The connectivity wave for SMEs and how it links to customer retention

Are you losing business because of connectivity issues that aren’t your fault? Pansmart and Huge Telecoms has the answer for you. When you look at the connectivity options over time, you will see a clear wave forming. This knowledge can be used by end users and suppliers to mitigate and prevent bad connectivity experiences such as bad voice quality, service interruptions, and poor support.

These problems are not linked to specific companies or clients; they apply to the whole market, and you can’t remove them as the market has too many points of failure. However, you can be prepared and spread your connectivity in such a way that you and your clients always have the best.

Let’s consider the following diagram and talk about each part of the connectivity wave separately. You’ll notice that we didn’t include fibre or any other stable medium as this article focuses on the business needs of a normal SME.

Telkom Copper

We all started with Telkom copper lines in the beginning. The service was good, but over time copper lines corrode, and service started failing. The cost of a line and the call costs were high, and copper is also very prone to theft leaving us with long times with no service. And so, we all moved on to GSM LCR.

Fixed Cellular Routing (FCR)

GSM LCR, now commonly known as FCR, dominated the market after copper. It was and still is a very stable and cost-effective connectivity medium. It is cheaper and more reliable than copper as it uses tier one GSM networks to send and receive calls. The call rates are as good as with VoIP providers but without the constant IP problems from the networks. At Pansmart and Huge Telecoms, we believe SMEs should use FCR as the connectivity bridge to retain their customers. But more on that later… The next connectivity wave to come along was ADSL.

ADSL

As the VoIP era started, everyone wanted it, and ADSL became very popular. It was cheap, but unreliable as it depended on copper wire and a contended network. ADSL voice services were good in the beginning, but as the market became saturated, the quality deteriorated, and clients were unhappy and moved to other suppliers and eventually joined the 3G, LTE, and 5G waves.

3G, LTE, and 5G

The GSM data services replaced ADSL due to their wireless capabilities putting VoIP over the GSM data network. The service with each of these was excellent, and clients were satisfied. However, as the market became saturated once again, the voice quality started deteriorating, clients wanted to move away, and service started failing. These technologies also suffer from unpredictable data service from the operators and inherent IT problems that pop up from time to time on any IP network.

The big picture

The reality is, out of all the possible connectivity options, FCR technology is still the most stable medium. As we mentioned earlier, we believe it should be used as the bridging connectivity medium for SMEs. Whether you use it as the connectivity wave carries on or as a complete replacement, you can enjoy uninterrupted service and the following other advantages:

  • Requires minimum maintenance
  • A stable voice platform
  • Not data independent
  • Cost-effective
  • Immediate implementation
  • IT network independent
  • More cost-effective on a PABX
  • Cheap voice rates, and
  • Supports hunting and CLI
  • Supports Geographic Number Porting

You can even keep your number! As of last year, you can port any geographic number to FCR within an average of 48 hours. Gone are the days that you need to change numbers when changing providers. With FCR, your geographic number can remain with you for your lifetime – no matter what connectivity or operator you choose.

So, how does this all tie in with customer retention? Well, when the connectivity wave your client is riding reaches saturation, and the service is declining, port the client over to FCR until the next connectivity wave is stable enough to activate the VoIP service again. Don’t lose clients! Build an FCR bridge and carry your clients through every high and low.

For more information, dealers can contact Pansmart on 010 010 6777 or visit www.pansmart.co.za.

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