How Differences in Pakistan's Mobile Use Served to Highlight Our Similarities
Sean P. Orrell - Metricell Presales Manager
Thanks to my role in Presales, I've been privileged to travel to various parts of the world, meeting people and discussing how our technology can assist them with their business challenges and goals. Metricell has never shied away from doing business across the globe which has given me firsthand experience in seeing the multitude of drivers behind why operators look to engage with us and our solutions.
I recently returned from a week-long trip to Pakistan where I spent time meeting and talking with one of our valued customers. I was amazed to learn that there is a very limited availability of fixed lines in Pakistan, the lion's share are owned by businesses. With the majority of Pakistan's residents using mobile internet at home, at work and in public, we discussed the growing need for new avenues of insight into subscriber experience and the continual improvement of service to keep up with demand.
We tend to think of our mobile phones as serving the same need regardless of who and where in the world they're being used; for calls, texts, emails and so on. While this is certainly true, phone dependency and the role they play in people's lives is very different. In the UK, we're used to accessing internet capabilities across a variety of devices from games consoles, laptops, e-Readers and even televisions. While it's true we've become increasingly dependent on mobile internet, it's fair to say that many of us return home and switch our phones and computers over onto our home routers for the purposes of both speed and price.
Fixed line broadband helps us to achieve this as not every device will have the means to receive internet via cellular network signals. When your mobile is the only device capable of receiving internet, the onus becomes stronger for network operators to ensure a robust service for their subscriber base. However, gaining an accurate measurement of service levels is no easy task, especially considering a landscape and road network as complex as Pakistan's. From what I saw, the traffic alone would certainly make me think twice about the viability of utilising a fleet of drive testing engineers!
This has been a crucial problem behind some of our biggest projects. How do you get data points from the subscriber's perspective (dropped calls, slow data, etc) at speed and at accuracy? Without crowd sourcing initiatives such as utilising an operator specific application for subscribers to report data (service levels, dropped calls, etc) directly back to the operator, these data sets would be very difficult, if not impossible, to gain at all.
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