Market Technology Trends in OSS/BSS

 

Below are few technology trends in OSS/BSS for 2015:

LTE Monetization – Mobile Operators are facing tougher operating environment, encompassing saturated markets, stringent regulation guidelines, high spectrum acquisition cost, and huge Capex requirement for nationwide network rollouts. So it has become an imperative need for the operator to monetize their LTE Network with next gen OSS/BSS; that helps them to launch innovative offerings such as Sponsored Data, Shared Wallet/Family Plan and Volte.

LTE Wi-Fi Interworking – Many operators are upgrading their networks to 4G, but are facing huge challenge to increase their LTE reach and lure new subscribers. 4G Packs are quite expensive and also many users do not possess LTE compatible devices. These challenges compel operators to find out alternatives such as LTE – Wi-Fi interworking; where operator seamlessly offload their LTE/3G subscribers to WIFI Access points and still leverage on their existing infrastructure. Next Gen OSS/BSS should support both LTE & Wi-Fi Networks on the same platform to ensure smooth transition and offer seamless user experience.

Emergence of OTT & Telco Partnership –In spite of heavy investment in Network Infrastructure; operators are not able to leverage their existing network. On the other hand OTT players are providing services on operator’s network free of cost to the end-users. So it has become important for operator to make the most of their available resources and monetize their Network usage and join hands with OTT to ensure their revenue is intact. The OSS/BSS platform should supports multi-party partner settlement, In-built multi-currency support, customizable business critical reports and rule based charging and partner invoicing.

Few examples of OTT & Telco Partnership are mentioned below

  • Idea Cellular joined hands with Opera Software and Quikr to offer sponsored mobile data. Under the arrangement, Idea customers will get free 10 MB data usage for an entire day, sponsored by Quikr on Opera Mini browser.
  • Reliance launched an Unlimited Facebook plan at a very minimal price point. Facebook can expand its users in India and Reliance can leverage on Facebook’s popularity to expand its own subscriber base.

Big Data Analytics – The Global Mobile Data traffic is expected to increase tenfold by 2019, with more connected devices, Apps, and increased smartphone penetration. Operators do not have such deep pockets to cater to this level of traffic and subscriber personalization. This is where analytics as a tool helps in increasing revenues in today’s scenario when the growth is stagnant.

Virtualized Solutions – Cloud based BSS, PCRF & NFV are becoming the new norm for telecom industry. It offers operators the Agility and Speed to expand horizontally and vertically to roll out quickly new monetization and personalization use cases needed to innovate in next generation data services. The OSS/BSS Platform should support any vendor’s hardware and storage which results in more benefits in terms of performance with virtualization.

Real Time Contextual Offers – It is all about sending the right offer at the right time to the relevant end user on which they can act immediately. According to a recent survey; majority of the operators were of the opinion if an offer is sent at the right time there is an increase in offer uptake by at least 70%, thereby increasing data revenues by over 10%. To know more click here

Why Operators Need Better LTE Monetization Strategy

Today’s telecom operators are facing a double edged sword in the form of tough data-driven business dynamics where technological landscape is fast changing from 3G to 4G as well as a challenge coming from diminishing profitability.

In such a scenario, operators need to devise a strategy where they look at better monetization coming in from their expanding investments into next generation network rollouts.

Smartphones and the fast emergence of OTT apps have led customers to expect Web-like experience from telecoms services and applications, this is where operators find it extremely difficult to utilize their internal infrastructure resources in order to elevate the user experience.

And to add to the operator’s challenge, the free nature of most of the OTT applications such as Whatsapp or Facebook have created a perception that operators should not charge for similar services. For example, when South Korea’s pre-RCS trial was successful and popular, the service was free. On the other hand, when operators tried to monetize it, most subscribers churned to a free OTT service.

How to Monetize LTE

Today’s operators are also facing new age challenges coming from an increased demand of mobility. This is especially true when users expect high speed data access in the home, office, on the move and generally wherever they are.

Just for example, a typical user behavior includes cellular connectivity on the move, fixed access in the office and Wi-Fi use at home in the evenings and night, this kind of user behavior towards data access and increased speed needs are complicating network planning and peak-hour calculations on the operator side.

