Recent years have witnessed the evolution of remarkably advanced video and audio services - such as Video on Demand (VoD) - streaming over highly improved network infrastructures. This has allowed customers to select and enjoy preferred viewing format, timeframe and even choose the delivery mode.
Customers now expect seamless, high quality services across managed / unmanaged networks and devices. Clearly, it is difficult for content and service providers to map user experiences on unmanaged systems and ensure absolute Quality of Service (QoS). It is also necessary to support multiple Adaptive Bit-rates (ABRs) so that customers can seamlessly make transition between different bandwidths and enjoy a consistent viewing quality.
Quality of Experience (QoE) helps organizations engineer an end-to-end roadmap for top notch service and recalibrated quality, defining cutting-edge measurement techniques and monitoring mechanisms.
This PoV identifies key consumer issues and discusses the principal areas for strategic QoE intervention. It is created in close confluence with end-user expectations and explains the fundamental ideas driving QoE as an approach.
Emerging Customer Expectations
As a modern telecommunications customer, how often have you been concerned with service quality? As you gravitate between different delivery models, isn’t your primary concern the precision and purity of audio and visual outputs?
Customers are consistently switching between managed / unmanaged devices (Refer to Figure1.1) and networks. While managed systems allow greater control over navigation, regular usage monitoring and a set of SNMPs (Simple Network Management Protocols) that streamline delivery and unmanaged systems offer a simpler, plug-n-play approach, perfect when there are no advanced applications.
As we break down the levers in this discussion (rapid technological advancement, innovative, new systems, and evolving network management concepts) it is critical to factor in an extremely important element - the human factor.
STB provided by Cable/ Satellite/IPTV Company
Mobiles, Tablets, DTV, IP Streaming Boxes
- Internet Service provided by AT&T for AT&T Video services
- Internet provided by Comcast (using Cable) for Comcast Services
- Netflix delivered over a regular ISP
- Satellite Provider using an ISP for delivering VoD content
For any service or product, customers are the true indicators for quality. The engineeringNXT landscape is evolving and constantly aligning itself to consumer perception.
Also, modern businesses need to regularly monitor and take into account customer comments/views expressed across social media channels, creating positive or negative clouds around a particular product at lightning-fast speeds - at times even before a service provider can get around to addressing the criticism.
QoE as a fast-rising, multi-disciplinary science (combining social psychology, cognitive science, economics and engineering) is becoming more relevant by the day. In fact, with consumers expecting refined experiences, QoE helps to define several essential consumer-measurement characteristics.
Let’s begin with a basic checklist of core customer expectations
Overall Service Quality
- Consistent availability with low delay/latency
- Consistent playback quality with minimal artifacts or buffering
- Simplified navigability
- Simplified clickability - fast access, reduced disruptions
End-to-end Device Support
- Manage multiple devices - managed and unmanaged
- Manage multiple devices on multiple platforms
Comprehensive Network Management
- Run on managed or unmanaged networks
- Run smoothly despite network interruptions / bad network conditions
Managing Expectations - Key Customer Challenges
As a customer, what matters the most is unhindered, uninterrupted service, regardless of the device, platform, network or availability.
As we understand it, some of the critical challenges include the following: