You are on page 1of 10

The RAN Goldmine

The value of RAN network, subscriber and competitive intelligence to the business.

The primary focus of radio engineering and optimization departments is to keep mobile networks up and running. In the execution of this duty, the engineering function extracts and analyzes a plethora of data from the radio access network (RAN), in order to assess network performance and customer experience and make improvements as required. Unfortunately, once these activities are complete this RAN intelligence is often discarded as its value to the wider business has not been appreciated. Yet the reality is this data is supremely valuable to numerous departments across the wider business, including sales, marketing and customer care. The critical insights the RAN data provides can help generate significant improvements in business performance. Depriving the organisation of this intelligence also threatens to marginalize engineering departments. These teams often find themselves being excluded from broader operator discussions on customer experience, investment and emerging initiatives such as big data. These radio engineering teams can also struggle to build effective business cases for essential investment because they fail to show adequate benefits outside of engineering. Rather than working behind the scenes, its now time for RAN engineers to take ce nter stage. By making the rich data from the RAN available across the organization, engineering teams can unleash its full analytical value to help the business achieve its broader goals. This guide sets out the pivotal role that engineering teams can play in driving the success of the business, using the goldmine of RAN data that is available to them to deliver the insights and intelligence that are critical for sales, marketing and customer care. Its time for engineers to promote the value of their view of the network and subscribers to the rest of the business.

2|Page Copyright 2013 Actix Limited

The RAN Goldmine

Radio engineering generates an inordinate amount of data that is used to support both short term and long term optimization processes:
Data Call Traces Insights Geo-located call traces provide call by call insight into radio access performance segmented by customer and handset End-to-end performance of the mobile network at key locations Competitive insights when used as part of benchmarking Network element performance Engineering use Customer experience KPIs Neighbor planning Coverage analysis Capacity planning Small cell site selection KPI analysis Competitive benchmarking Network acceptance Ad-hoc testing KPI analysis Sector ranking Neighbor planning Capacity planning Identifying and isolating failures Understand network configuration Frequency planning Neighbor planning Coverage analysis

Drive & Walk Test

Network Element Performance Counters

Network Element Alarms & Trouble Tickets Network Configuration Data Switch Data

Network failures

Details on network configuration Relational performance counters Coverage and interference between sectors

Rather than discard this information, its important to realize that other departments are crying out for this level of visibility into the network. This data provides three valuable insights: Customer experience insight: Call traces and related data sources provide information on subscriber locations, their network activities such as calls and data transactions, and their quality of experience Network insight: Network element data highlights where the network is performing well, where it is overloaded or is unavailable due to faults Competitive insight: Benchmark data provides competitive ranking, not just at a ZIP / postcode level but down to individual streets

RAN departments can put themselves firmly in the spotlight if they harness RAN intelligence data and present it in formats suited to their non-technical peers. In doing so, they will play a pivotal role in better supporting corporate objectives, aligning their own priorities with those of the business, and aiding fellow departments with their day-to-day activities. 3|Page Copyright 2013 Actix Limited

RAN intelligence for Customer Care

Customer care departments crave accurate, up-to-date information on the radio access network Along with network quality the effectiveness of customer care in resolving customer issues is a major driver of customer satisfaction. Operator customer care teams are mature organizations well equipped to answer customers billing, usage and handset queries. They can do this because they have access to CRM and other BSS systems that give them the information they need. Unfortunately these teams struggle to answer questions about network quality and coverage. Furthermore third line (technical) support teams also struggle to resolve customer issues quickly due to a lack of easily accessible radio access performance data which would enable them to pinpoint the cause of the problem. These delays impact customer satisfaction, increase workload and foster the perception in the business that the network is always the problem. It doesnt need to be this way. Technical Customer Care would benefit from direct access to RAN insights that help them understand: The coverage and quality of the network in the geographies where their subscribers are complaining Network faults that directly impact subscriber experience Where there is poor network performance, such as low capacity The experience of individual subscribers, where they are dropping calls and why i.e. is it a network, handset or customer specific problem?