There is no doubt that operators are facing this challenges of the hostile and rapidly expanding data-services ecosystem, however, they still possess a number of tools that can push their 4G revenue ahead and additionally which can be used to remain competitive in this data hungry telecom world. Some of these tools are:

Emergence of Big Data Analytics

Big Data Analytics is fast becoming a great tool and application for the operators to create better understanding about their customer’s data usage behavior. Using those inputs will significantly help operators to increase 4G penetration.

Sponsored Data

Under Sponsored Data, various corporates can pay a fee to operators for the right to stream data to subscriber’s phone without impacting their total amount of wireless usage.

Shared Wallet

Mobile data users are not confined to one-device, one-plan and they want multiple devices connected with the same data plan within their family members / Enterprise co-workers. Operators can launch such innovative services which will help operator reduce churn rates when all the family members are on the same shared data plan and also improve subscriber experience.

OTT Monetization

OTT Players such as Skype, Facebook, WhatsApp, Hangouts, have evolved to address the growing communications needs of users. Operators can partner with them to offer anytime anywhere access with premium QOS; to offer seamless user experience.

VOLTE

VoLTE stands for Voice over LTE, which offers faster call setup, carrier grade reliability & crystal clear HD Voice. With the launch of LTE services operators will be able to re-launch their voice offerings and gain significant market share lost to OTT Players like Skype.

To know more about Elitecore LTE Offerings click here.

How Integrated Policy and Charging Can Drive Customer Loyalty with enhanced OTT offerings by the Operator

How Integrated Policy and Charging Can Drive Customer Loyalty with enhanced OTT offerings by the Operator

When it comes to driving business agility, cost-saving and better time-to-market capabilities, integrated policy and charging solutions are increasingly becoming popular within the operator community, globally as well as in India. This is also pushing new boundaries for customer engagement and increasing the customer loyalty quotient to a whole new level.

Today smart devices such as tablets and smartphones are fast entrenching themselves into the daily routine of people; where consumer have various device option to access the internet, be it accessing any video site on mobile or streaming music over laptop. There is a tremendous increase in demand for new and innovative applications based on gaming, entertainment, messaging etc. This burgeoning demand from the users is satisfied by vendors, who are typically referred to as over-the-top (OTT) content providers. Welcome to the OTT world, where all this paraphernalia is taking the device even closer to the hearts and minds of customers.

Earlier all the communication used to happen over an operator’s network and communication events, such as making a call, forwarding a call, sending SMS or MMS. On the other hand, in this smart world of smartphones, most of these lines of communication are being initiated and even terminated outside of an operator network. This makes a very scary picture as far as an operator’s business model is concerned.

The time has come for operators to effectively leverage & optimize their network usage and monetize these OTT applications by partnering with them.

How Integrated Policy and Charging can help?

As operators bid to create more value for their customer community, today’s telecom operators need to be more innovative and play a more active role in the new value chain and build long lasting relationships along with application providers and OTT-players.

Incorporating better integrated policy and charging capabilities can play a big role in terms of strengthening and nurturing a bond between an operator and its customer. It empowers operators to provide superior QoS, toll-free access to services, personalized offering and dynamic upsell offers to end user and leverage on operators existing ecosystem. Effective utilization of Integrated Policy and Charging will help operators in providing innovative offerings such as:

  • Toll Free application usage helps consumer to view advertisement and promotions; sponsored by third party without affecting their monthly data plan.
  • Guaranteed and superior Quality of Service to specific set of OTT applications to offer seamless user experience.
  • It also helps to monetize premium quality services through QoS upsell offers
  • OTT vendor can leverage on operator’s knowledge of customer’s interests, location or point-in-time usage needs to offer much-needed personalization differentiation to create more business value.

Keeping this in mind, Elitecore’s Integrated Policy and charging solution helps to launch new Sponsored Data plans which help in strengthening the partnership between OTT player and Operator thereby creating a win-win situation for both the parties. It not only empowers operators to greatly increase customer loyalty by offering novel plans to subscribers but it also helps operators in faster monetization of their services.

How Cable MSOs Can Benefit from OTT Ecosystems

New age monetization needs to come from innovative thinking and this is where Cable MSOs can marry OTT ecosystems to create better value additions for their subscribers and at the same time increase their chances to monetize their efforts.

We all know that cable MSOs have enjoyed exclusivity in a number of market scenarios for years, however, today all this is fast changing in a pay TV scenario. It is time for cable MSOs to take benefit of the current market dynamics and embrace new age opportunities by partnering with OTT players in order to remain competitive and deliver unique value proposition to their customers.

Interestingly, this kind of arrangement can also provide OTTs a unique access to cable operators’ large subscriber base, better handling of their OSS and BSS expertise and unique monetization opportunities can arise for both the parties. MSOs can adopt a distribution strategy of OTT streaming services by optimizing broadband speeds, utilize OTT device platforms, and add OTT apps to their customer’s service thereby positioning themselves as broadband-centric service provider.

This strategy can become a bright spot as it can enable cable MSOs to cash on the ongoing content revolution, while at the same time utilize on their current network infrastructure.

Converting Challenges to Opportunities

There is no doubt that with today’s declining traditional broadband and voice revenues affecting traditional telecom operators as well as cable operators, next generation MSOs must covert challenges into opportunities for securing their future.

Experts close to the industry also believe that this is clearly the way forward when it comes to strengthening the relationship with customers and partnership with content creators. This is where MSOs are teaming up with OTT players in terms of realizing these opportunities.

Here are a few examples:

• In Jan 2013, Time Warner Cable & Roku entered into a partnership to enable more than 300 live television channels to Roku streaming devices in the U.S.

• Similarly, Cox Communications High Speed Internet subscribers in Orange County, Calif. will have access to FlareWatch TV and video on demand services.

• In Uruguay, cable operator TCC has chosen content delivery network and video on-demand provider BroadPeak for OTT services.

• MediaCorp in Singapore has engaged itself in a unique partnership with Israeli OTT platform provider Tvinci.

Keeping the above developments in mind, it is clear that MSO-OTT partnerships have already started to happen for the betterment of the industry. Ultimately, a blended experience for consumers to seamlessly access their favorite TV channels and OTT content would result into a win-win situation for OTTs as well as cable MSOs.

How Elitecore can help in such scenario

Driving an innovative approach to solve MSO issues & challenges with the help of an integrated billing and subscriber management solution, Elitecore offers an end-to-end real-time policy control and charging, centralized product catalog, provisioning, mediation for Cable MSOs. Elitecore solution enables MSO’s to offer bundled plans of Cable TV and data services to pre-paid, post-paid, enterprise and residential customers, and thereby effectively monetizing the next-generation digital experience.

The solution presents a convergent platform providing a single bill view to the customers for multiple services subscribed, better enabling, Franchise, Broadcaster & Content/OTT Partner Management engine for revenue sharing and seamless settlement.

How Convergent Billing will be ‘Engine of Growth’ for MSPs

With most of the multi service operators or MSPs looking forward to increasing growth prospects by streamlining customer engagement with their customers, convergent billing is set to become their engine for achieving this growth in the near future.

As per the latest market research reports, the sector will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 22% over the next five years. This will take its value from $2.86 billion at present to $7.88 billion in 2019.

If we look at today’s market scenario, data hungry mobility friendly devices such as Tablets, Smartphones, Phablets, Smart TV etc. are fast changing consumer lifestyles and with this change, they are now in need of better high-speed data & Value Added Services to empower their daily usage of applications and services. To cope up with this demand there is continuous evolution in networks such as 3G, 4G, LTE etc.

Moreover consumer are placing ever-greater demands on their operators to either “get it right” or lose their business. Today’s consumer expect mobile voice, fixed voice, data, IPTV, broadband, pre-paid and post-paid services from a single operator rather than going in for multiple set of players; so that they are able to easily manage & maintain single account to pay all their bills. This need of the consumer is becoming a big factor in fueling the need to have convergent billing solutions at the operator end.

To fulfill consumer requirement of having a unified bill for all the services in a Traditional BSS systems is not only costly but also very time consuming; since traditional systems tend to be inflexible and less operator friendly. This is where the Next generation convergent billing solution will enable the multi service operators with the capability to integrate all service charges onto a single customer invoice and offer a unified view to the customer thereby enabling centralized account management between operator and end user. Customer receives a single bill and makes single payment for all the services they have subscribed too. It also helps the MSO in leveraging and optimizing their Network Utilization which caters to all Networks & Subscriber types.

Value addition that an MSO can offer with Convergent Billing are:

  • Convergent billing empowers multi-service bundling and pricing, whereby existing clients are allured to add new services and new clients are attracted by innovative bundled offerings.
  • Centralized customer support for both Pre-paid & Post-paid customers.
  • Single bill enables cross-service rebates, so that clients who request multiple services can receive special pricing.
  • The solution enables MSPs in providing personalized services more effectively; with one single point of contact and a single view of services opted by the customer.
  • Effectively offer a range of services such as OTT packages, shared data plans, sponsored data, location-based pricing and service in a single view format which is always easy to understand.

As MSPs need a robust carrier-grade convergent billing platform that can help them enable next generation data, voice and video services over wireline and wireless networks; this is where Elitecore converged solution delivers an end-to-end billing ecosystem to service providers, covering flexible product management, real-time provisioning, flexible mediation, rating & charging, partner management, user friendly web self-care to increase subscriber acquisition and profitability. To know more click here.

How Intelligent Policy Analytics Can Power Profitability for Operators


In today’s anywhere and everywhere connectivity environment, data is moving to center stage as operators face challenge of high data usage, they are also facing network capacity constraints, new age competition, and increasing revenue pressures. All this calls for better utilization of existing resources and innovative ways to create more revenue streams.

And in order to create data driven winning propositions for their subscribers, operators need to succeed in this hyper-competitive communications marketplace. Key subscriber knowledge holds the key as they need to first know their subscribers, understand how they use their services, and then be able to deploy innovative business models in order to deliver exactly what their subscribers need and are ready to pay for.

This is where Intelligent Policy Analytics can play a critical role in terms of creating opportunities for the operators, while at the same time deliver exactly what their subscribers look for. This strategy to incorporate Intelligent Policy Analytics can solve two key purpose of maximizing revenue generation on one hand, while on the other hand it can also have more number of satisfied customers for the benefit of operator.

Such an intelligent solution can not only maximize the revenue opportunity for operators, but also provide them capabilities to deliver personalized service plans around specific consumer behavior such as video sharing, online gaming or live content streaming, and provide a big chance for operators to move beyond blind band-width delivery models.

Keeping this need of the hour, Elitecore has a unique offering in the form of NetVertex Policy Analytics, which provides an intelligent platform for operators to monitor and analyze user data services. It enable operators to launch differential policies & plans based on analytics input which can result into variety of new business prospects and revenue generation.

NetVertex Policy Analytics provides an excellent tool which can collect the information from live server and evaluate the correlation impact from usage patterns, revenue patterns, traffic patterns, network performance, subscriber preferences etc. through dashboard based reports.

Policy Analytics intelligence enables simultaneous functioning of Data Collection Engine, Data warehouse, BI/CEA to get the desired outcome from analytics reports. Enabling operators to derive network insights, examine and evaluate the data inputs based on various parameters like time, traffic, usage etc.

A multi network compatible solution, Policy Analytics on integration with NetVertex PCRF, enable operators to analyse and understand the effect of a particular policy, modify their existing policies as well as design and launch novel policies / plans.

NetVertex Policy Analytics can be offered pre integrated with NetVertex PCRF as well as can be easily integrated with any external system or 3rd party PCRF.

With NetVertex Policy Analytics, operators can:

  • Explore the effect of existing policies in the network
  • Promote new and customized plans as per subscriber demands
  • Dashboard based report monitoring
  • Analytics input enable operators to restructure their business framework and offer personalized plans to users
  • Integration of PCRF with analytics can be used to implement subscriber centric and target based promotions
  • Bandwidth management and improves the network access performance
  • Plan Performance Analysis

 

Retail Wi-Fi – The Leading edge for In-store Customer Engagement

Retail Wi-Fi – The Leading edge for In-store Customer Engagement

Today’s consumers are increasingly getting smarter, aware and better informed. Technology aids them in their quest of information. They are actively experimenting with technology to gain information on their smartphones, laptops and other personal smart devices. To connect to these devices ubiquitous data accessibility, consumers are increasingly relying on smart networks like Wi-Fi which is anytime everywhere available.

