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Roamware unveils EU2014 Solution Video

With EU2014 dominating the discussion at BARG#81, Roamware releases a video that describes our EU2014 Solution. Roamware is helping EU Mobile Operators implement Border Roaming Control, Wholesale Market Opening, Local Data Access, Alternate Roaming Provider Enablement through the EU2014 solution suite

Have a lookat the video here Roamware EU2014

Roamware’s expert team is at BARG in Executive Board Room 1 of the JW Marriot, Dubai. Do Drop in if you are at BARG

For more details on our EU2014 solution, visit http://www.roamware.com/r_eu2014.php

 
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An Interview on LTE Roaming with Laurent Dubesset, Roamware’s LTE Expert

Last week I caught up with Laurent Dubesset, Roamware’s Director of Technology and an industry renowned LTE expert. Here are excerpts from a conversation we had on LTE Roaming

With the LTE network count set to cross 200 in 2013, how big a focus is LTE Roaming going to be for operators?

I have worked to define the LTE roaming guidelines with other mobile operators within IREG PACKET group since 2009. Early in 2012, the guidelines were available but it was too soon at that time. Operators were not ready to start LTE roaming. IPX vendors were also not ready and have no LTE signaling offer to connect Mobile Operators. Since then I have seen a lot of activities in mobile operators and a lot of IPX vendors have announced officially they can interconnect LTE. LTE has been a reality in a lot of markets for more than 6 months and this is now time to start LTE roaming for them. I expect to see the first commercial LTE roaming agreements inside Europe but also between Europe, the USA and Asia by the end of H1 2013. Then the number of agreements will grow exponentially. 2014 will be the year of LTE roaming.

What are the challenges that an LTE subscriber can face in an international roaming context?

The first challenge for both subscribers and operators is the frequency band fragmentation. In the USA, Verizon, AT&T and other LTE operators have all deployed in different frequency bands: 700 MHz Upper C Block spectrum (Band 13) for Verizon, 700 MHz lower B’s and C’s (band 17) and refarmed AWS 1700/2100 (band 4) for AT&T. In Europe, you need to support the combination of three bands 2600 MHz (band 7), European Digital Dividend 800 MHz (band 20) and refarmed 1800 MHz spectrum (band 3). In Japan, NTT DOCOMO deployed in several bands (more than 4) but advises refarmed 2100 MHz (Band 1) as the main band for roaming. Some of the Asian operators also decided to deploy TDD LTE instead of FDD LTE.

Today there is no device supporting all necessary bands as well as FDD together with TDD technologies. Recently Qualcomm announced the release of a new chipset able to support all bands but it will take time before it is implemented in some devices and in all device market segments.

What are some of the technical challenges that operators face to ensure seamless LTE Roaming in multi-technology mobile ecosystem?

Operators need to build the international Diameter network over the IPX to interconnect the MNOs. They have to buy new equipment called Diameter Edge Agents. These are Diameter proxies with advanced security features like topology hiding, AttributeValuePairs filtering and even IPSEC support. They also have to purchase the LTE signaling transit service from one IPX carrier to avoid connecting directly to all their roaming partners.

Operators will also have to adapt the entire roaming VAS platform to cope with LTE including Network Traffic Redirection for Steering of Roaming (SoR) and Outreach Messaging for roamer communication.

Bill-shock is a major concern for LTE roaming. Due to the very high bandwidth of LTE, the bill-shock limit will quickly be reached. Some operators are thinking of a new wholesale business model for LTE (daily bundles). Some others want to lower down the prices on LTE compare to those on 2G/3G.

Last but not least, some networks have implemented the CSFB for voice, SMS and other Circuit Switched services. This is the intermediate solution before GSMA VoLTE. Some others directly jumped to VoLTE like Verizon as it is a former CDMA network. Roamers equipped with CSFB smart phones can’t roam on a VoLTE network and vice versa because the voice service would not be available.

 How do Roamware solutions help operators make the LTE Roaming seamless for subscribers?

There are numerous areas where Roamware solutions will ultimately help subscribers but I’d like to mention three of them:

Seamless is really the point. As mentioned above there are some networks or LTE accesses inside network where the roamer will not have voice service. Roamware’s industry pioneering steering of roaming solution – Network Traffic Redirection can make sure that the roamer is always on the best network and access and has voice service.

Today the architecture of LTE roaming is Home Routed that is to say the roamer is connected to his HPLMN. This model has some impacts on the service. The actual bandwidth is then limited by the round trip delay. Hence the subscriber may be disappointed by the quality of LTE roaming compare to the one he has in his own network. I think operators will quickly realize that and I assume the architecture will change to Local Break Out in one year or two. Roamware can help operators to implement LBO with the Local Internet Service solution.

Eventually, being an industry driver and thought leader, I am sure Roamware will find a proper solution to ensure interworking between CSFB networks and VoLTE ones.

To explore Roamware’s LTE Roaming solutions, please click

 

 
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Roamware MWC 2013 Photo Blog

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MWC Diaries: The new Monster Movie – Silent Switcher vs.Silent Roamer

Silent Switchers are more dangerous for operators than silent roamers. Consider a day in the roaming life of Sue. Sue lands in Barcelona for MWC and latches on to a network. She needs voice, sms and data working. She needs to be told of rate plans and such immediately with simple steps to choose one. She makes a couple of calls to her family back home or to her colleagues.

If Sue’s experience is not up to the mark, do you think she is going to call customer care? Think Again. No. Sue is just going to find the next best alternative – another network to latch on to or an OTT option. Sue’s home operator and their operator partners in Barcelona lose revenue and credibility. Here is what it looks like.

What Sue’s home operator needs is a holistic look at Sue’s roamer experience. Roamware’s R-Quality suite on display at our booth shows you how you can use a combination of Real-time monitoring, Active Testing and Handset monitoring to design Sue’s experience, test it and monitor it in real time.

Ok. Hint 2 at our big launch on Monday. It is going to make Sue’s life simple once she lands in Barcelona and her pocket lighter from a smaller roaming bill and her home operator happy. A kind of win-win for all.

Check out booth 6E64 for the action

 
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MWC Diaries: Roamer Joe, Silent Switcher Sue & EU2014: A Sergio Odyssey

Walking around the new venue of the Mobile World Congress, I did miss the familiar feeling of Mont Juic. It almost seemed like moving from one home to another, one era to the next. But then, old must give way to new. Fira Gran Via is impressive – massive layout, twice the size of the Mont Juic venue and seems to have easy entry and exit avenues. Remains to be seen how it handles the crowds, but looks good so far.

Personally, I am excited to meet with our vast customer base with a lot of meetings set up. I am excited about introducing to them our newest solutions in LTE Roaming, CEM, EU2014, Active Testing and MVNE among others, presented through the eyes of the ultimate benefactor – the subscriber.

Sue the Silent Switcher is more dangerous than a Silent Roamer, for she roams, but won’t even bother to complain to her operator before deciding to switch loyalties. Joe the Roamer is a globe trotter and needs to be managed before he travels, when he lands, while he is roaming and when he returns – a complete Roamer Experience Management candidate. EU2014-A Sergio Odyssey is not really a tribute to Stanley Kubrick and Serio Leone. It looks at how Roamware EU2014 solutions can help an EU roamer Sergio’s experience in the year 2014 and beyond.

What I am most excited about is the big announcement we are going to make on Feb 25th, the first day of the show. It has something to do with with making global roamer simpler, seamless and cost effective for subscribers while strengthening operators. Watch this space for more on how Roamware can help operators improve the lives of Silent Switcher Sue, Roamer Joe and Sergio the EU2014 Guy, and of course for the BIG Launch

Drop in to 6E64 and catch the action

 
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Roamware’s 13 Mobile Trends for 2013

2013 has arrived and it is the best time of the year to look at what lies ahead. Here are 13 trends that Roamware thinks will define the industry in 2013 -

1.       LTE Roaming takes flight

209 LTE networks will be commercially launched by the end of 2013(src: GSA). As the LTE subscriber base grows, LTE Roaming, associated IOT agreements and solutions to cater to LTE roamers will be much sought after by mobile operators. Creating a seamless subscriber experience in a complex telecom world of LTE and non-LTE networks will be top priority.

2.       Roamer Experience Management emerges from the shadows of CEM

Roamer Experience Management will be a niche that will emerge in the CEM space, catering to service availability, seamless experience, virtual home environment, service quality and local breakout needs of mobile operators.

3.       EU2014 becomes EU2013

While the deployment of border roaming, wholesale marketing opening, data control, local data plans and unbundling of domestic and roaming services is due to be completed in 2014, EU operators would need to implement and test these solutions in 2013 itself to be ready with thorough testing by 2014.

4.       Steering moves to the next generation

Roamware pioneered steering 10 years ago. Steering needs to ready itself for the next 10 years to cater to LTE and M2M as two new segments. Mobile Operators will look to have granularly defined steering rules based on data usage, CoS, commitments, LTE and also would want to know the performance of steering partners in real-time.

5.       Data brings with it control and policy needs

Data is on everyone’s mind as the next growth engine. But then, so is bill shock. Operator and subscriber driven data usage control solutions will be much sought after by operators sometimes driven by subscriber feedback and sometimes by regulation like in the EU.

6.       Local Internet becomes a necessity

Studies indicate that by 2015, 51% of IP traffic will be delivered over Wifi. With local WiFi threatening to eat operators’ lunch, providing local internet services to roaming subscribers either through their own access points or in partnership will be a key priority for operators. Operators will also explore solutions to offer 3G/4G data access at near local rates.

7.       Active Testing becomes norm before launching services

A key aspect of Roamer Experience Management is to be able to test the end to end experience of a roamer when he travels to another country. With active testing, operators can test the entire gamut of services – voice, data, SMS, MMS, etc. on custom defined parameters so that they know the experience their subscribers get when they roam.

8.       Niche MVNOs find their calling

MVNOs will find attractive segments to target such as the alternative roaming provider segment in EU, data segment, roaming segment, ethnic segment, M2M segment and many others. MVNOs will look for enablers that can provide them with Core2SIM [TR2] capabilities i.e. core network, OSS/BSS, Roaming & Local VAS, Customer Care and SIM services.

9.       Big Data led CEM improves customer satisfaction dramatically

To implement CEM, operators will look to analyze structured and unstructured data emerging from CDRs, TAP files, customer complaints, call center logs. Operators would need solutions that can analyze billions of data sets and provide insight on subscriber churn, subscriber segmentation and subscriber profiling in real time.

10.   M2M roaming becomes a reality

M2M connections should increase to 200 million by the end of 2013. Operators will seek out steering, testing, monitoring and OSS/BSS solutions like end2end service management, self-care for this growing segment.

11.   Operators punch back with Multi Number Solutions to take on Travel SIM vendors

With the international traveler count expected to cross 1 billion in 2013, Travel SIM vendors are having a field day. Operators will look for multi-number solutions through which they can provide the near-local rates to their subscribers without losing them to Travel SIM vendors.

12.   Interactive messaging brings in 2-way conversation with subscribers

Applying the Segment-of-One concept, operators will look to have personalized, interactive conversations with subscribers in local and roaming environments. They will look for solutions which cover the entire range of interactions from promotions to problems.

13.   Hubbing & Centralization bring in economies of scale to wholesale rates

With multiple 1:1 IOT agreements becoming time consuming and hard to negotiate, operators will look to service hubs for specific services such as roaming, call routing and number provisioning to benefit from the economies of scale achieved by vendors.

 

 
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Roamware to discuss LTE Roaming, EU Regulations, M2M with Customer Group

 The last few days have been quite exciting as we close in on the start of an important customer group meeting.

Roamware’s best experts are all set to discuss the latest trends in LTE Roaming, EU Regulations, M2M, Active Testing, Mobile Financial Services and to introduce the latest advancements in the Roamware product portfolio with customers in the middle of wine tasting, sightseeing and a whole lot of fun.

This is a new Roamware, bigger and stronger with 3 key acquisitions this year itself with lots of new exciting things to share with customers

Personally looking forward to fruitful discussions with customers and a lot of mutual learning

 

 
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Juniper Research features Roamware, says Data to push Mobile Roaming to $80 Billion

Juniper Research, a leading research and consulting firm has brought out its latest Mobile Roaming report and estimates that roaming will contribute around $80 Billion to mobile operator revenues globally by 2017 as against $ 46 Billion now. Juniper analyst Nithin Bhas estimates that the global share of operator revenue of mobile roaming will increase to 8% by then.

The report indicates that Data Roaming is set to increase its share of roaming revenue and is forecast to grow at 21% CAGR. This combined with price reductions in roaming packages and the global airline travel upswing especially in the Asian region will spur roaming revenues that have been impacted due to the weak economic climate and regulatory environment. New areas of growth for mobile roaming lie in areas like M2M and Wifi roaming which will see operator branded solutions being offered for these subscriber segments.

Roamware has a wide range of solutions to help operators increase revenue and margins from data roaming, M2M, Wifi, LTE roaming and a rich suite of solutions for meeting regulatary requirements profitably. Fore more details please visit http://www.roamware.com/solutions.php

Data http://www.roamware.com/r_data.php
M2M http://www.roamware.com/r_m2m.php
LTE http://www.roamware.com/r_evolution.php
Regulation http://www.roamware.com/r_policy.php
CEM http://www.roamware.com/r_experience.php

Dr.John Jiang, President & CTO, Roamware Inc has outlined his views on the roaming industry and Roamware in the report. You can buy the report at http://www.juniperresearch.com/reports/mobile_roaming

 
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Address EU 2014 Regulations in 2012 with a holistic and early approach

EU Regulations will fundamentally alter market & competitive dynamics. Mobile operators in the European Union are faced with the challenge of conforming to regulations, while running profitable businesses that offer good subscriber experiences while roaming. The latest round of EU regulations that are on the verge of being formalized will fundamentally change the market for international roaming in the region. The market will see increased competitive activity with operators mandated to open up wholesale roaming tariffs for their country for other operators to offer to their subscribers. Subscribers can de-couple their contract with their home operator in order to choose the best roaming operator based on tariff. This, coupled with already existing price caps on voice, which are being extended to data, will test the operator’s business model adaptability. Depending on an operator’s market position – whether he is an established MNO or an up and coming MVNO, these regulations pose an urgent need to tweak the business model to get it right in terms of market and competitive strategy with one objective – to meet regulations profitably.

Roamware’s R-Policy solution helps operators meet regulations profitably. Firstly, mobile operators need to understand the implications of the regulation on the roaming business model of their company. Once that is done, they need to provide attractive offers to their outbound subscribers so that they continue to use their services when they roam in the region. They need to ensure that inbound subscribers choose their roaming services based on competitive roaming rates. They also need to ensure that they provide data and voice roaming services with price caps at healthy margins to sustain their business. R-Policy’s RIGHT framework not only allows the operators to comply with regulatory requirements, but also enables the operators to take advantage of new opportunities exposed by the regulations in order to optimize their revenues.

R-Policy provides a regulatory response framework that
 Identifies areas of change in operator business models based on regulatory policies
 Adapts the outbound strategy for an operator to keep subscribers loyal
 Evolves the inbound strategy for an operator to attract roamers who enter the country
 Enables MVNOs to offer competitive roaming rates to subscribers based on published in-country wholesale rates
 Implements an advanced subscriber communication system that provides an intelligent and interactive communication interface between the roamer and the operator

To know more about the RIGHT framework, please visit http://www.roamware.com/r_policy.php

 
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LTE Smartphones differentiate based on frequency band compatibility

Published on September 28, 2012 by in LTE

Source: Wireless Intelligence

In an earlier post, I had written about the challenge that the iPhone 5 and this generation of phones face when it comes to operating across a fragmented LTE spectrum in international roaming scenarios.

Huawei just announced its Ascend P1 LTE Smartphone describing it as the device compatible with the highest number of frequency bands in the LTE spectrum.

http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/27/huawei-ascend-p1-lte-named-as-ee-exclusive-in-uk/

In  a recent article in Fierce Wireless, Phil Goldstein surveyed the complexity of supporting LTE spectrum bands in the US

‘Apple plans to sell three different models of the iPhone 5 to support various LTE bands. The GSM version designed for AT&T Mobility  will support AT&T’s 700 MHz B Block as well as AWS Band 4 (2100/1700 MHz), which is used in Canada by Bell Mobility, Rogers and Telus. The CDMA version for Verizon Wireless  and Sprint Nextel supports Verizon’s 700 MHz C Block spectrum and Sprint’s 1900 MHz LTE service as well as three international LTE bands: 850 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz. The international GSM version, which will be used by EE in the United Kingdom, among other operators, sports those same three international LTE bands’

The LTE Roaming challenge is hotting up and operators introducing LTE smartphones need to consider this as a key requirement that could become the differentiator in the 4G Smartphone market. One can see a lot of LTE roaming agreements being signed up in the near future.

 
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