Operators Need a Data Monetisation Superhero. Policy and Charging to the Rescue!

Posted: June 1st, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

Comptel MonetizerData is revealing new monetisation opportunities to operators, not only because customer data usage is increasing considerably in the era of over-the-top (OTT) content services and complex data and third-party content bundles, but also because data itself offers new insights into service demand. However, many operators lack the ability to quickly create and deliver the variety of service offerings customers want, and are not agile enough to react to customers’ changing behaviours. On top of that, the instant nature of today’s digital world means there is less time to capitalise on the rising demand for data.

How can digital and communications services providers possibly provide more data services in less time? This looks like a job for the Monetizer.

In a recent Comptel webinar, “More to Monetise with Limited Time,” I was joined by Tinakaran Ramdas, senior product manager at Comptel, to discuss these trends and identify the superhero solution to the massive data usage monetisation challenge.

The reality is, it will take a heroic effort for operators to manage an increasingly complex service environment. Today’s evolving consumer demand changes the way operators package and sell data offerings – consider new OTT content bundles, roaming data packages, device-specific data packages or shared “family” data accounts.More to Monetise Less Time To Do It

At the same time, customers are consuming more data during more hours of the day on a wider range of devices (many on several devices at a time), and exposure to new ways of buying means they now desire personalised, in-the-moment offers and a seamless and convenient purchase experience.

These trends offer a great revenue opportunity for digital and communication service providers, but it still takes far too long for many operators to create and tailor the offerings that appeal to Generation Cloud. An irrelevant, mass-marketed offer backed by a slow and cumbersome buying process won’t receive a second look from these digitally native and demanding buyers.

That’s where our superhero – disruptive policy control and charging – can save the day. Policy is moving beyond simply congestion management – it’s now the money-maker of the data world. In fact, policy has become a strategic tool for operators to create and deploy personalised offers faster than ever.

A superhero needs superpowers, and the next generation of policy and charging control offers several. It needs to be:

  • Energetic – Bringing the speed operators need to configure, launch and profit from new services, with the energy that empowers sales and marketing to seize new opportunities
  • Ergonomic – Delivering a modern user experience with appropriate solutions for both the marketing team and the IT department, bolstered by a common language that simplifies management for both technical and non-technical users
  • Shapeshifting – Enabling the adaptability and elasticity operators need to create new services and solutions for emerging technology as its developed

These capabilities empower digital and communications services providers to cut offer creation time from months to minutes. Operators can also quickly adapt not only to current consumer and technology trends, but also those in the future. So where can you find such superpowers?

In the webinar, Tinakaran offers a full look at Comptel’s own superhero policy and charging solution: the Monetizer. He also highlights a handful of interesting customer stories that demonstrate how previous Monetizer implementations enabled faster time to market and creative data services, while laying the groundwork for the new capabilities introduced by our upcoming PCC5 software release. You can visit our website to learn more about the Monetizer and the CPOD interface behind it.

Get the full story on the challenges of monetising more services in less time, and learn how the Monetizer solution enables the speed operators need to leverage new opportunities. Click to replay our free webinar, “More to Monetise With Less Time.”

Presenters:

Tinakaran Ramdas, Senior Product Manager, Comptel

Tinakaran Ramdas, Senior Product Manager, Comptel

Malla Poikela, Head of Marketing, Intelligent Data, Comptel

Malla Poikela, Head of Marketing, Intelligent Data, Comptel


What’s Next in the Evolution of Policy Control & Charging?

Posted: May 29th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Industry Insights | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

Data usage is skyrocketing. Consider Cisco’s study at the beginning of this year, which found that global mobile data traffic grew 81 percent in 2013, reaching 1.5 exabytes per month. Mobile video traffic reached 43 percent, and average smartphone usage grew 50 percent in 2013. By 2018, it is even expected that there will be more than 10 billion mobile-connected devices. No surprise there – 1 billion smartphones shipped in 2013, which was more than half of all mobile phones shipped last year.