Wi-Fi is almost getting omnipresent and it is available ubiquitously, whether it is office, home environment or inside a shopping mall or a coffee house. The National Retail Federation expects that in 2015, shoppers worldwide will use their mobile phones to purchase $120 billion in goods and services. Today, in-store shoppers are increasingly using Wi-Fi access to get online, search for their favorite products, opt for promotional offers and even finalize their purchases before stepping inside the stores. Secondly, the cellular signal strength availability is low in retail stores, which also plays an important role for Wi-Fi taking the centre stage in retail sector.

As being put by many experts in the industry, smartphones and tablets, when connected with Wi-Fi are becoming Pandora box of information, delivering the right content, in the right manner and at a right place. Hence, with Wi-Fi driven connectivity inside retail ecosystems, end users can get critical insights like product information; plan their purchases, ongoing promotional offers, check item specifications, compare prices and read products reviews etc. that can help them to finalize their purchases. With the shopper’s downloaded applications over Wi-Fi, the retailer can better engage the shopper and more favorably influence the decision-making process through advertisements, web interactions etc.

Shoppers also look forward to share their in-store experiences with family and friends among the social media platforms with the help of sending, sharing and posting status updates while moving inside some of their favorite stores. With such a Wi-Fi driven customer engaging solution in place, retailers will have a big chance to succeed ahead and better focus on creating effective product and solution marketing campaigns which will further improve upon their business performance metrics as well.

All this Wi-Fi driven connectivity is ideally poised to drive productivity and profitability of retailers to the next level and service providers can help retailers to realize the full potential of Wi-Fi by creating innovative partnership with retailers and enable them towards transforming their customers’ in-store experience and generate new monetization opportunities for Service Providers.

Wi-Fi offers a great opportunity to build stronger customer relationships and drive sales for the retailer. It enables the consumer to stay connected and provides extraordinary potential to retailers to engage with the customers with its brand offering thus, creating a win-win situation for both.

Wi-Fi in store can be beneficial for both retailers and consumers thus helping them with improvised footfalls, better analytics, personalized opportunities, and a richer multi-channel experience.

In-Store Wi-Fi Opportunities for Retailers
A Better Shopping Experience for Consumers

Know and analyze their consumers’ shopping patterns

Enables them to compare prices and deals

Access their last purchase records and plan their brand positioning and offerings accordingly

Search more information about the product like quality, review ratings, etc.

Mobile App for Location based advertisements and personalized offers

Location based advertisements and promotional offers

Guide and offer in-store product location

 

Mobile payment and e-wallets for payment options thus avoid long checkout queues

Engage with their audience efficiently and enhance Customer Relationship Management

Access to loyalty programs via mobile apps

 

Consumer Interaction and Business Analytics

Stay connected and enjoy ubiquitous connectivity

Elitecore’s Service Management Platform (SMP) can power service providers to better engage with the retailers’ community and deploy Wi-Fi to provide their shoppers with seamless access & connectivity. With this solution, retailers can create more value for their customers and deliver unique Wi-Fi experience offer personalized services based on  customer’s demographic, market and location, triggering loyalty and contextually aware customer experience. This can also provide critical insights into the behavior patterns of their customers and preferences. Elitecore mobile app can prompt the discounts, promotional offers and retail specific advertisements.

LTE, the Next Frontier for Data and Voice

As next generation telecoms development is increasingly relying upon harnessing the power of data, a large number of telecom operators are looking forward to upgrading their networks to incorporate true next generation capabilities and this is where 4G LTE is fast gaining popularity as a favored technology and is surely becoming the next frontier for running data and voice applications for operators.

There is no doubt that LTE or Long Term Evolution is the next generation development in broadband cellular networks that can handle high speed data requirements like never before. With the power of LTE, operators can easily provide fast web browsing, video & voice oriented services to their data hungry customers. Keeping these inherent data driven qualities in mind, the GSMA predicts that there will be 1 billion LTE connections globally by 2017.

Taking a cue from the evolving end-user behavior towards greater data consumption, the telecom market has become even more aggressive and dynamic and therefore, understanding and examining customer’s behavior is critically important for the operator’s survival.

Consequently, winning strategies of today’s telecom networks are often being scripted upon predictive analysis of their customer behavior where new services, applications and solutions are accordingly mapped to the users. This is helping operators gain on their competitive edge.

In such a scenario, there are many attractive drivers & motivational factors for the operators to opt for LTE services and increase their revenue with the help of better monetization of their existing network infrastructure.

It is being opined that moving forward, higher data rates enabled through 4G experience will enable users to download more content than 3G in the same amount of time. Experts are also putting their money on voice over LTE – or VoLTE. However as a dampener, there are few VoLTE enabled devices in market today and as a result of that VoLTE subscription increase might take time for a wider market acceptance.

According to a recent survey conducted by Informa Telecoms & Media, the migration to LTE is helping stimulate incremental traffic demands on cellular networks thereby suggesting that 4G LTE will favor and at the same time, alter Subscriber Data Usage over VOIP.

Even though it is a fact that LTE networks are still in their early stage of global deployment, evidence is emerging that LTE users are consuming more data than 3G users. Let us examine what the leading global Telco’s have to say on their LTE strategies.

Sk Telecom (South Korea) -Almost 50% increase in monthly data usage on LTE compared with 3G.

AT&T (US) - data usage per device has increased as much as 50% year-on-year on LTE capable devices

NTT Docomo (Japan) – LTE smartphone users consume 8x more data compared with 3G users.

Rogers Wireless (Canada) - Since launch, Rogers has seen an 80% increase in wireless Internet usage year-on-year.

Cellco CSL (Hong Kong) – LTE users consume two to five times more data than 3G users.

 

LTE is the True Next Frontier

With more and more telecoms subscribers moving towards greater data usage, mobile data traffic is exponentially outstripping the traditional voice traffic. And hence, the new age consumers that have tablets, smartphones, smartwatches and other data hungry device ecosystems – are driving this phenomenon ahead which is seeing data traffic overtake voice.

But on the other hand, VoLTE implementation will take time as operators will have to upgrade their existing network and supporting technologies in a phased manner. VoLTE is still under nascent stage and will take some time to be accepted as a norm for voice calling under 4G networks. Especially till the time VOIP oriented challenges such as limited 4G devices, Cost, Interoperable issues, Zero Call Drop, Call Audio Quality, Competition from OTT Players such as Skype or Viber are not overcome, VoLTE will not be able to find its place in the telecom ecosystem that easily.

All said and done, LTE is the way ahead to create new boundaries in the evolving telecoms world. LTE is the perfect solution for data hungry consumers that can quench their thirst voice and data intensive applications on their next gen smart device.

Cities Embrace Municipal Wi-Fi to Unravel New Opportunities

With the proliferation of smart devices, consumer data intake is growing and this is where operators need Wi-Fi in order to cater to this growing need of wireless data. Most of this wireless data is generated when users are stationary and indoors. Industry experts believe that most of operator investments will go to Wi-Fi in the near future. And operators must prepare themselves to start innovating towards monetizing their Wi-Fi network presence.

Municipal or City Wi-Fi Solution is enabling municipalities and communities to bridge the digital divide, facilitate economic development and provide ubiquitous connectivity to its citizens. It enables the government agencies to improve and efficiently offer public services like security, lighting, parking and transportation. The city residents and visitors can also avail the benefits of improved navigation to find local businesses, destinations, etc. while enjoying ‘anytime anywhere’ connectivity with Municipal Wi-Fi offering.

Operators need to have a subscriber driven monetization strategy in place which can help them gain more from their networks and at the same time create more value for their customers as well.

