Telenet is deploying some fifty field service engineers from ESAS for its large-scale project 'The Great Network Site', which will see Telenet's cable network in Flanders upgraded from 600 MHz to 1 GHz. This is the biggest change to the network in the history of Telenet, representing an investment of 500 million euros. The ESAS technicians are helping to upgrade the cable network and are also involved in checking the domestic installations at customers' homes.
ESAS was chosen as one of the structural partners of The Great Network Site after a call for tenders and a thorough selection process. The telecom operator is very satisfied with the collaboration with ESAS. "They convinced us with their proven expertise and their focus on quality," explains Martin Govaert, Vice President Service Assurance at Telenet. "The foundations of The Great Network Site are being laid down by the technicians who are constructing the network every day, in the street and at the customer's home. They are ensuring that our entire network will be ready for the future by 2019. So all our customers will be able to enjoy super-fast Internet and new digital applications. In this way, we are working together on an optimal customer experience."
Automated logistics chain
Telenet aims to extend its network capacity to 1 GHz by 2019, which will make more bandwidth available for the Telenet customers' ever-growing Internet traffic. To achieve this, all 150,000 amplifiers and 1.8 million other components in the cable network need to be replaced or modified. It is quite a job and it means that the ESAS field service staff are on the road every day, carrying out the work quickly and accurately. An automated logistics chain takes care of the 'just in time' provisioning of the teams. The communication with customers is also very efficient: they are given advance notification of when work will be carried out on their network and the impact they can expect.
Tens of thousands of home visits
In parallel with the changes to the cable network, the network at Telenet customers' homes is also being improved. Tens of thousands of visits are planned to check and, if necessary, to modify or repair the domestic installations of private users and indoor installations of companies. The ESAS field service engineers have been deployed to do this work as well. They check all connections, the Wi-Fi range and they also explain all the possible services and applications, so that customers can fully benefit from their Telenet products. As with the structural changes to the cable network, ESAS is ensuring that the home visits cause Telenet customers the minimum inconvenience. They inform customers in advance and make appointments in consultation with them. To provide even greater efficiency and 'first time right' solutions, the ESAS contact centre is supporting the field service engineers remotely and also offering remote support to end customers.
Field service engineers as Brand Ambassadors
With this investment in its cable network, Telenet aims to launch faster Internet connections in the future with a lower TCO per MB. Since the field services are outsourced completely, the many network changes will be completed in a few years' time, and Telenet is also limiting its own financial and operational risks. Meanwhile, the ESAS field service engineers are focusing on an optimum customer service and profiling themselves as 'brand ambassadors' of Telenet.
ESAS has recruited some fifty new employees especially for The Great Network Site, mostly network and assembly technicians. The job of a network technician is to connect network equipment, detect and resolve malfunctions, and maintain the network. An assembly technician works on disassembling and replacing network equipment and cables in above-ground and underground networks. New employees at ESAS receive training for the specific tasks that they will perform.
Positive customer experience
Since the employees of ESAS also visit Telenet customers, they receive appropriate training. After all, field service engineers who go to people's homes need to have excellent communication skills and be customer-friendly. They are often the only direct point of contact between the customer and their provider and in that sense they are the standard bearer of the company. That's why the ESAS field service engineers drive around in vans with the Telenet logo: to help establish Telenet's corporate image among customers. So a positive customer experience with field services is very important, because it plays a part in whether the customer remains loyal to the provider.
Right from its inception, Telenet has aimed to distinguish itself technologically as an innovative operator in the highly competitive telecommunications market. That's why this project is so important. "For Internet traffic to continue flowing smoothly, it requires more and more capacity," says Martin Govaert. "In the future too, there needs to be more, better and faster digital applications available for all our customers. That's why we are continuing to invest in our fixed network and the network at the customer's home."