Dailymail.co.uk is the hub of celebrity gossip for millions of people in Western Europe and beyond. It is not the first place I would think of when it comes to groundbreaking technological research, but a survey published outlining so called ‘First World Problems’ caught my eye last week. The top 20 includes a number of eye rollers; picking out an un-ripe avocado in the supermarket stands out along with not getting a seat on public transport. 4 of the top 5 problems relate to Wi-Fi, connectivity and our addiction to our smartphones. In that article Patrick Fagan a consumer behavioral psychologist from Goldsmiths University points out that ‘We are instinctively hardwired to look for problems. Our concerns have now transmuted into more fickle problems. In our comfortable lives, we might have enough money for bills or a holiday, but it’s in our nature to never be satisfied and we will worry about Wi-Fi and delivery times instead.’
If people are hardwired to look for problems in daily life, it feels that in the telecom space they are searching that bit harder. Mobile and fixed connectivity providers are held to a very high standard when it comes to service levels, data speeds and overall customer experience. Telecoms companies are consistently near the bottom of the Customer Experience league table. There is a significant amount of nonsense talked about Customer Experience in recent times but when you strip it back, how do you improve Customer Experience? You eliminate customer problems one by one, first world or otherwise. A lack of free Wi-Fi and eliminating the buffering sign are 2 problems that telecoms companies can tackle relatively easily.
In fact Liberty Global, the parent company of UPC, Telenet and Virgin Media in Europe are doing just that. Liberty Global’s newly-released Connect App offers its users seamless connectivity access both in and out of the home within the same, easy-to-use interface, including Wi-Fi on-boarding and roaming experience to 10 million Liberty Global’s hotspots in Europe. This app has been launched in both Austria and Switzerland with the other Liberty Global properties to follow suit later this year and into 2018.
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As a company Openet are delighted to have our Network Selection Intelligence product incorporated into the Liberty Global Connect App. For Liberty Global’s Connect App users, NSI will create a better quality of experience when connected to Public Wi-Fi, “Wi-Free” and International Roaming Partner access points. NSI also provides Liberty Global with a range of tools to identify and to blacklist poorly performing hotspot, to receive analytics, Wi-Fi usage information for all subscribers, and offload statistics for Android users. MVNOs using the Liberty Global network will also experience reduced termination costs as customers are commuted onto local Wi-Fi options.
Wi-Fi connectivity and on boarding problems may be of the first world variety, but we look forward to solving them one country at a time.