Not only that, the faster the mobile device, the more data customers use. A study from JDSU discovered that subscribers with the iPhone 5s use 7x as much data as users with the iPhone 3G. Apps contribute to data consumption, too – 2013 saw a 115 percent year-over-year increase in app use and that number continues to rise. As devices and apps get more sophisticated and data-heavy, bandwidth requirements will keep growing explosively.

That’s where more intelligent policy control and charging is starting to shine. In April, Comptel attended the Policy Control and Data Pricing Conference in Berlin– it was obvious there that the industry was in agreement: without a way to quickly price, deliver and optimize innovative data packages, communications service providers (CSPs) will be unable to respond to the diverse needs of today’s customers and tomorrow’s prospects.

A New Ecosystem

There are currently a lot of questions about how to handle different types of data traffic. At the conference, Keith Breed, the research director of the Tariff Consultancy, talked about the stark differences between data pricing packages in different countries and wondered if they could be sustainable.

New investments such as fibre and LTE, along with the impact of OTT providers on traditional sources of revenue, are going to complicate how data is priced. That’s introduced major questions when it comes to traffic management. In the U.S., for example, there’s an ongoing debate about net neutrality. Do CSPs have the right to charge the websites that are using more bandwidth across the network? Or is the Internet a public utility? Breed advocated for a new ecosystem where all data traffic is treated equally.

As business and consumer bandwidth needs change, policy does, too. Adaptability is going to be key for rolling out innovative offers and delivering the appropriate quality of service levels to customers. Peter Dykes, senior analyst at Informa, explained that, in order to adapt quickly, CSPs will need a way to create and launch new data bundles as soon as a customer’s behaviour changes. He suggested that, in the coming years, the closer integration of policy and charging will help make this a reality.

As one speaker noted, online services will play a leading role in this space, too. VoIP, VoLTE, video, gaming and cloud applications will make it critical for CSPs to be able to manage policy dynamically. Changes are coming, and to maintain a competitive advantage, CSPs have to move toward an offer-catalog driven policy and charging control solution that helps deliver, customise and optimise data services.

A Data Debate

At the heart of the debate is how far CSPs should go in managing data usage. Comptel’s Steve Hateley recently talked about how 4K movies will require 45 to 60 gigs of bandwidth, and Fredrik Jungermann of tefficient emphasized that customers should be notified and proactively provided with solutions when hitting their data caps.

The exponential increase in data over the coming years means that having the right offer-catalog driven policy and charging control solutions, particularly one that can be layered with predictive analytics and machine learning capabilities, is going to be more important than ever. Businesses might have a data plan that only streams videos for conferences and uses landlines for voice. Consumers might watch movies or they may only text. Either way, CSPs will need a way to personalise offers in real-time to create new sources of revenue.

All of this was highlighted at the recent Policy Control and Data Pricing Conference. At the end of the day, it was clear that the secret to unlocking new opportunities is to engage individual customers – at the right time and in the right way with the data services they desire.

Want to learn more about the changing landscape of data? Meet up with Comptel at TM Forum Live! in Nice to get a copy of our new whitepaper, “10 more methods to monetise mobile data,” which was written by consulting firm tefficient (www.tefficient.com), an international efficiency specialist for telecom operators and suppliers, and sponsored by Comptel.


What Technologies Are Impacting Policy Management?

Posted: February 22nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on What Technologies Are Impacting Policy Management?

I was recently talking about policy management with my colleague, Ulla Koivukoski, and started thinking about how far we’ve come and how it will continue to evolve. All of the new and advanced technologies that have been introduced in the past couple of years are having a big influence on this, and will continue to shape how communications service providers (CSPs) utilise policy management capabilities.

One of the most prominent of these technologies is 4G/LTE. Because LTE enables faster data speeds, customers will inevitably want to consume more and more data. CSPs who can gain deeper insight into such data usage will have a clear advantage. For policy management specifically, this means the ability to provide different packages with different rating models that are unique to customers’ behaviours. It also means implementing bandwidth or data caps in certain instances– otherwise, we’d use all of our network capacity!

Adding to this, it’s crucial for CSPs to identify the impact of down throttling on individual customers who are likely to churn and/or cause a revenue loss. For example, if customers experience poor quality of service (QoS), CSPs need to be able to proactively offer them a higher bandwidth or data package. In this way, the risk for revenue loss and customer churn can be mitigated while simultaneously improving QoS for the right customers. Further, a predictive analytics engine can suggest which customers will be most valuable for CSPs based on pre-defined Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and which customers desire a corrective action to keep them on-board (e.g. a dedicated bandwidth prioritisation).

CSPs also can benefit by tightly coupling policy control with real-time charging. Like our recent consumer research demonstrated, financial considerations like personalised product/service promotions can influence customer behaviour. So, if CSPs can not only dynamically control the packages that are being delivered to customers and how, but also competitively price their offerings, they can increase the amount customers are willing to spend and maximise their revenue.

Linked closely with this is big data, which is giving CSPs a huge opportunity to add value. To tap into the power of big data, CSPs must first sift through and analyse the immense data volumes, both structured and unstructured, to get complete views of their customers. With this, CSPs can offer new services and bundles to customers with both efficiency and rapid time-to-market. Adding to this, a combination of advanced analytics and mediation enables CSPs to begin use cases like proactive broadband upsell for customers based on the prediction of their changed usage pattern, premium user identification, and automatically approaching customers with the right offer, in the right context.

Another technology making an impact on policy management—and one that goes hand in hand with big data—is the cloud. More and more, the cloud is one of the best options for storing and processing data. It allows for offline processing and the ability to trigger information online, to achieve real-time, personalised campaigns. Latency and security threats remain a concern, but if these can be managed properly, then I see policy making a big shift to the cloud.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg – there are many more advancements being made every day. As our world and the technologies in it continue to evolve, I look forward to seeing how policy management will grow and change to drive a better, more efficient customer experience.


A Deeper Look at Analytics-Driven Policy Control and Charging

Posted: February 6th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights, News | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

Today, we announced a joint real-time policy control and charging solution with Procera Networks, Inc. I thought this was an opportune time to sit down with Comptel’s resident policy experts, Malla Poikella and Tinakaran Ramdas, to discuss the state of policy – how it’s changed, the important elements involved, and what our partnership with Procera means for policy control and charging.

Q: How have we seen policy management mature, and how will this area continue to evolve in 2013?

Malla: Policy management will be present everywhere. Traditionally, it was just used to control network activities like bandwidth and usage. Now, it’s no longer constrained to the network and is effecting a much larger scope with charging, for instance, playing a greater role. Adding another layer to this is analytics, which enable more actionable intelligence that can be used to determine which individuals to engage, when to engage and the proper message to send to them. This type of targeting will, in turn, work to prevent churn and generate revenue.

Q: How important is real time to this?

Tinakaran: Throughout the whole cycle of policy control and charging, real time has played a huge role. But, you must understand that there’s a difference between real time and what we call ‘online’. Whereas real time can experience somewhat of a lag, online communications happen immediately. To illustrate this point, imagine streaming a video that keeps stalling. Operators can send a message in that exact moment saying that they are going to give you a boost because you’re a valued customer. This is an online communication – something that is relevant to customers while they are experiencing issues like this. It not only helps alleviate that certain problem, but drives loyalty gains in the long run. Real-time communications, on the other hand, takes a little longer, so you might receive an offer ten minutes after you’ve already finished the video – making it much less relevant.

Q: Policy control was a hot-button topic two to three years ago. Why is it still relevant and critical for communications service providers (CSPs) today?

