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.