High operational and support costs keep most internet service providers awake at night. Switching to an integrated layer 3 device solution can be part of the solution. In addition to offering a complete service package, the main benefits are simple installation, fewer potential sources of failure and profitable upselling possibilities. Ultimately, this means a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) on the entire investment.
Help desk support and physical on-site fault detection are two of the most resource-intensive tasks facing internet service providers (ISPs). Both the phone support and service-engineer visits send operating costs sky-high, so these areas are top priorities for ISPs to focus on when looking to improve efficiency.
Erik Søe-Pedersen, Chief Commercial Officer at Icotera, points out that a solution with integrated layer 3 devices can resolve a large number of the issues facing ISPs. There are four main reasons for this:
Fewer sources of failure minimizes support costs
- Fault detection with end users is something that ISPs spend most of their time and resources on today. An hour’s visit from a service-engineer costs on average around EUR 150, so the fastest way to lower operating costs is to reduce the failure rate, says Erik Søe-Pedersen.
With an integrated layer 3 device, you only need to install one box in the end users home instead of installing both a fiber termination box, a conversion box, and a wireless router.
And this is clearly a big advantage:
- With an integrated solution, you get a single point-of-failure. The more potential sources of failure in a solution, the greater the risk of failure, says Erik Søe-Pedersen. He continues:
- When errors occur and the end user calls the ISP because of internet per-formance problems, it is extremely time-consuming to troubleshoot a solution involving multiple physical boxes. This is why there is a huge financial advantage in reducing the number of failure sources in the solution.
Managed Wi-Fi with an integrated layer 3 device
For ISPs that only supply the fiber network but not the in-home wireless network, fault detection can lead to extra problems.
- The integrated layer 3 device means that the ISP also can take responsibility for the customer’s in-home wireless network. Already many ISPs feel responsible for the entire value chain - including the customer’s home Wi-Fi experience - because they often end up having to solve Wi-Fi problems. Clearly, it is far less expensive to support your own solution than a diverse mix of products from different manufacturers.
In the end, the integrated layer 3 device also provides a better customer experience because it is much easier for customers to have one point of contact, and they then feel secure that their ISP can help them resolve any issues, explains Erik Søe-Pedersen.
In addition to a more reliable and secure support, there are also significant benefits to be gained from the installation process itself when choosing the inte-grated layer 3 device solution:
- It only takes one work procedure to install the underlying fiber box, unwind the fiber and mount the box. Nothing could be easier, says Erik Søe-Pedersen, pointing out the importance of a seem-ingly minor detail:
- Speed of installation is a huge cost factor for the ISP. The service-engineer should not spend an unnecessarily long time installing the product at the end user. A few minutes saved can make a huge difference when you multiply this over the customer portfolio of the individual service-engineer.
How to retain customers and continuously make money? This is a concern for many ISPs. An integrated layer 3 device solution can help grow the business:
- It becomes possible for ISPs to offer their customers additional services as TV and fixed telephony from the CPE without extra installations. The extra costs for the ISP are thus very low, but the added value for the end customer and the extra business is high, Erik Søe-Pedersen points and continues:
- There is a high demand for this kind of all-in-one solution. Although the trend is increasingly in favor of the so-called over-the-top solutions, there are still a great many end users who swear by flow TV. In fact, there is still a large market for landline telephones. The bottom line is that end users want things as easy as possible.
Want to know more about how ISPs can improve their business with an integrated layer 3 device solution?
Find our e-book The way to a cost-effective ISP operation here