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Introduction

BMI-T is a leading market research and consultancy firm based in Johannesburg. In the past few years we have been very involved in various elements of the broadband market, supporting investments in both the fixed and wireless segments.

 

Given our research capabilities and known neutral position, a number of clients approached BMI-T for more detailed building and tenant identification and profiling. Some clients had run limited internal programmes but found their in-house approach to be inadequate. Consequently, in 2014, BMI-T undertook a pilot research project to develop an effective and efficient process. The pilot was successful and since then BMI-T has been further refining and rolling out the methodology.

 

The result is that in 2015 BMI-T now has a mainstream research activity known as FibreSmart. FibreSmart is being rolled out on a phased basis using a syndicated (multi-client) model. This process is tailored to the client’s needs with areas prioritised in consultation with the client, initially in Gauteng, but also in Cape Town and Durban.

 

Rationale

A race is on to deploy fibre to the building (FTTB), with a parallel set of initiatives in fibre to the home (FTTH). The race to deploy fibre affects both those who build the fibre and those who do not build it themselves (e.g. ISPs and SI players).

 

The value chain for fibre based services includes several parties and stakeholders as identified in the figure opposite.

 

Our clients’ experience is that planning information is fragmented and incomplete: sufficiently detailed information is hard to get. Moreover, they have found that it is prohibitively costly to research this on their own, and it takes too long (while the race continues).

 

Research scope

FibreSmart continues to focus on FTTB as the currently directed priority. The Research Objectives for the remainder of 2015 are as follows:

 

1. To identify the most attractive areas, including office parks and other areas. Tenants in commercial buildings are identified through street surveys and geotagging. GIS analysis techniques are applied to confirm area attractiveness.

 

2. To create a concise profile of each tenant in selected, prioritised precincts, on a prioritised basis. Profile includes identifying various stakeholders and decision-making units, and how they relate to one another. It also includes a basic profile of current telecoms services used and suppliers, including ISPs.

 

Note that, while FTTx is the main focus of the research, non-fibre access alternatives may equally be considered as part of the overall building access solution.

 

 

FibreSmart Process

The figure below shows the process developed and optimised by BMI-T following the successful pilot programme and field work conducted to date.

 

 

The figure below provides a more detailed view of the processes employed.

 

 

 

  • Precincts are identified, generally consisting of 100 tenants. Listings of tenants in each precinct are compiled through multiple processes.
  • Areas prioritised for more detailed tenant profiling are researched in parallel for maximum efficiency. Completion level targets are set for each area in agreement with the client.
  • Results are provided to the client as they are obtained.

 

FibreSmart Deliverables and Outputs
  • Research commences at the building level, within each targeted area, then proceeds to tenants, stakeholders and decision-makers, and the mapping between them.
  • A profile of each tenant is created, which is entered into a database of tenants and buildings. Each record in the database is geotagged.
  • Clients may integrate the database into their own CRM and/or network planning systems, and merge it with their own spatial database(s).