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‘Golden Cluster’ optimization points the way to a better customer experience across Telkomsel’s networks
Telkomsel Indonesia was achieving 99.9% in its measured network KPIs, yet customer complaints were on the rise. The company opted to solve the mystery by focusing initially on tracking down the hidden bottlenecks in one “Golden Cluster” of cells.
Telkomsel Indonesia serves 100 million subscribers all of who are mobile users. By 2010, the communications service provider (CSP) had already taken major steps to deal with rising demand for data and maintain an excellent quality of experience for customers on its 2G and 3G networks. With KPIs running at 99.9%, Telkomsel’s 2G and 3G networks appeared to be running well, yet customer complaints were starting to rise.
“The Golden Cluster approach provided us with the means to deliver the high quality of experience that we promise to our customers. We’re now applying those lessons in projects around our entire network.“
Anky A. Priyagung
VP, Network Service Quality
The company called in Nokia Siemens Networks to dig deeper and find the hidden bottlenecks causing issues for end users. The initial project focused in one area of the network, or Golden Cluster - Denpasar in Bali. The region is a popular tourist area with a high proportion of roaming customers and generating a good level of revenue for Telkomsel. Focusing on this important local area is a cost-effective way to explore and test new ways to improve the customer experience, while providing valuable lessons that could then be rolled out across the entire network.
- Meeting rapidly rising demand for capacity across 2G and 3G networks
- To put more traffic onto 3G to deliver a better customer experience
- To reduce the rising number of customer complaints
- Identifying any hidden barriers that prevented the networks from delivering an excellent quality of experience for mobile customers
Beyond traditional measures
Rather than focusing on traditional network KPIs, the Nokia Siemens Networks team looked beyond the network layer to the services, applications and devices that contribute to the overall quality of experience for end users. The team took information from Telkomsel call center statistics, data from probes, data from the Nokia Siemens Networks Traffica network management system drive tests and standard performance measurement data. They also looked at user behavior-based measures to try and discriminate between user-triggered behavior and events triggered by network faults. For example, the researchers tried to determine whether a hang-up was the deliberate result of a wrong number or because the call couldn’t be made.
The immediate result was an improvement in the overall customer experience from 88.9 to 90.61%. Customers in the Golden Cluster also enjoyed a 22% improvement in HSDPA accessibility, a 7% drop in call set-up time and data throughput up by a massive 273%.
- Nokia Siemens networks focused optimization efforts in a confined geographical region of the network, or Golden Cluster
- The team looked at unconventional measures to uncover hidden bottlenecks using mobile broadband optimization
- Lessons learned in the Golden Cluster are being applied in improvement projects elsewhere in the networks
Since the completion of the Golden Cluster project, Telkomsel and Nokia Siemens Networks have undertaken a set of additional projects elsewhere in Telkomsel’s networks, including further optimization services in a larger part of the network, as well as providing new software and hardware. The Golden Cluster approach has been so successful that it has now been adopted into Telkomsel’s strategic plan to build long-term competitive advantage.
Customers across the networks have been feeling the benefits. For example, lessons learned in Denpasar have since been used to improve the connectivity of 10 million calls per day network-wide.
The project’s success shows the benefits that CSPs can gain from the Nokia Siemens Networks focus on delivering customer experience improvements, not just planning them.
- The overall customer experience in the Golden Cluster improved from 88.9% to 90.61%
- HSDPA accessibility rose by 22%
- Call set-up times fell by 7%
- Data throughput increased by 273%
- Subsequent projects are improving the experience for Telkomsel customers around the country
- Improved customer experience will result in more loyal customers