Video Probe

Using network probes for revenue and service assurance has always been a straightforward proposition. Stick a probe on the network, see what is happening, compare that to what should be happening, and if something is wrong go fix it. The downside is cost. For the price of one probe, you only see what is going on at one point in the network. Nevertheless, probes can make sense if you want an independent check on a sample basis, or if you can locate them cleverly to assure most of your traffic, or if you want to offer premium service, and reassurance, to high-end customers. That suggests it is only a matter of time before probes for newer services, like video, become as common as they are for voice. See here for the news that US firm IneoQuest’s video probes now support European QAM standards. In fact, probes may be destined to be more popular for premium services like video than they are for voice. For a start, video may generate higher revenues and hence better justify the investment in probes. In addition, customer satisfaction, and the price the customer is willing to pay, will be more closely tied to quality with video than it is with voice. A customer that may have been prepared to pay for a crackling phone call is less likely to tolerate a blurry video session. This may force providers to use video probes to stay competitive by assuring services and revenues at the same time.

Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is the Editor of Commsrisk. Look here for more about the history of Commsrisk and the role played by Eric.

Eric is also the Chief Executive of the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG), a global association of professionals working in risk management and business assurance for communications providers.

Previously Eric was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and he has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and other telcos. He was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.