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Carrier iQ's Device-Side Mobile Solution Lowers Customer Care Costs

Carrier iQ at Mobile World Congress (News - Alert) this week is talking about iQ Care, a mobile client-based solution that can enable wireless service providers to lower their customer care costs, do more effective network planning and optimization, and improve the customer experience. The product, which is also being used by some enterprise customers and embedded by select mobile handset manufacturers, became generally available earlier this month.

Ben Bergeret, vice president and general manager of devices, explains that seven-year-old Carrier iQ was created after its founders became frustrated with lousy cellular coverage where they lived and their carrier’s apparent inability to do anything about it. So they founded Carrier iQ, which delivers software that sits on your mobile phone to collect information on the performance of the phone and the network to which it is connected, and deliver those details to a Hadoop-based big data system. These parameters can include phone battery and memory usage, application memory and performance, phone and application connectivity times, and much more.

One large tier 1 carrier that uses the solution says its business has been transformed as a result, says Bergeret.

“We give them an outside-in view,” he adds.

When a subscriber calls customer care, Carrier iQ delivers information to the help desk agent and details the status of the caller’s phone – including information on when and how the device/service fell outside expected norms (for example, 40 dropped calls, 10 abnormal shutdowns, etc.), a daily activity summary, overall performance of various traffic types, and more. That way, rather than just suggesting that a caller reboot their devices, these reps are armed with the information to provide more user-specific solutions, Bergeret says.

That’s clearly good for subscribers and it’s great for mobile operators, which as a result see reduced customer care call handling times by 20 percent, he explains.

The Carrier iQ solution also can result in fewer needless mobile device returns, which bear enormous costs – almost $8 billion in 2013, Bergeret says. He adds that if you can eliminate just 40 percent of no-fault-found returns you can realize major savings.

Users of iQ Care include AT&T, which is using it for network optimization; Sprint (News - Alert); T-Mobile; and Nielsen, which is using it on mobile phones it provides for free to users as part of its research efforts. As noted earlier, some large mobile device OEMs are also embedding iQ Care in smartphones.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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