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The Fiber Journey: Key to Shorten the Path for Monetizing on Fiber Networks

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While much of the talk today is about network monetization in relation to 5G investments and other emerging technologies, the deployment of fiber remains the core of our infrastructure. Whether you are an established Communication Service Provider (CSP) transitioning from legacy technologies to fiber, or a new greenfield retail or wholesale operator entering the market, one of the core questions is: How can you monetize your fiber networks as quickly as possible?


Overcoming challenges in fiber network monetization

Established and emerging fiber operators invest billions in upgrading or deploying new fiber technologies into the ground. Market demands for higher broadband speeds and new consumer services evolve rapidly. The industry faces tough competition, rising material and labor costs due to inflation, and supply chain challenges. In addition, existing CSPs must often maintain multiple legacy networks and IT systems, adding further pressure to the business. In summary, this journey presents both financial and operational challenges.

In this context, addressing some key factors early in the process can significantly help CSPs in their path to monetizing new fibers.

One of the most common challenges, especially for newly established operators, is an excessive focus on the network side in the early years. While this is undoubtedly a crucial area to handle, it is important not to underestimate the importance of investing in robust and reliable support solutions early in the process. This investment should address the immediate business requirements on day one and lay the foundation for future needs. Some operators even rely on in-house support systems that often prove insufficient when moving to new technologies, products, and services. In addition, extensive integration work often leads to costs higher than initially anticipated.

To reduce the risk of delaying the monetization of fiber investments, operators must have a well-defined go-to-market strategy based on proven successful strategies.




Address data quality

High-quality address data is a fundamental requirement for a successful fiber rollout. It is crucial for enabling customers to locate their home addresses on your website easily. It's not just the core address details that must be reliable but also the real-time accuracy of address statuses. This is vital for efficiently driving sales and streamlining the installation process. Maintaining accurate address information over time can be challenging, and your IT systems must be equipped to support this process. This includes providing tools for address maintenance and user input validation.

Digital sales channels

Having a digital "storefront" up and running early is important. The main purpose of this website is to drive attention to your brand and serve as an entry point for the customer journey, thus needing to be built with modern UI/UX standards in mind. It should be simple enough to ensure accessibility across all devices.

The central function of this portal is to enable customers to search for available offerings based on their home address easily. This leads to three typical scenarios. First, the address may not be found in your service area, allowing the customer to express interest. This presents an opportunity to identify new, untapped areas for potential expansion.

The second scenario arises when the home is within your fiber rollout plan, either with a set time plan or not. In such cases, customers may also place pre-orders for installation and services. The third scenario involves an address already in your network, allowing customers to order fiber installation. Finally, the home may already be connected. In all these scenarios, you want a smooth and hassle-free customer journey.


"Whether you are an established Communication Service Provider (CSP) transitioning from legacy technologies to fiber, or a new greenfield retail or wholesale operator entering the market, one of the core questions is: How can you monetize your fiber networks as quickly as possible?”

Ulf Engstrand, Senior Product Manager

Physical sales

Ensuring a combination of digital and physical sales channels is covered has often been proven successful. It is a mistake to rely too much on digital branding and word of mouth only, especially for emerging operators. This is why physical stores remain a cornerstone for larger operators. Door-to-door knocking is commonly used in some markets where face-to-face sales are critical. This requires that sales have the tools to collect customers' interest and orders in the field efficiently.

The same digital sales channel used as a 'storefront' can often fulfill this role effectively. Some altnets in the UK combine door-to-door knocking with actual physical stores to further market their brands and show local presence. Furthermore, sales representatives are usually empowered with certain discounting options and deals that can help close deals more quickly.

Bundled offerings, add-ons, and partnerships

Establishing strategic partnerships with providers of mobile services, large content, and OTT (Over-The-Top) services can effectively advance monetization and increase customer loyalty. While beginning with a fiber-only approach may initially seem straightforward, it introduces the risk of customers seeking other providers for mobile, voice, TV, and additional services. Even if an operator does not intend to pursue partnerships from day one, it is essential to consider this opportunity early, as it significantly influences the requirements of the BSS/OSS (Business Support Systems/Operational Support Systems) solution.