Malla: Policy control is a key enabler of revenue generation, but data is also an important part of this – which has presented a problem for operators in the past when it comes to how to best harness and manage it. With today’s tools, though, operators can more easily do this, as analytical capabilities provide both user and network insights. This holistic view means operators have the clearest path to rate and charge intelligently.

Q: Why did Comptel and Procera decide to engage in this partnership?

Tinakaran: This partnership allows Procera further granularity into different services offered and, as a result, more opportunities to generate revenue. For instance, a user may want a special package for social services – now, with Comptel, Procera can understand user needs like this and target them accordingly with a specialised package. This granularity is enabled with both DPI and policy capabilities, allowing Procera to offer various packages, monitor that usage and then charge for them accordingly.


The True Value of Big Data

Posted: October 19th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

There’s no denying that one of the biggest trends in IT right now is Big Data. While there are many different ways to describe it, perhaps the most commonly agreed upon, and my personal favorite, is that it must encompass the three “Vs”: volume, velocity and variety. How organisations understand and embrace these concepts varies—but I think we can all agree on one thing – there is a lot of data being generated quickly from various sources. I’ve found that one of the biggest questions organisations are asking though (which adds a fourth “V” to the equation) is: How do we derive value from Big Data?

Real-time (or near real-time) predictive analytics are gaining in popularity, and may hold the key to realising Big Data’s true value. In his keynote presentation at OpenWorld, Joe Tucci, CEO of EMC Corporation, stated that: “Real-time predictive analytics will be the killer app for this cloud era.” Personally, I could not agree more and think that this points in precisely the right direction, not just for cloud but for all businesses dealing with data.

One of the main benefits is gaining a strategic understanding of customers and the overall business ecosystem. But the key is going beyond simply collecting information, or even the ability to store and process it. The way organisations can truly realise Big Data’s potential is by leveraging it to predict behaviours and market changes, and make smarter business decisions based on that knowledge.

What exactly those actions are will depends a bit on the case—for communications service providers, it may be policy management activities or real-time, location-based marketing campaigns. And as many are already noticing, decision-making with predictive modeling can have huge benefits.

In short, I believe we must indeed look at Big Data not as a thing that happens, but as a process we act upon – through contextual predictive analytics-driven actions. Enabling these insights is important to Comptel and something we’re continually working towards by combining analytics with our high-performance mediation and fulfillment platform. If I must confess, I am really excited about what we are seeing and doing here, and the benefits we can offer to our customers!


VanillaPlus Policy Control Features – A Sneak Peek

Posted: January 20th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Policy control is near and dear to us here at Comptel, and we’re very excited for the upcoming February / March issue of VanillaPlus that will have a special focus on this area. In fact, Comptel has contributed some thoughts for inclusion in that issue, and we’d like to provide you with a sneak peek.

In one feature, Comptel CEO Juhani Hintikka weighs in on policy management as a means of bandwidth conservation and as a way to create upsell opportunities. Juhani explains how this is becoming a reality as policy concepts evolve and mature, and discusses additional opportunities available to communications service providers (CSPs) if they can take advantage of this function. This becomes especially relevant with the rollout of LTE, where almost every user transaction must travel through the policy control engine. As such, the Policy Charging Rules Function (PCRF) must be able to both handle the scale and complexity of these transactions—calling for a need to combine OSS flexibility and support to fit CSPs’ business models as well as provide network-level transaction processing.

In another article, Comptel’s policy control solutions manager, Joonas Ojala, shares his thoughts on how policy management will allow CSPs to better control their bandwidth to best provide a package that fits customer needs. To do this, CSPs need to steer away from technical attributes and focus more-so on use cases and analysing customer behaviour in order to differentiate service packages appropriately. For example, those who surf the web randomly should have a different option than corporate customers who may have a higher priority allocated to them in terms of speed.

To learn more about Comptel’s thoughts on these topics, check out the upcoming issue of VanillaPlus!


