assets?