Roam-Like-Home is Costly for Mobile Operators. Learn How to Optimize-Like-Home and Fix the Revenue Gap

 In Blogs & Bloggers

By Ira Stern, MOBOLIZE | Senior Director of Solutions Engineering


Sometimes challenges show themselves in the most unexpected places — like airports. I was waiting for a flight to London and heard a passenger sitting across from me say, “Oh, blimey!”

I smiled at the British word. “Everything okay?”

She shook her head. “I just got an email reporting on my company’s projected roaming costs for August, and it’s more than we thought it was going to be. Sorry, I don’t mean to talk tech. I work for a telecom company and we’re getting killed with not being able to charge roaming costs when our customers are outside our network. It’s more of a challenge – and cost – than expected.”

“I understand. I also work in the telecom industry. This was the first full summer that Roam-Like-Home legislation was in effect, right?”

“Yeah, brilliant, huh. Our biggest challenge is that our customers watch a lot of videos when they’re on vacation because kids watch game or cartoon videos and mom and dad catch up on movies. That means each device probably consumes more than 1 gigabyte of data when roaming, just whilst on vacation. Multiply that by the millions of users roaming, and the price is staggering.”

“What does your company plan to do about it?” I asked.

“We began throttling downloads to save on data usage, but that creates buffering and stuttering. Users were frustrated with their almost unusable experience and our customer complaint queue went crazy.”

I nodded. “And that can cause customers to start looking for alternative carriers.”

“Our network operation team is looking into solutions, but upgrading a network is so expensive.” She shook her head. “What do you do about the costs of roaming? You said you were in the telecom business.”

“Actually, I work at a company that provides a one-of-a-kind and very cost-effective solution to this roaming issue. It maximizes data usage by up to 70 percent. And that saves operators like yourself high roaming and wholesale costs.”

“Seventy percent?

“I know. A large number, but our Optimize product works without the need of extra equipment to be installed in to the network because it resides on the mobile device.”

“On the device? How does that work?”

“Because Optimize is on the device, each user’s phone or tablet essentially becomes its own optimization engine. It’s typically deployed via SDK into a carrier’s care app and can be deployed across the user base without delays for testing and installation. With Optimize, users don’t get frustrated with stuttering and buffering as a result of throttling.”

“How does it maintain the quality of the video? That’s key.”

“We control the video bit rate that is sent to the mobile device, paired with dynamic caching, which allows for the user to see no discernable difference between a 480p and a 1080p video on a typical smart phone screen. Here, let me show you.”

It was time for my flight to board, but I took the time to show her the video on the Mobolize website.*

“You’re right. No real difference. I need your contact info. I’m Sarah.”

“Hi Sarah. I’m Ira. If you’re interested, let’s talk more. Invite your Network Operations team as well.”

“Brilliant,” she said.

I handed her my card and headed for my flight. Old habits die hard, and many operators still look at expensive, hardware-based answers instead of new, innovative solutions resident on the mobile device. Easy optimization solutions that can help operators meet today’s challenging market disruptions like the new laws that allow consumers to roam outside their operator’s network without paying extra, putting the cost burden back on their operator.


*Check out the Optimization video here. Scroll down to “Now See Optimization in Action.”


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