LAS VEGAS — Deploying fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) is as much a culture change as a technology change for carriers, according to leading players here at the FTTH Council Conference.
Companies that have tried to sell the new service in traditional ways haven’t always found success.
For example, Telefónica Brazil put its FTTH infrastructure into place before preparing its services, customer service, IT, and back-office operations, said Andre Kriger, the carrier’s FTTH director, in a keynote speech here. And that initial attempt at a massive new service rollout fell flat, he said.
Following that experience, Kriger said that Telefónica Brazil visited Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), Portugal Telecom Inovação SA (PT Inovação) , and others to see how they had made FTTH work and came to the conclusion that all systems have to be go before the service itself can be launched.
“Fixed service operators are not used to doing this — we have to learn to think like a startup,” Kriger said. “Wireless operators do this all the time, they have learned how to launch new networks.”
Before Telefónica Brazil relaunched its service, the carrier put in place an IPTV platform, with a multi-room DVR that its cable competitors can’t match, and a much more aggressive customer service and installation plan that includes 30-day intensive training courses for their installation technicians.
By pulling marketing, back office, and technology teams together, Telefónica Brazil relaunched its service and now has almost 4,000 FTTH subscribers, as it continues to ramp up, Kriger said.