After the Gold Rush: Preparing for the Future in the Fibre Market
Many are already comparing the current rollout of fibre networks to a gold rush. Everyone, governments and companies, invest millions in new networks. Ensuring fast and fair broadband access seems to have become a market priority. Traditional incumbent operators have to compete in a new market where new fibre network providers offer faster broadband speeds for less money. And whether they are selling to customers or businesses, these providers work with a wide range of ISPs to provide fibre service to their target customers.
Customers also increasingly demand more data and more funding availability. Indeed, governments in many countries have policies to encourage competition and choice for their customers. In other words, that is the seed that spawns this new “fibre gold rush”.
Internet usage is growing frenetically. In many markets, it is growing by 25% yearly, and part of this percentage is in households and companies without access to fibre broadband. Therefore, the trendy “build it and they will come” approach seems the right path to follow.
But when all this is over, what will be the reason for a customer’s decision to choose one offer over another? The only thing that is certain is that there will be consolidation. On the one hand, there will be providers that will be swallowed by a larger operator. Other providers will find it difficult to consolidate. But both, winners and losers, everything will depend on the decisions made today about the platforms they select to build their business architecture on.
There are three main pillars: customer experience, business agility and end-to-end automation. With this, fibre providers can have a platform on which to grow their business and differentiate themselves when the initial fibre growth curve begins to stabilise. These systems will enable the following approaches for fibre providers:
A digital-first approach is perfect for sales, marketing, support and service. This should encompass app-based and web-based channels through an app that allows customers to have access and control over everything. Yet, this approach should not be limited to customers. Too often, business customer of telecommunications services still has to go through call centres. Yet, this has proven to be a waste of money and time since the best customer experience is nowadays delivered through digital channels. Therefore, all fibre customers should be served by this kind of digital-first channels.
2. New levels of business agility
Many fibre providers already include content services from their partners. New operators are also getting creative in their marketing strategies and offering things like “refer a friend” bonuses. But how long does it really take to create and launch a new content-based offer? With traditional BSS, the answer is: too long. In the new advent of increased agility and rapid market changes, the new BSS approach using no-code is the answer. This allows the fibre provider’s users to use a GUI to develop, test and launch new offerings and processes on their own. Instead of months. It takes only hours and provides a new level of business agility to the fibre provider.
3. A zero-touch approach
A zero-touch approach can significantly improve the time for new customers to be operational. Coupled with an app/web function that allows the customer to schedule installation visits, we will obtain higher customer satisfaction while saving on costs. Additionally, if APIs are standard within the industry, fibre providers will be able to integrate with these platforms from day one.
4. Support multiple brands on a single platform
As it has happened in many other markets, we will also see consolidation in the fibre market. It is also very likely that fibre providers will launch new brands, e.g., a business-focused brand independent from their consumer brand. That is why it is important that the systems that suppliers obtain today are able to support multiple brands on a single platform to save time, money and effort.
The “fibre gold rush” is on. The pace of fibre deployment is growing exponentially thanks to the high demand, funding levels and open competitive policies. Ae previously mentioned, the system choices fibre providers make today will determine how success.
Luis Rodríguez-Ovejero Gómez, Director / Corporate Entrepeneur at alvatross by SATEC
Tero Nieminen, VP Partnerships, Qvantel
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