Operators Advantage

  • Boost their cellular network capacity and enhance their network reach, quickly and cost-effectively, while maximizing their return on infrastructure investment.
  • Innovate on customer acquisition and retention with the help of customer friendly services. Enable highly customizable plans that are designed as per the subscriber data intake behavior.
  • Considerably enhance customer loyalty by facilitating high-quality Wi-Fi connectivity. This can help in maintaining vital relationships with end customers in a better manner.

Customers Gain

  • It provides more options to connect to network for the end customers. Enhanced network reach and coverage increases the value to business customers as well.
  • Operator driven Municipal Wi-Fi can considerably enhance the security and instill end user confidence to use Wi-Fi. Better customizable billing can provide the much needed transparency for the subscribers.

Enabling Efficient and Sustainable Governance

  • Ubiquitous Wi-Fi can be a major driver to attract tourists and business travelers, especially in metros and popular tourist destinations. Experts believe and researches prove that tourists prefer to travel to cities with wireless networks.
  • With seamless connectivity and better internet accessibility, Municipal or City Wi-Fi Solution can enable the city administrators to function in an efficient manner.
  • Unlike other broadband networks, Wi-Fi networks cost little to set up or operate which can be monetized through different means like advertising on captive portal, etc which compensates the overall operating costs.
  • Municipal Wi-Fi is a great enabler for emergency services. It enables the ambulances to send live medical reading directly from the medical monitors to the hospital via the Wi-Fi system as they transport the victim.

When it comes to deploying Municipal Wi-Fi, today’s operators look for a simplistic solution that can have all the features and yet be managed easily. This is where Elitecore SMP is helping operators gain more from their investments in Wi-Fi. Click here to know more.

Operators Take the Next Leap Forward with M2M Billing Management

When M2M driven connected cars directly interact with parking service providers and hospitals deliver medical reports directly to customers, such complex M2M scenario will have to be dealt with next-gen M2M Billing infrastructure.

Innovation will play a key role in terms of helping telecom operators achieve greater level of growth and creating market differentiation. And Machine to Machine communication is one segment which can allow operators to innovate and drive the next generation growth for operators.

Machine to Machine (M2M) implies; communication between both wireless and wired devices to communicate with other devices of the same type through sensors, without any human intervention by transmitting or receiving data remotely over a network.

In such a M2M scenario, individuals as well as enterprise may use a number of different devices such as smartphones, tablets, and other consumer electronics with sensors in order to experience real-time and compelling new age services and ubiquitous Internet access delivered via mobile networks. Billing these M2M services becomes quite complex as it may involve handling multiple set of applications in real-time. This forms the basic building block for M2M Billing solutions.

In a M2M scenario, a transaction is created that must be part of a structured business model that takes all related parties into consideration, and it must be billable, no matter how small it is; in domains such as health, automotive, consumer electronics through remote monitoring and control using automated exchange of data, even in real-time.

Challenges in M2M Billing

According to GSM Association; M2M market size at $1.2tn revenue with 12 billion connected mobile devices by 2020. Even though there is huge growth being predicted, still there are a number of challenges that needs to be addressed.

  • How to build a flexible support for pricing of recurring & usage based fees to differentiate their services
  • Do current billing systems provide the required high levels of automation across the full process spectrum
  • How can service providers build scale into this fragmented market
  • What is the most effective architecture to support high volume, low value communications
  • How to ensure complex partner settlement & prevent revenue leakage
  • How to increase ARPU – Extremely Low ARPU due to low value connections
  • How to ensure that the platform supports Multi Industry Billing & multi party reseller settlements. i.e. – handle settlements & commission for global, complex value chains

 The Road Ahead

As M2M gains on popularity the billing platforms will have to evolve and offer a mature support for this new breed of machine driven business model.

It is quite important for CSPs to incorporate the below components in next gen M2M Billing:

  • A highly flexible and scalable Policy Control and Charging engine for flexible plans based on features such as transactions, connections, devices, time of day, location, applications, or data usage.
  • Flexible product catalog with multiple product hierarchy support targeting various industry segments like Transportation, Security, Entertainment, Smart Grids and other utilities.
  • Partner Settlement and Agreement Management Platform.
  • Scalable and Efficient Provisioning System.
  • Real-time billing for managing account balance, volume-based discounts, and time-based charging. To know more Click Here