Adtran has big plans for its new acquisition, SmartRG, including offering service providers true end-to-end visibility of broadband services, as well as a proactive troubleshooting solution and new ways of monetizing service upgrades. (See Adtran Deals for SmartRG .)
In an interview with Light Reading, Jeremy Harris, director of portfolio management for subscriber solutions and experience, said SmartRG's residential gateway products and SmartOS software would be integrated into Adtran Inc. (Nasdaq: ADTN)'s product mix, including its Mosaic system. The aim is to give network operators a comprehensive view that covers the customer's on-premises WiFi network for both better troubleshooting and orchestration but also new service potential.
"It will be a different paradigm for the operator because instead of, when trying to troubleshoot issues, first looking at the access network, then if they can't find the problem there, moving to the customer environment to start to troubleshoot things, you will have one view with one rolled-up correlated data set that has the entirety of the network and the ability end-to-end to identify problems and orchestrate things, across the entirety of the access and the in-home network," he says.
Using RG's SmartOS software and analytics, network operators can also proactively monitor in-home performance and respond when the quality of experience falls below a certain threshold, with either a solution or the suggestion of a new service, Harris says.
"A service provider can be monitoring things like the number of devices connected, signal strength, how many times a device moves between one radio band and another, CPE utilization and memory utilization, and can come up with a quality of experience score based on all of those metrics and then monitor that so an alert is sounded if the QoE score falls below a certain threshold," he explains.
If, for instance, devices are regularly migrating to the 2.4 GigaHertz band, which is more subject to interference, or if a home environment is too large to be served by a single access point, there may be steps the service provider can take or upgrades it can sell that deliver a better customer experience, Harris notes. That leads to higher customer retention while also potentially lowering operating costs by reducing unnecessary truck rolls.
That kind of proactive approach can also help service providers more easily determine which customers might be in line for a service upgrade, based on the number of devices connecting or another parameter, he adds.
SmartRG has already sold more than 3 million devices in the North America, South America and Carribean markets. The company is also part of the OpenWRT group, which supports an open source Linux-based system for routers that enables new silicon to be more quickly deployed, Harris notes.
— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading