Tektronix Communications VP for APAC Mike Ropicky explains how insight into users' behavior patterns can help telcos identify new revenue opportunities
Telecom Asia: Why are telcos now helping the OTT players, which not long ago were considered the "enemy", improve the quality of their services?
Ropicky: Every operator I speak to is keen to ensure its customers have great mobile experiences whether they're using the operator's own services or an OTT's. The goal has to be to ensure customers get what they need, even if they choose to use a competitor's service. Since customers don't discriminate, a poor experience is a poor experience so blame is usually laid at the feet of the operator, valid or not.
Of course, operators would rather retain the revenue, so our ability to identify which OTT services are being used, and by which subscribers, enables the operators to respond to problems far more effectively. That might be through product development, pricing strategies, or ensuring certain OTT services, particularly those used by high-value customers, are more closely performance monitored.
Is this happening globally? What about in APAC?
The OTT dynamic is absolutely a global one, as is the desire of both operators and regulators for more detailed service and customer insight.
In APAC our conversations with regulators are perhaps more advanced but, right across the world, operators and regulators are keen to have much more accurate, and detailed, real-time information about services subscribers use.
Specifically what tools are they using to closely monitor OTT traffic and what parameters are they measuring/tracking?
Through deep-packet classification our solutions identify the application or OTT provider sending or receiving each individual packet. We then report this in real time at the individual subscriber level. So, while operators would typically know the total data usage, we can tell them precisely what application it's being used on, what time, for how long, the quality of the experience and so on. All in real time.
Also, since this is at a subscriber level, operators get a detailed view of which services their best customers use. This information can be used in a variety of ways across marketing, pricing, service prioritization and even product development.
Regulators, on the other hand, can use the information to help understand macro shifts in revenues, giving them detailed insight into their losses.