Thinking of Postponing BSS/OSS Enhancements? Think Again

Posted: December 21st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Thinking of Postponing BSS/OSS Enhancements? Think Again

By: Deb Osswald, Research Vice President, Next Generation Network (NGN) Operations, IDC

Communications service providers (CSPs) often prioritize network investment over OSS/BSS, but they need to think again. OSS/BSS is now, more than ever, a critical enabler in shaping service portfolios and the customer experience.

It seems that with IT and networks converging and more and more services being delivered from IT clouds, we think CSPs might want to consider prioritizing IT-centric BSS/OSS initiatives right up there with network-enhancing ones. While we will stipulate that the network is the central asset of CSPs and is clearly worthy of major investment, it is also CSPs’ operational efficiency, effectiveness and flexibility that can more often than not help them distinguish themselves in the increasingly crowded communications landscape.

Unique assets like a flexible billing system and a simple-to-use, easy-to-navigate self-service, web portal can give CSPs a real advantage in the marketplace; plus, some increasingly important application areas such as analytics, policy management and customer experience management (CEM) can add to their value propositions. With robust capabilities in these key areas, CSPs will have much more to offer than the over-the-top (OTT), Internet-based service providers can possibly offer because these abilities will allow them to be much more innovative in how the service or application is ultimately created, configured, bundled/delivered and supported. In addition, CSPs are uniquely equipped to leverage differentiating capabilities like location, presence, context and even augmented reality to create new service mashups or supplement a specific application to improve its utility and ultimate value to customers.

Also, CSPs must be equipped to tap into the vast ecosystem of application, service and content providers, and must have highly automated systems and processes that can handle rapid integration, management, delivery and customer support for third-party-provided service components, applications and content. Costly onboarding of an independent software vendor’s application or slow and laborious implementation of a new pricing plan for data downloads can cripple the profitability of an otherwise highly profitable offering. To make matters worse, if CSPs don’t have their operations up to par and ensure they are highly automated, and yet are able to get to market an innovative offering that suddenly attains great popularity, the offering’s very success can kill profitability for that offering. A lack of automation for a particular offering that achieves a high volume of sales can dramatically impact profitability by compressing margins to unacceptable levels that will turn an otherwise successful launch into a financial and operational disaster.

With growing opportunity residing in the SMB and mid-market enterprise segment, CSPs would do well to invest in BSS/OSS enhancements, cloud infrastructures and integration of the two in order to ensure they can support business-critical application delivery (via the self-service SaaS model) to this important customer set that is fast-embracing the value of the on-demand, pay-per-use application model.

The bottom line is CSPs must realize that investing today will yield significant dividends tomorrow. Missing the boat on this new services paradigm (cloud, M2M, etc.) by not investing in operations today is missing the boat on attaining relevance in the markets of the future. Leverage your networks, invest in your BSS/OSS and provide customers with a relevant portfolio of fully automated, high quality, secure services, applications and content. Also offer customers a positive experience (high quality of service, SLAs when appropriate, etc.) and use the network to elevate the reliability of your offerings, but ensure that success of an offering means financial success as well.

Deb Osswald manages IDC’s research on telecom industry business and operational practices and systems and contributes to the firm’s broad portfolio of network infrastructure market research. She is leading IDC’s telecom software research with a focus on delivering business value to clients through research efforts focused on communications service provider (CSP) investments in software-driven IT, including cloud and machine-to-machine (M2M) service enablement platforms, analytics applications and tools, business and operational support systems (BSS/OSS), service delivery platforms (SDPs) and next-generation policy management.


Around the World

Posted: March 11th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Around the World

Around the WorldCellular News…
Mobile Network Operators Need New Approaches to Make Data Profitable
Editor Ian Mansfield covered a recent Ovum report, Making a Profit from Mobile Broadband Data, which looks at why mobile network operators (MNOs) need to find a smarter approach for managing their networks and charging for data usage.  The report explains that MNOs need to use customer data held in the BSS with policy management and controls in order to manage soaring traffic loads, drive profits, personalise the customer experience and increase their agility and response times.  Clare McCarthy, the author of the report, noted that, “some MNOs have already adopted plans with options such as discounted evening and weekend use or monthly data caps.  However, this approach doesn’t go far enough and only addresses one part of the equation.  It doesn’t maximise revenue potential with high-value customers.”

