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Cable/MSOs: Are Your Customers’ QoS Experiences a Mystery?

Cable and multiple system operators (MSOs) know that quality of service (QoS) and service availability are their two most important key performance indicators (KPIs), which directly relate to customer churn. In your efforts to meet customer demands for quality, connectivity, and availability, you are now deploying more fiber than DSL in your networks, and fiber installation is gaining on hybrid fiber-coaxial cable (HFC) too.

Between the U.S. and Canada, 32 million homes are connected to fiber and 73 million have FTTx lines going past them. In the U.S. alone, more than 10 million homes are being connected to fiber each year. That’s a lot more data to a lot of subscribers with a lot of potential growth. Additionally, cable operators are adapting distributed access architecture (DAA) to shift network intelligence from the cable end and into the access network. In a recent Omdia survey, 48 percent of cable operators reported they have partially or fully adopted DAA and 49 percent reported they plan to adopt it. That’s a lot of network transformation.

Challenges with FTTx and DAA

Both developments create new and myriad challenges for operators. Your network is getting more complex as more bandwidth is pushed further out to the edge. You may be running numerous versions of software with virtualized services, which have a further multiplier effect on software instances. You will have more configuration changes. And, as your network functions and intelligence expand toward the edge and more variables are introduced, your operations team now has twice as much—or more—work to do monitoring new alarms and KPIs. 

To address these exponentially increasing complexities, you require monitoring all the way to the new edge and a solution that can scale issues using artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), freeing up your various operations and security teams to address the outliers that matter and automating responses to the rest. Additionally, you want a monitoring solution that can be leveraged by all your teams throughout all the phases of the deployment and life cycle of your architecture and one that can answer/address your perennial issues, including:

  • Service availability. How do you know your customers have service? If they’re out of service, exactly how many are affected?
  • Customer experience. If you’re going to deploy a solution, how do you measure that? What is the QoS? How do you know?
  • Bonus—mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) offload. Can you tell if your customers’ traffic is landing on your Wi-Fi or network and not getting pushed back into LTE?

Solutions for Cable and Multiple System Operators

The NETSCOUT solution for these issues, Smart Data, uses network latency and response automation to detect, prioritize, and isolate users who are impacted. You can choose to focus on issues based on hardware, software, customer, location, or services/applications. Thanks to deep packet inspection (DPI), you have real flexibility. Furthermore, with this end-to-end visibility, you can isolate service issues to the core, last mile, or user’s domain and distinguish between client and server latency. This deep visibility combined with automation lets you:

  • Automate the mundane
  • Eliminate eyes on glass while discovering what humans can’t
  • Reduce finger-pointing
  • Reduce mean time to resolution (MTTR)
  • Prioritize responses
  • Reduce truck rolls
  • Keep operational costs down

Recently, NETSCOUT Sales Engineering Director Jeff Templeton, sales engineering director for NETSCOUT’s North American service provider sat down with Light Reading’s cable/video practice leader, Alan Breznick, to talk about these technology trends—their benefits and challenges—in the “Are Your Cable/Fixed/FTTX Customers Impacted by Service Issues?” webinar.
Templeton also discussed:

  • The best time for operators to implement and roll out their monitoring solutions
  • Challenges and solutions for cable operators in delivering new, revenue-generating services— including whether some services are easier or more difficult to monitor
  • Possible new security risks in DAA, along with solutions for avoiding those risks

When asked who would benefit the most from viewing this webinar, Templeton said, “I encourage any cable/MSO who understands—or wants to understand—their challenges in latency visibility and their security risks to spend a few minutes watching. It’s absolutely worth your time, and feel free to contact me personally, if you have any questions.”

Do all your customers have service? What is their service level? How do you know? Nothing is more important than making sure your subscribers have service availability and that they receive quality services. Watch this free webinar and learn how cable/MSOs can gain visibility to these essential measurements over hybrid coax, DAA, and Wi-Fi.

Get a clue to your customers’ QoS! Watch “Are Your Cable/Fixed/FTTX Customers Impacted by Outages?”

Read the data sheet “Exponentially Increasing Internet Use Creates Exponential Challenges.”

About the Author

As senior marketing program manager for service provider products, Lauren Womack increases brand awareness and brings relevant technical data to communications service providers (CSPs) about NETSCOUT solutions and how they can maximize emerging technologies for outstanding customer experience and network assurance. <br><br> Prior to her current NETSCOUT position, Womack was a project manager in software development, an engineering technical writer, and an operations analyst. She regularly spreads the NETSCOUT story via numerous articles, blogs, and social media channels and creates order out of chaos.