Capacity: Wherever you Roam
Capacity Magazine | October/November 2018
Big data and new business
As a result of the regulation, there is also a growing demand for improved roaming outside the region. Telefonica’s UK subsidiary, O2, has helped with this by launching a package that gives users roaming benefits in 27 additional destinations outside the EU. Operators in other regions are also improving their packages.
However, services offering improved network insights and other value-added features also provide a route to improving cost structures and revenues. Carriers are, for instance, setting store by big data, business intelligence and analytics tools that can give customers improved insight into the behaviour of roamers on their network and aid predictive analysis, thus helping them better plan their strategies and save costs.
“These tools have the potential to give you 360-degree information on your roaming business, with near real-time information,” says Flores, with TIWS for one offering this type of insight. Schachne at BICS adds that analytics can aid in detecting security issues that arise with increased roaming.
Dennis Meurs, vice president and general manager of exchange, clearing and settlement solutions at global connectivity enabler Syniverse, says Syniverse provides consultancy for customers related to areas such as clearing and settlement, solutions to optimise data traffic and tools to create specific roaming packages for both inside and outside the EU.
Players such as Mobolize, which offers smart on-device mobile data management to optimise performance for customers, are meanwhile coming to the aid of mobile operators with new products that seek to improve efficiency. In Europe, the company has just launched Mobolize Bond, which offers smooth hand-off between Wi-Fi and cellular networks to avoid data “dead zones”.
This helps mobile providers “better manage data on devices in a more costeffective way and add value to the end customer and their on-device experience”, says Colleen LeCount, SVP of global sales and marketing at Mobolize.
Some of the revenues lost from roaming can also be compensated for by the rise in new services such as IoT, says Carro – adding that networks need to account for the fact that many of these services, such as connected cars, need to be able to offer roaming. “The roaming business needs to adapt to this new wave of devices and connectivity required.”
IoT and forthcoming 5G will mean both opportunities and challenges for operators, requiring them to work out how to integrate their roaming models with the new technology. But as carriers get more to grips with the trends and patterns over time, they will have the chance to hone their models to deal more effectively with the new realities. And Nathalie Vandystadt, a spokesperson for the European Commission, believes this will culminate in a better environment for everyone: “All economic players, including competitive operators, will ultimately benefit from a much more efficient roaming market.”