The Actix experience When Customer Care has RAN insights, complaint resolution times have been cut by up to 80%, substantially reducing the time and effort to deliver a good customer experience. A large AsiaPacific operator has achieved a five-fold reduction in its technical customer care's investigation time per issue, from an average of 40 minutes to eight.

4|Page Copyright 2013 Actix Limited

RAN intelligence for Marketing

Marketing teams lack last mile customer visibility Marketing departments undertake a broad range of activities to both attract and retain subscribers. To support these activities they need to understand where to roll out new services for maximum uptake, determine where best to place advertising and identify customers who are likely to churn. Unfortunately marketing departments often rely on static market research and competitive intelligence to drive their decision making. The lack of live use information, especially when it comes to the radio access network, results in a lack of timely and critical insight to make activities as effective as possible. Marketing teams need access to accurate, easy to consume RAN intelligence. Access to network, customer and competitive intelligence will enable them to transform their approach to common activities: Targeting dissatisfied customers who may churn: Using RAN intelligence marketing departments can identify where network black spots impact customer experience and whether this results in complaints or churn. Subsequently, they can proactively target subscribers in those locations with offers such as residential femto cells. Targeting advertising campaigns: Campaigns are more effective when they reach a receptive audience. By knowing in which locations and time periods target segments (such as roamers or iPhone users) congregate, and the network quality and competitive ranking in these areas, marketing departments can design surgical campaigns to attract them. Product launches: Launching new products to market can be a hit or miss affair. Using RAN intelligence marketing departments can identify where receptive customers are located, whether the network can support the new services in those locations and if the retail stores there will have sufficient coverage. Managing reputation on social media: Social media has made some people very influential very quickly. By combing RAN intelligence and social media marketing, departments can understand where influencial users are congregating and whether they are receiving the right level of network quality.

The Actix experience One Asian operator achieved immediate benefits by providing its marketing department with easy access to RAN intelligence. The operator was promoting 3G dongles, but experiencing a high number of returns. Using RAN intelligence it quickly realized the dongles were being sold in areas where 3G coverage was poor which was causing immediate customer dissatisfaction and churn.

5|Page Copyright 2013 Actix Limited

RAN intelligence for Sales

Sales teams care about the coverage they provide to their corporate customers! Corporate clients are the lucrative high value customers that operators strive to attract and retain. However, these corporate accounts are very demanding and retaining them is a high touch activity. To support this operators have invested in CRM and SQM systems that attempt to build a picture of corporate customer experience. Unfortunately though, when looking at how well the mobile network performs at key corporate locations the sales teams have to resort to manual data gathering and guess work. This lack of network insight makes it very time consuming for sales teams to: Back up claims of network superiority Refute complaints about coverage, especially indoors Develop action plans to address corporate coverage complaints Determine the impact of network issues on corporate customers

These issues place a heavy burden on the organization and often result in only a fraction of corporate clients receiving the right level of attention. Sales teams need instant access to RAN intelligence, allowing them to quickly build up a picture of corporate account performance, competitive strengths and any impacting issues. Giving them the ability to generate reports and views quickly means they can proactively engage with corporate clients about their coverage and experience.

The Actix experience

Through Actixs work with CTOs and Heads of Network, it has become evident that the delivery and demonstration of superior services is a key area where RAN teams can partner with the operators sales organization. Discovering that its possible to generate corporate coverage reports was the eureka moment for a European CTO during an Actix meeting and provided the compelling justification for their RAN investment.