This choice shapes the business requirements for the entire end-to-end solution, from customer portals to service fulfillment. For instance, the complexity in providing bundled offerings and off-net products can significantly impact the requirements on the product catalog, pricing, and billing modules. Neglecting to acknowledge these challenges in the beginning, you may find that the product catalog is falling short when you decide to expand your offerings.

Pricing and promotions

Pricing your offerings can be one of the most challenging parts of the go-to-market plan. Some operators opt for simplicity, offering a minimal number of plans. This strategy can have the advantage of communicating clear messages since having too many choices can make the decision process for customers more difficult, thus delaying the sales process. Furthermore, this may add unnecessary complexity to the solution, requiring the operator to invest more time in customer service and sales training. On the other hand, understanding when and how to differentiate your product offerings can be a key to boosting sales.

Conducting a geographical segmentation based on demand and competition analysis can help operators identify opportunities in specific areas and regions. Monitoring the market to determine the optimal timing for promotions is equally important. Tracking the outcomes of promotions is crucial for understanding which types deliver the most 'bang for the buck.' A/B testing is a commonly used method to evaluate the effectiveness of different promotions. Regional operators have the advantage of local insights and connections with the community and customers, giving them an edge over larger national telcos.

Efficiently running campaigns and promotions ties back to the capabilities of the product catalog and pricing modules in your BSS/OSS. It is important that marketing and sales teams can operate independently without the need to involve product and service managers each time they wish to launch a new promotion or manage customer discounts.

Automate what needs to be automated

While it may seem tempting to automate everything right from the start, our experience has shown that certain key aspects should have priority. Begin with automating the customer journey, fiber installation, and service delivery, and ensure that you can quickly identify and resolve reported customer issues and network faults. Over time, you will naturally want to automate more, but always weigh the benefits against the added complexity.

Consider creating an 'automation roadmap' to help you keep focused on the essential steps. The initial installation is typically the first direct contact between the customer and the operator, and the customer's rating of your business often relies on how well the installation has been carried out. Allowing customers to select their installation time gives them a sense of control and contributes to the automation process. However, this needs to be followed by a well-executed installation process, and any disruptions or delays must be promptly communicated to the customer.

To achieve this, you need a field service solution that streamlines the entire process, equipping field engineers with the necessary tools to complete the installation and communicate efficiently with the back office and customers. When the work is completed, the system should automatically verify the installation through connectivity tests and proceed with service provisioning and delivery. Immediate verification is crucial to avoid costly revisits and ensure customer satisfaction.

Happy employees create happy customers

Last but not least, fostering a sense of collective journey and unity among employees is important to get the most out of everyone's capacity and create a deep connection to the brand. It is important that everyone feels motivated and understands how they can contribute to delivering value to customers, and by doing so, contributing to the success and profitability of the business.

There will be situations where things go wrong, potentially resulting in an unhappy customer. Well-trained and motivated employees across all departments have the power to turn dissatisfied customers into happy ones. The performance of the support systems should not be underestimated, as it can be frustrating not to have the tools to deliver your best.

Netadmin Systems is dedicated to delivering one of the most comprehensive suites of functions on the market within BSS/OSS. We offer a wide range of core functions and add-ons, including field service management, customer portals, product and service catalog management, address management, billing, resource monitoring, configuration, activation, and more.

In our upcoming release of Netadmin, we are taking significant steps to enhance further and simplify the operator's customer journey. As part of our 'TM Forum Journey,' we are upgrading our service catalog management to align with TM Forum standards. This will be followed by an equally significant upgrade of our product catalog capabilities, making managing complex product offerings, promotions, recommendations, and discounts easier across digital and physical sales channels.

We firmly believe that the TM Forum Open Digital Architecture (ODA) represents the future of the operator's IT landscape, and we are dedicated to advancing our solutions into this new era. The product catalog and the automation of the end-to-end customer journey remain at the core of BSS/OSS for any fiber business aiming to speed up their fiber deployments' monetization.


Johan HjalmarssonFor more information, please contact

Johan Hjalmarsson, Product Marketing Manager, Netadmin Systems. 
Email: johan.hjalmarsson@netadminsystems.com