Given the significant cost of building telecom infrastructure to serve a single market, telecom providers have to pick and choose where they build their own technology, and where they’re content to lease the use of infrastructure built and maintained by other providers—including their competitors.
In telecom, leasing of infrastructure to enable local network access is known as carrier aggregation, and it’s an important component of the business models for both carriers and solution providers.
Solution providers, for example, can use carrier aggregation to build a regional or nationwide network of telecom infrastructure. From there, the provider can use suppliers to lease access on a scale ranging from local markets and regions to individual buildings. Carriers, meanwhile, rely on aggregators as a demand driver to justify expanding their coverage area, increasing their market share in targeted regions.
Although carrier aggregation offers a lot of potential value to solution providers, the cost and resource investment of this process can be a significant obstacle for providers to clear without software solutions to simplify this process.
Carrier Aggregation Benefits for Solution Providers
Carrier aggregation gives solution providers more flexibility in how they build their network infrastructure. Providers can strategically determine where and when to build their own technology to provide service to customers, or where they’re better off leasing access from other providers.
Leasing is a popular strategy to preserve capital for other initiatives—which may include infrastructure development projects occurring elsewhere. By combining their own infrastructure with service aggregated from carriers, solution providers can also build large networks that offer high availability to customers.
This availability is an important sticking point for larger enterprise customers requiring extensive infrastructure: The better availability you’re able to provide, the more likely a solution provider will be to land large, coveted telecom service contracts—especially contracts providing service to multiple locations.
Solution providers can also use carrier aggregation to test out new markets before investing in their own last-mile infrastructure. Their success in converting and retaining customers can help forecast their expected success in growing profits and market share.
Carrier Aggregation Benefits for Customers
For customers, carrier aggregation enables a much simpler telecom experience. Aggregation allows customers to manage all of their telecom services through a single bill and single customer service line, rather than dealing with multiple bills and points of contact across a single service contract.
Customers also get the benefit of having access to multiple types of service technology. This creates flexibility in their service while also improving availability at any location, and improving support for a wider range of telecom needs. For example, carrier aggregation can enable better access and performance when using cloud-based applications and managed services.
Challenges Faced by Carrier Aggregation Solution Providers
To realize the benefits of carrier aggregation, solution providers must adopt software tools that support efficient packaging of aggregated services, from both a labor and cost perspective.
As the number of telecom suppliers increases, serviceability and quoting continues to grow more complex. Automated software is essential to leveraging aggregated telecom services without creating a new drag on sales labor and resources. Tools like CarrierAccess enable efficient service package creation that cuts out long quoting cycles and other expenses that make carrier aggregation unfeasible for many providers.
Similarly, tools like SalesEdge can extend self-service sales capabilities to direct, agent, and wholesale channels quickly, and with a minimal resource investment by providers.
The business opportunity presented by carrier aggregation isn’t new to the telecom industry, but providers might not be aware of all the digital tools that enhance the ease and value of aggregation. Find out how to integrate automation into your carrier aggregation process—request a demo today to learn more.