U.S. Cellular is aiming to improve customer experience with a new big data-based network operations approach, partnering with Nokia to utilize an “intelligent operations system” for tuning its network to meet mobile usage patterns.

U.S. Cellular said that installation is “currently in motion” and that it expects the solution to be implemented for its engineering organization in the second quarter of this year. Additional roll-outs are planned through 2019.

The system relies on Nokia’s Cognitive Analytics for Customer Insight application, which is machine-learning based and provides insights based on a combination of network performance and customer usage data for use in both proactive issue resolution and more efficient planning for cell sites and small cells. Nokia said that network interruptions “trigger automatic actions” and allow network operations groups to resolve network issues with the “highest customer impact” as well as setting network parameters by location so that the services that customers use most are optimized. U.S. Cellular will also be using Nokia’s Analytics Office Services for customer experience insights.

Michael Irizarry, executive vice president and CTO at U.S. Cellular, said that “this system will revolutionize the way we apply our various network data inputs to gain insights, predict outcomes and align resources to directly impact how our customers experience our network. We know that the network is the backbone of our customers’ experience, and this collaboration with Nokia will allow us to better understand our customers’ data demands in order to exceed their expectations.”

Customer experience is expected to be ever more important as a differentiator for telecom companies as they seek to continue growing and providing new services to compete with other tech giants.

“By providing a complete view of the factors impacting network performance and the customer experience, new levels of intelligence, and actionable insights, our Cognitive Analytics software will bolster U.S. Cellular’s ability to deliver world-class digital services that will delight its customers,” said Bhaskar Gorti, president at Nokia.

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