This is a similar point Bob Machin raised after attending Informa’s Broadband Traffic Management event back in November—the industry has been steadily moving from Policy Control 1.0 to Policy Control 2.0, with the first wave dominated by the need to control (and indeed deter) the use of data services, and the second taking a much more liberal approach which encourages data usage, but aims to flatten out peaks and troughs in demand, spreading usage more evenly across networks, geographies and time spans to allow a much better return.

TM Forum: Revenue Management Community…
Minutes, Seconds – Who’s Counting?
Tony Poulos, BSS strategist and evangelist for TM Forum, blogged on Telstra’s recent move from 30-second billing blocks to one-minute billing blocks.  While the communications service provider (CSP) says this move will bring the company in line with industry standards (and analysts have noted that Telstra will reap tens of millions in revenue from the change), consumer groups are unsurprisingly opposed. They are saying that it will make phone calls more expensive, and that the industry could easily charge in smaller time blocks.  As Tony points out, CSPs generally aspire to one-second billing, and this was pretty much the world standard. From a BSS/OSS perspective, this move is certainly a surprise, as more CSPs are looking to charge in real time and offer more advanced and flexible pricing models to optimise subscribers’ experiences.  What are your thoughts on Telstra’s move?

Light Reading…
Many India Lines Inactive, Finds Regulator
India editor Gagandeep Kaur reported on recent data from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and Visitor Location Register, which found that 222.52 million lines (nearly 29%) of the total mobile phone lines (771.18 million) are inactive.  There are a lot of pre-paid numbers that have been activated but used only for a certain amount of time; users likely activate new numbers either with the same CSP or a rival.  In January 2011, Bharti Airtel added 3.3 million new mobile lines to reach a total of 155.8 million—giving the CSP a 20.2 percent share of the mobile market; while Reliance added 3.2 million to reach a total of 128.9 million—giving it a 16.7 percent market share.  The only operator that recorded a reduction from its subscriber base was Videocon Telecommunications; this is believed to be the result of subscriber churn following the introduction of mobile number portability, which was introduced earlier this year.  It will be interesting to see how these figures shape out throughout 2011, particularly because SIM management will play a larger role in CSPs’ OSSs and as India’s wireless subscriber base continues to grow.


Around the World

Posted: September 3rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Around the World

Light Reading…
Telecom Market Spotlight: Asia
From a point about midway in 2010, Light Reading’s Market Spotlight looks both backwards and forwards at the Asia region. It updates the third-quarter estimates for the 2009 figures used in the previous Telecom Market Spotlight: Asia with now historic figures for 2009, and it includes estimates / forecasts for 2010. Focusing on the Asian market, the report touches on the following topics:

It contains a lot of interesting information and compelling statistics about the region. What is particularly fascinating to us is the special focus on ‘What happened to WiMax’. In Asia, there has been a trend among operators shifting from WiMax and moving towards a LTE environment. Light Reading surveyed the scene a couple of years ago, and it seemed that WiMax was the sure leader, but not so much anymore. The result is partly due to the much wider deployment of established 3G technologies (particularly HSPA and now the enhanced HSPA+) and the resulting smartphone boom, and partly of the rapid acceptance of 4G LTE mobile as the preferred evolution to next-generation technology by most of the mobile industry. Another problem for WiMax the report references is that WiMax operators are increasingly open to switching to LTE when doing so is necessary and economical—check out LTE Watch: Yota Drops WiMax for LTE.

