The show must go on: the connectivity pipeline

The show must go on: the connectivity pipeline

24 June 2020 | Karsten Gewecke, SVP and head of EMEA

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Karsten Gewecke, SVP and head of EMEA

Blog Author | Zyxel Communications

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Karsten Gewecke, SVP and head of EMEA, Zyxel Communications, shares his top connectivity trends for a post-Covid business landscape.

The need for fast, seamless internet connectivity has never been greater as more people work and study from home to limit the spread of Covid-19. This significant shift has put a renewed focus on the role and importance of internet service providers (ISPs) in our daily lives.

Even with this shift, however, ISPs must keep up with technology, differentiate their products and services from the competition and, most importantly, create an exceptional subscriber experience.

Maximising the customer relationship

ISPs can make the most of customer relationships by enhancing data speeds and bandwidth and offering access to new services and opportunities. For example, ISPs can partner with content production companies to offer exclusive access for users. Or, with a financial service provider to create a unique dual-membership model.

These partnerships and opportunities are forming today. From AT&T’s purchase of HBO to Verizon’s partnership with Disney+, these deals create meaningful experiences that strengthen long-term customer relationships and maximize average revenue per user (ARPU).

First mover or fast follower? 5G and Wi-Fi 6

The customer relationship itself is built on the tools and technology providers offer. Moving into the next decade, ISPs will need to simultaneously balance long-term growth and cost minimisation, while being agile enough to adapt to new technologies.

5G offers the opportunity for ISP’s to create a bigger pipeline, faster data streaming and a lower latency, all of which consumers need. Likewise, it could downscale the requirement for neighborhood infrastructure and become the required source for internet connectivity to the home, mobile and phone.

A similar concept is applicable to WiFi 6 as it is expected to enable more devices to simultaneously operate on the same Wifi channel, improve efficiency, latency times and data throughput on wireless networks. With so many families working from home and the progress in IoT, such infrastructure will be critical now and in the future.

But, should ISPs move forward with these new technologies? While the return on investment may not be immediate, testing and deploying 5G and Wi-Fi 6 will help ISPs better prepare for widespread industry use and consumer demand. ISPs can also use 5G to expand their potential service area to reach new customers and differentiate themselves from the competition. 

To stand apart from the competition, ISPs must invest in compelling product and service offerings. This will require a great deal of strategic planning and coordination – and an understanding that investments may not pay off immediately but will enable returns well after their competition has fallen behind. Technology that enables whole-home connectivity for example, can ensure users have access whenever, and wherever, needed.

Organisational resilience and endurance: going beyond the norm
Additionally, to create sustainable, long-term growth, ISPs will need to explore new avenues for generating revenue and increasing ARPU. Whether through mergers and acquisitions or strategic alliances, ISPs must leverage their respective infrastructures to quickly deliver the content and services consumers desire.

Minimising possible user friction or service outage is just as important. ISPs who can limit the need for on-site technicians to install products will move to the front of the proverbial pack.

When support is necessary, vendors should be ready to offer local account contacts in lieu of remote tech support. Being able to quickly service customers will keep satisfaction levels high, while giving them a face-to-face connection with company employees.

New decade, new market

The market is evolving for internet service providers. Customer expectations are rising and technology is redefining how services are marketed, sold and delivered. By keeping these trends in mind, ISPs can differentiate themselves in what will undoubtedly be a hyper-competitive market.