6|Page Copyright 2013 Actix Limited

Aligning the RAN to the business

Promoting the pivotal role of the RAN and engineering to the business The most successful operators are those that understand how essential the network is to delivering both their revenue and cost commitments. Engineering teams have a real opportunity to not only promote the RAN as a key asset to the rest of the organization, but position the engineering department as the critical enabler in exploiting this RAN intelligence. Here are six ways that RAN teams can promote their role within the business: 1. Be the eyes and ears on the ground. Engineering teams have unique visibility into the location and experience of subscribers. As no other department in the mobile operator can provide this, share the information. 2. Report in real-time, not three months late. Present evolving situations as they occur. Recently, an operator working with Actix tracked the network impact of a large street protest. Instead of the blind statement that the network was the problem when accounting for service issues, there was the appreciative reply the engineering team told us why the network became overloaded and helped us understand what we could do in the future. 3. Present complex network concepts in terms the business will understand. Use subscriber-based KPIs to demonstrate where investment needs to be made. For example, small cells will present a new set of challenges to the business so accurate RAN intelligence will transform the site selection. 4. Move from network KPIs to customer KPIs. Traditional network KPIs dont often resonate with the business. Operator management teams are often presented with all green network KPIs that conflict with messages they are getting from customer care and CSAT measures. Use customer experience KPIs to demonstrate support for the business and engage in quality improvement campaigns that have real customer impact for example minimize iPhone 5 dropped call rates in the central business district. 5. Make outsource partners work harder. In outsourced environments access to accurate RAN intelligence can be used to align outsource partners around operator goals regarding network performance, customer experience and competitive ranking. 6. Support and dont get sidelined by key initiatives such as CEM and Big Data. Big data and CEM initiatives, despite their all-encompassing scope, often limit themselves to easy to collect OSS and BSS data sources. By supplying RAN intelligence to extend their scope to the last mile, engineering departments can support and influence the outcome of these projects.

7|Page Copyright 2013 Actix Limited

Delivering RAN intelligence

Making RAN intelligence available to the rest of the organization is a two phase process. Firstly engineering teams need to consolidate key RAN data sources in one location. Secondly they need to make it easy for external teams to access and reuse this information, which was originally collected to support engineering activities.

Phase One - consolidate RAN intelligence

Engineering departments often find their valuable RAN data distributed around a dozen different point tools making it difficult to provide a joined-up view. Actixs ActixOne platform delivers a unified RAN workspace that automates an unparalleled breadth of analytical and optimization activities. ActixOne is a multi-vendor, multi technology platform that supports all key RAN data sources, embeds automated diagnostics and solution finding algorithms, and delivers visualization, analysis and optimization capabilities through a web based interface.

ActixOnes primary benefit is to simplify and streamline common engineering activities such as network rollout, optimization and customer experience analysis. The secondary benefit is that by consolidating the activities onto one centralized platform engineering departments will build an effective RAN data repository that can be used by the rest of the organization.

8|Page Copyright 2013 Actix Limited

Phase Two - expose RAN intelligence

The next stage is to make RAN intelligence available to the rest of the organization. To support this ActixOne provides an interactive, web-based interface, embedded reporting and dashboards that make the sharing process easy.

ActixOne Is built on the scalable Oracle database platform and therefore is capable of supporting thousands of users and terabytes of data. It has modular architecture, enabling operators to expand their analytics capabilities as the mobile network grows or new data sources become available.

9|Page Copyright 2013 Actix Limited

By harnessing their unique customer, network and competitive insights engineering teams can take center stage within the operators business. RAN intelligence has real value outside of day-to-day engineering. It can be used to support sales, marketing and customer care, improving the effectiveness of their activities and helping to achieve significant increases in subscriber acquisition and retention. The RAN is a critical asset and pivotal to the success of the business; the time has come to leverage its full potential.

About Actix
Actix is the recognized global leader in mobile RAN analytics and optimization, providing the worlds operators and vendors with actionable subscriber, network and competitive intelligence to realise the full potential of their networks. Founded in 1991, Actix has built an unrivalled customer base of over 400 operators and equipment vendors who use its award winning solutions to rollout LTE on time, improve customer experience in the RAN and optimize their multi-vendor 2G, 3G and 4G networks. Actix has been a driving force in transforming the worlds mobile networks, delivering cutting-edge, carrierproven solutions that are the de facto standard. With offices across Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, China and Japan, Actix can offer the scale and global perspective that are critical in todays dynamic mobile landscape.

Want to know more?

For further information about the ActixOne platform please contact us. Email: Tel: +44 (0) 208 735 6300 Web:

10 | P a g e Copyright 2013 Actix Limited