Connected Planet…
Q&A: Verizon On Why QoS and Policy Matter
BSS/OSS reporter, Susana Schwartz recently caught up with Naseem Khan, principal member of technical staff at Verizon Labs, to get his company’s take on policy management. Given the conversation, it seems that quality of service (QoS) is top priority for Verizon, as they believe it will give them the competitive edge in the industry. Khan states that QoS will be a key differentiator in the industry and if there can be standardization of policy management around QoS, [Verizon] thinks it will help with managing multiple services and applications on the network — IPTV, data and voice — not to mention all the different access technologies. When asked about hindrances he sees ahead, he believes that time to market could be expedited if vendor platforms interwork through common standards—standardization is just the first phase, and then implementation by vendors is next. Recognizing this, Comptel designed a portfolio of OSS solutions—Comptel Dynamic OSS—to help CSPs realize their growth ambitions, and achieve their service creation and delivery objectives.

Policy management certainly seems to be on the minds of North American operators, as Susana spoke on this topic earlier with Farooq Bari, lead member of AT&T’s technical staff.

TM Forum Online Community…
CSP Gives Itself ‘Bill Shock’
A TM Forum online community member shares that Australian CSP, Telstra, incurred as much as AU $90 million in bad debts in its past financial year, caused largely by customers that disputed and didn’t pay expensive bills. Telstra’s chief financial officer, John Stanhope describes the situation as “…a customer might be described a plan, but when they get their first bill it’s hard to understand or doesn’t match the plan they thought they were going to get as described by someone at the front of house. Then a dispute occurs with the bill”. Apart of Telstra’s ‘simplification strategy’ is to make sure that customers understand the plan they have and how it will look on their bill. Wouldn’t a simpler plan involve a customer defining its usage limits? For example, take Finnish CSP DNA Ltd—it deployed Comptel Roaming Cost Control, which allows subscribers to monitor their balances in real time, and notify them of any necessary actions, such as a notification or suspension of the services when a specified cut-off limit is reached—avoid any unnecessary ‘bill shock’.


Around the World…

Posted: June 16th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

B/OSS | Tara Seals’ Blog…
Savoring That World Cup Draw with England
Editor Tara Seals blogs on innovative ideas for telecom and ruminates on why the industry has not gotten there yet. She identifies customer-centricity (a common theme at recent Billing and OSS World Conference) as one of the main reasons. She states that, although carriers and vendors are moving away from a service-focused model, there is room for improvement. Tara shares with us a personal experience with ordering a service and how she became annoyed in the process. Tara isn’t the only one affected by customer service—friend of Comptel and Telesperience analyst Teresa Cottam also recently blogged about similar experiences in “#IVRhell and #churnfury”. Maintaining quality of service and quality of experience is important for service providers and needs to be a priority to advance this competitive market.

TelecoNews.com…
Will Carriers Be Big Players in the Internet of Things?
David Goldstein blogs on a recent GigaOM article and In-Stat report that looks at mobile devices using integrated wireless broadband, and whether the shift to 4G will free up 3G capacity for new mobile gizmos, which have been coined “connected devices” (e.g. e-readers, tablets, Blu-ray players, etc.). In-Stat estimates an 11 percent cumulative annual growth rate in the number of devices that require wireless services; however, carrier networks are already struggling to keep up with demand from existing devices. Policy control can help operators ensure that each user has enough bandwidth and that others are not “squeezed” from the network; this is particularity useful for driving continued uptake of wireless broadband and “connected devices” in the future.

TM Forum Community Blog…
LTE: More Restrained This Year, But Equally Impressive
Martin Creaner of TM Forum blogs on the outlook of LTE and the foundations to support the technology. According to the GSMA, there are currently 88 operators (in 42 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia) that have deployed or are trialing LTE. And, what’s even more encouraging is that these numbers are expected to grow. The Forum’s current initiatives are developing core management interfaces for these technologies and working with other industry bodies, such as 3GPP and NGMN, to ensure that the whole industry adopts a consistent approach.