For operators, network coverage is always a key selling point; to the carrier this is referred to as POP (Percentage of Population). Users are eager to pay a few dollars more to get the best coverage wherever they live or work. Although fixed broadband at home is becoming common place in the developed world, the way to achieve it can differ depending of the country or even the specific geography of a region.
Most ISP (Internet Service Providers) are nowadays triple or quad play and have attractive offers to combine with fixed line, Cellular and IPTV at the same time. Still in rural areas the choice is often limited to one local provider for internet service at home and the associated cost to connect a few houses can be prohibitive for most ISPs to extend their customer base.
Fixed Line Vs Wireless Router
While ADSL, Cable and fiber internet typically require heavy infrastructure and cost for the ISP (DSLAM deployment, Fiber), Fixed Wireless Router (FWR) promises to do the job without even waiting for the phone company to show up at your home. It’s like connecting to the internet on your mobile, and nearly as simple. FWR is a home internet connection provided by connecting to the 4G mobile network. It is an affordable option for users who can’t access Fiber, Cable or ADSL (or prefer not to), but yet need a reliable connection with lots of data.FWR allows a modem to connect to the internet remotely. FWR differs from mobile broadband. It comes packaged with a router and is intended for use as a replacement for a fixed line connection consisting of a modem and / or WIFI – Router combination. FWR is a much simpler process than establishing a new ADSL or fiber connection as this usually requires professional installation and tech support. FWR are just ‘plug and play’.
There are additional advantages for FWR. This type of connectivity is usually easier to manage by simply buying additional connectivity on the portal of the operator. Contract for the end-user is not bound by time and easily adjustable in term of bandwidth.
For the operator, the FWR technology also offers a few advantages. It leverages the cost of cellular infrastructure and enables new revenue streams in rural zones where xDSL and Fiber investments can’t be justified by the number of users to connect. Additionally, it also allows the wireless carrier to compete with traditional fixed line / broadband operators. And this will become increasingly the case as we move to 5G which will offer increased data speeds.
Cellular networks are evolving rapidly: While FWR in 3G wasn’t appealing for almost anyone, 4G has been a game changer in terms of bandwidth and 5G will probably revolutionize the user experience for those with heavy appetites around streaming.
Terms and conditions for FWR varies across ISPs, however the core philosophy is that FWR doesn’t mean operators are giving up for free an unlimited mobile broadband.
FWR is designed to be used in specific locations such as a home, vacation home or small office. The Hardware device - a fixed component -is not supposed to change location. Therefore, FWR are usually plugged into the power grid compared to mobile broadband that are USB dongles or battery powered to be used on-the-go.
Still, the terms and conditions in the contract and the few cosmetic differences between these products, do not seem to be enough to block users from using an FWR as a mobile broadband.
This type of conscious or unconscious fraud is skyrocketing, leaving the cellular ISP to wonder if they are not just cannibalizing their Cellular revenues with FWR.
Intersec technology can passively locate any cellular user or device. By doing a location consistency check between the activation point of the FWR and its current location, Intersec can enforce policy management for these devices in real-time to avoid them being used as Mobile broadband; all without stressing the network or connecting with the physical device
A Unique Source of Location
Intersec’s GeoHub enables Cellular ISP to extract the location information for any FWR devices or subscriber in real-time regardless of the availability of GPS functionality on these devices. This is possible through the regular interaction of the devices with the operator’s network(s). These network events are captured, and the location information (ex: serving cell) is extracted and populated in a fast-access database. Moreover, location data can be archived for additional insights regarding the movement patterns of the monitored devices
GeoHub is a vendor agnostic solution that can ingest location events directly from network elements (Core or RAN) or from existing third-party network probes. With over 70 deployments around the world, a wide range of connectors have been developed to ingest data from a multitude of sources. In addition, Intersec offers its own GeoSensor as an alternative light-weight location probe compatible with 3GPP networks, enabling real-time ingestion and processing of location data.
No Pressure on Network
GeoHub is able to monitor the 100s of millions of devices in real-time passively, thus relieving the operator’s network from any additional pressure or capacity requirement needed for active geolocation. As long as the device interacts with the network, GeoHub would be able to extract the location information from the network events with no need for additional signaling.
The location capturing functionality can be enabled on all FWR devices present on the network without affecting the real-time, fast-access capabilities of GeoHub. Therefore, the cellular ISP can query the last known location of any device that attached to the network and get the response in milliseconds.
GeoHub can enhance the spatial accuracy of the device location through its passive sub-cell module. Based on vendor call traces, the passive sub-cell module processes the content of these trace files in near-real time to provide a more accurate location than the cell-based location directly provided in signaling. Furthermore, for network equipment vendors that don’t include a TMSI-IMSI correlation in their traces, GeoHub is able to provide such correlation thanks to the GeoSensor.
Transform location into actions
Thanks to GeoReach operators can easily implement new policies or business rules within minutes depending on the location of the user and other CRM or OSS/BSS equipment. The platform comes with an intuitive GUI with drag and drop features and several communication channels (SMS, MMS, e-mail, logs) are available either to communicate with end-user or operator’s IT.
FWR Movement Detection
Intersec has developed a specific feature for operators to monitor motionless assets such as FWR.
Thanks to the passive location data collection and the Personalized Geofence (PGF) feature in GeoHub, operators can transform unauthorized movements of FWR into actions. Once a device is installed in the intended location, GeoHub would be triggered to automatically retrieve the location of the device and set it as its new PGF. The provisioning process can be done simultaneously for 100s of millions of devices within seconds.
Moreover, these FWR will be under continuous monitoring. Once the wireless router moves outside its provisioned location (PGF), the end-user or operator IT can be notified with such unauthorized movement out of provisioned location.
All of this is performed thanks to GeoHub which is listening to 4G events without stressing the network or pinging the device.
A wide range of actions
Blocking a user is always bad for your Net Promoter Score and often results in churn. Although blocking a moving FWR automatically can be implemented through the Intersec platform, a wide range of alternative actions are also possible.
An SMS notification to the end-user asking them if they have moved intentionally the FWR with keyword answer will improve User experience (Reply “Yes” if your router was stolen). It is also possible to push a premium offer through SMS or e-mail for the user to keep using the device even if he’s on-the-go for a specific period, or even upsell them an additional FWR service if they need service at multiple locations (e.g. vacation home or office).
Operator’s IT will be notified of the movement of all users to target Customer Care calls to the end-user for example. As the logic is completely flexible, a disconnection of the device can be triggered if all other communication has failed.
Time to market for new offers is always key to get a competitive advantage and listen to the trends of the market. Thanks to Intersec platform it is now possible redesign your offers around wireless router, be in control of the usage and enable upsells.