Ways to Save and Improve Network ROI for Regional Operators

The recent increase in inflation has driven up the costs of pretty much everything. Along with essentials like food and utilities, supply chain expenses for regional operators have also skyrocketed. For example, inflation was responsible for doubling RDOF build costs thanks to rising prices for labor, materials, and fuel.

This makes finding ways to save and improve network ROI even more important for regional ISPs. Not only can a little extra money help fight the inflation battle, it can also mean more resources are available for equipment upgrades, new hires/raises, or leeway to provide discounts to customers.

With big telcos increasingly crowding the fixed wireless market, competition is only getting fiercer. As a result, it’s more important than ever for regional operators to a) provide great customer service that differentiates them from the national carriers and b) find ways to save a little coin that can then be reinvested to grow the business. Let’s look at a few examples and how we think Preseem might be able to help.

Lower Your Support Costs

Providing support to customers can be a major cost center for growing ISPs. Tickets, calls, and costly truck rolls can usually be expected to increase as your subscriber base expands. However, it’s inefficient (and stressful) to have your support team constantly overwhelmed by slow-internet calls. It’s also a major drain on resources if your techs are logging excessive windscreen time driving to all corners of your territory to check on access points or a customer’s in-home router placement.

The good news is that giving your customers a better quality of experience (QoE) will take care of these issues for you. With Preseem, you can isolate parts of the network that provide poor QoE, whether it’s a tower, an AP, or an individual subscriber’s connection, and address the issue proactively before the customer calls. QoE-optimized traffic shaping helps eliminate slow internet complaints, while lower latency means the internet simply feels faster to subscribers. This means happier customers and support staff and fewer costly truck rolls and fuel expenses.

A woman is on a Zoom call with friends

Reduce Customer Churn

Reducing customer churn is another great way to save (and make) money for regional ISPs. As mentioned in our Turn Down the Churn blog, it can cost up to 5x more to get a new customer than to keep one you already have. Existing customers also spend, on average, over 30% more than new ones, so crushing your churn rate is a great way to boost your Average Revenue Per User (ARPU).

We use Active Queue Management (AQM) traffic shaping to help regional operators delight their customers and reduce churn. AQM prioritizes interactive traffic (like gaming or VoIP calls) over bulk transfers (such as streaming video) to ease congestion, reduce latency, and make QoE better for everyone in the home. These simple techniques will fix those “our Netflix quality is terrible when my kids are playing Minecraft” issues. Churn rates will go down as a result, and your support and finance teams will be just as happy as your subscribers.

As a real-world example, find out how our client techCONNECT increased their ARPU by 65% and lowered their churn rate to 4% with Preseem.

Save on Training and Retraining

To operate a fixed wireless network of any size, regional ISPs have to use a variety of equipment, tools, and systems from an equally wide range of vendors. When a new model comes out or the organization decides to add or switch to a new vendor, this can incur expensive training to get staff up to speed. Costly integration work might also be required, pushing up the total cost of ownership.

A member of a support team conducting a call with a client

To alleviate this, Preseem’s QoE-optimized plan enforcement offers a single point of enforcement across access technologies and vendors to reduce integration complexity and make it easier to introduce new vendors and models to the network. This means your finance team can more easily switch or add new vendors without organization-wide retraining costs.

As well, our AP and CPE Metrics provide a common interface that allows your team to answer questions and investigate customer problems without needing access to or actually learning the vendor tools. This means less time staring and comparing on multiple systems, as well as reduced training and vendor-specific expertise requirements for support and network staff.

Invest Wisely to Improve Network ROI

We’re all familiar with the phrase, “You have to spend money to make money.” This is the case in any business, including fixed wireless and fiber networks. In order to grow, you’re going to need to invest in your network in many ways, including technical areas like APs, backhauls, optical cables, the list goes on.

The key here is investing wisely. Preseem’s QoE metrics are directly tied to the network topology, allowing you to target the specific areas of your network that are delivering a poor experience. For example, you’ll be able to quickly identify where an issue is in the network (e.g. overloaded access points or backhauls, bad optical cables) or is only affecting one subscriber (e.g. in-home Wi-Fi problems).

Tower climber making adjustments to a network tower

This means you can proactively target investigations, improvements, and CAPEX investment into areas of the network that are delivering a poor experience. In turn, this means happier customers, less churn, more revenue—you see where we’re going with this. As well, our Automatic Access Point Capacity Management feature ensures a good subscriber experience even on overloaded APs, meaning you can actually delay CAPEX on upgrading APs without it affecting your customers.

Get the Most Bang for Your Sales and Marketing Buck

Marketing expenses can add up quickly, especially if you’re not sure where to target your advertising dollars. Knowing which areas of your network have the capacity to add more subscribers can be challenging, and can often lead to conflict between your sales and marketing team and your access network operations staff. Being able to identify those areas, however, can ease that tension and provide the added benefit of making your ad spend more efficient and effective.

In Preseem, we make this simple by providing an Access Point Subscriber Capacity score for each AP. Our unique data modeling and analysis converts complicated airtime and usage patterns into a simple count of the number of subscribers the AP can handle. This allows you to target your marketing and sales efforts into areas with available capacity with no new CAPEX required. More revenue with no additional investment needed? That’s a real win-win 🙌

For more tips on how regional ISPs can improve network ROI and grow in an increasingly competitive market, check out these Best Practices for Success provided by successful operators currently using Preseem.

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