Decreased productivity. Lost revenue. User frustration. Customer service calls.
These are just a handful of the problems that internet service interruptions can cause, even with premium service packages. The good news is that a better experience is possible for both customers and operators.
Evolving Expectations for Connectivity
Just as consumer behaviors related to the internet have changed since the start of the COVID pandemic, so have consumer expectations. It’s more important than ever to be online all the time. Dependable connectivity is essential as more workers do business from home and virtual learning has become commonplace for students.
Before the pandemic, roughly a third of broadband customers polled in a 2018 PWC survey identified internet performance drops as more of a concern than any other internet service-related factor, such as speed or security. More recently, Cisco’s Broadband Index 2022 report found that more than three-quarters of surveyed consumers in the United States and Canada regard reliability as the most important aspect of their broadband service.
Recent CableLabs research found that many users don’t hesitate to troubleshoot an unreliable connection on their own. According to the research done prior to the pandemic, nearly two-thirds of mobile customers felt the need to manually troubleshoot their network connectivity when they perceived poor quality of experience. Those same customers also believed that the quickest and most effective solution to this problem was to turn off Wi-Fi and rely on their cellular network instead.
Aside from the frustration for users, this manual shift in networks can also result in direct and indirect losses for operators. But a more straightforward solution exists, and it can alleviate pains for customers and service providers alike.
How Seamless Connectivity Can Help
Seamless connectivity means an optimized experience for users that relieves them from needing to manually manage their networks. Instead, they can enjoy a broadband experience in which applications load faster, video calls are never interrupted and a connection is always available, no matter where they are.
Operators reap benefits too. Seamless connectivity can improve the operator’s cost savings and create more loyal customers, which can reduce churn.
Seamless Connectivity Challenges of the Past
Before, standards-based solutions that would allow for premium connectivity experiences required infrastructure changes. Those solutions were expensive for the service provider because they required hardware upgrades or new hardware altogether. Other software solutions have been user-centric, leaving service providers without any control over how traffic is routed.
Because these network-centric and user-centric solutions weren’t designed to work together, service providers have had no control over how traffic is routed and what the customer experiences—all with often costly consequences.
Application-Aware Technologies Solve the Problem
New solutions on the market can benefit both mobile and fixed broadband service providers and create a premium user experience.
Automated technologies can deliver seamless connectivity and provide operators with more control over the customer experience. These application-aware networking tools bridge the gap between the solutions of the past, and they’re possible without the need for additional hardware or device reconfiguration.
How Do They Work?
Customization of traffic routing rules is easy and can be enabled on a per-customer, per-application-type basis, allowing traffic to be routed over the best-quality network for the needs of each application. For mobile service providers, this means having the capability to shift network traffic to 4G/5G when a home or business Wi-Fi connection is poor—and then back to Wi-Fi when the connection issue is resolved.
Imagine these technologies at work in other ways. Consider the congestion of a shopping mall during the holiday season. A Wi-Fi network is likely available, but it may do little to no good for the throngs of users trying to access it at the same time. New network tools would automatically recognize the connectivity issue and reroute traffic over a user’s cellular network until the quality of the Wi-Fi connectivity improves. And this would all happen seamlessly, without the users needing to figure it out on their own or even think about it.
Imagine a second example, where a user at home is experiencing an outage on their fixed broadband service. For broadband service providers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), other new solutions would route home broadband traffic from wired access to a cellular hotspot during the outage—and back again when the outage is over. This again allows for continuous, uninterrupted service for the user while giving the operator complete control over the user’s experience.
Always On, Always Connected
When it comes to internet connectivity, users expect more than ever—and they rely on it. High-speed service simply isn’t enough. Customers want—and need—to know they are reliably connected all the time. To ensure this, they are increasingly relying on multiple connectivity services, both wired and wireless, and within wireless, both mobile and Wi-Fi.
Application-based policy routing technologies remove this burden. They are more responsive to network conditions and networks are more responsive to application needs. This results in a premium user experience, which in turn translates to a happier customer base for providers. As one example of a solution that makes this possible, Kyrio’s Adaptive Route Control (ARC) product line makes this easier than ever to achieve.