Blog

21st February 2018

Managing the subscriber experience at Super Bowl LII

In the closing minutes of any big sporting event, most of us will remember reaching for our phones to message friends and foes on the outcome of the game, capturing video of the big play, or replaying the highlight reels. For carriers, however, ensuring that the lucky ones who were inside the U.S. Bank Stadium at this year’s Super Bowl were able to do the same was a critical challenge. In a new video, TEOCO’s Warren Dumanski and Brian White discuss how TEOCO helped a Tier 1 operator to prepare and execute its network strategy for Super Bowl LII, and gave them the insight they needed to better understand how those at the event used their mobile devices.

The U.S. Super Bowl is one of the major times during the year where all eyes are on network performance. With the explosive use of mobile video and unlimited data plans, this puts a huge demand on network equipment. With major investments made to increase capacity for such a paramount event, operator executives are looking to know how the network performed, how subscribers interacted with the network, and what they did during the game. In order to answer these questions, a Tier 1 US operator worked with TEOCO so that they could take a deeper dive into their subscriber and network behaviors, in real-time, to better understand what their subscribers were actually experiencing during the game.

Leveraging TEOCO’s INsync Digital Subscriber Analytics tool, the operator was able to know at any given minute during the game, the answers to questions such as:

  • What are the top 10 Apps being used right now?
  • What is the cause of unusual traffic behavior during the game?
  • What is the average throughput?
  • What resolution are they viewing their videos? Is it in HD?

Previously, answers to these questions were unattainable because of the rise in encrypted traffic and the sheer volume of data that needed to be analyzed. It has been estimated that encrypted traffic has increased by more than 90 percent year over year, with Gartner predicting that by 2019, 80 percent of web traffic will be encrypted. However, with the use of Machine Learning and Heuristics, operators can now go deeper into encrypted data to get the metrics required to make the network adjustments needed to improve the subscriber experience – all without compromising privacy. Machine learning is used to provide complete visibility of encrypted data and OTT data flows by self-identifying the application, type and protocol. The heuristics then enable the modelling to understand how they want to adjust the network.

Seeing the game play out – through the network

During Super Bowl LII, not only could the operator see the network activity spike in real-time following exciting events happening on the field; they were also able to detect if a rogue user was using a huge amount of data; or identify if subscribers’ quality-of-experience (QoE) was lower than expected. They were able to see which App service, such as video streaming, messages, photos or videos, were used during specific times of the event – for uploads or downloads, during touchdowns, or the halftime show. But the benefits of INsync do not end at the final whistle. The operator is also able to take the wealth of data and apply it to other areas of the business.

The flexibility of INsync means that CSPs can build dashboards for almost any type of view that they want of the network. By having insights into QoE in near real-time, customer care can be on the front foot and proactively detect issues and pre-categorize and implement updates with little or no customer impact. Marketing, for example, can use the data and insights to help make business decisions on how to price, model and package their services. With greater insights into the top devices used, number of unique subscribers and apps used, CSP marketing departments are also able to further monetize their digital services with subscriber profiling, such as mobile advertising and targeted content. Network departments can use the insights to inform capacity planning for future events, or efficiently expand network capacity that drives down capital and operational expenditures.

The potential for INsync goes beyond a singular event, like the Super Bowl, by providing complete end-to-end visibility of applications of today, such as video and roaming, and as emerging and new applications take hold. The deep insights INsync can provide into end-to-end QoE of VoLTE calls, for example, can help to validate and accelerate the rollout and adoption of VoLTE services. We see INsync’s ability to process massive amounts of data and still drill down to the individual subscriber, will become even more important as IoT applications, such as Smart Cities, accelerate.

By having greater visibility into network performance and subscriber experience, CSPs have the opportunity to deliver a greater Quality of Experience, monetize their digital services, maximize service adoption and return on investment.

Learn more about INsync here.

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