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Accelerate Your Mobile Broadband Success
An Alepo White Paper

Executive Summary

From bandwidth boosts to toll-free data and beyond, wireless network operators around the globe are discovering new, innovative ways to leverage the value in mobile broadband technologies in order to increase revenue, ARPU, and market share. Still, operators often face challenges in bringing their new ideas to market quickly, simply, and cost-effectively.

For wireless network operators in today’s competitive landscape, being able to stand apart in the marketplace with differentiated services and a sophisticated customer experience is paramount to success. Operators must be able to respond quickly to shifts in market trends and competitors’ offers as well as to bring new innovative products to market ahead of the competition and at a lower cost per byte. With this in mind, Alepo created its Mobile Broadband Accelerator solution – an open and flexible package solution that enables wireless network operators to rapidly monetize mobile broadband without adding unnecessary costs, complexity, or changes to their existing business and network environment.

The Mobile Broadband Landscape Today

On a global scale, the era of mobile broadband has arrived, revealing unprecedented opportunities and challenges to wireless network operators. Mobile data subscriptions on 2G, 3G, and 4G mobile networks have skyrocketed to over two billion connections by the end of 2013, predicted to double to four billion by 2020. Thanks to greater availability of low-cost smartphones and mobile devices, subscribers are setting and breaking records of data consumption year after year. On the horizon, the alignment of connected industries (health, education, banking, retail, manufacturing) and the connect world (home, auto, wearables) will only further weave mobile broadband into the fabric of our societies, our economies, and our lives.

Despite these opportunities, wireless network operators have been challenged by stagnate data revenues despite network-shaking data traffic rates and countless overnight success stories of over-the-top players and content providers. In addition, mobile broadband markets are becoming increasingly saturated with incumbents and new players, keeping prices low and competition high. These factors and others have made it difficult for operators to fully harness the explosive growth in mobile broadband for business success.

“In order to realize success in the era of mobile broadband, wireless network operators must be able to leverage the value in their data networks by monetizing services in truly differentiated and innovative ways, by enhancing the customer experience, and by exploring new mobile broadband revenue models.”

In recent years, operators have had to adopt a new business paradigm – one that moves beyond the delivery of data connectivity as a utility or commodity to the delivery of rich and contextual digital experiences that resonate strongly with customers across different market segments. To achieve this, operators must be able to leverage the value in their mobile broadband networks by monetizing data services in truly differentiated and innovative ways. Today, operators that are leading the mobile broadband are able to –

  • Differentiate services beyond price per byte with data offers that resonate with customers’ lifestyles and data habits
  • Bring new data plans to market quickly, ones that cannot be easily replicated by competitors
  • Respond without hesitation to changes in market trends and competitor offerings
  • Build customer loyalty and reduce churn with a sophisticated customer experience
  • Realize convergence across access technologies, legacy and next generation
  • Explore new business models and revenue streams without impact to existing services
  • Use valuable, real-time insights to feed business, network, and CX innovation

This formula for mobile broadband success requires a robust and continually evolving network environment that can support new business requirements without delay and without disruption to existing networks and services.

Introducing Alepo’s Mobile Broadband Accelerator Solution

Alepo’s Mobile Broadband Accelerator is an open, flexible solution that enables wireless network operators to introduce new mobile broadband use cases that accelerate revenue growth, market share, and business success. The solution enables operators to rapidly launch differentiated services, enhance the customer experience, leverage valuable network and business insights, and discover new revenue streams for mobile broadband.

With Alepo’s Mobile Broadband Accelerator solutions, operators can rapidly deploy a single solution that supports their highest priorities in mobile broadband, while avoiding unnecessary costs, complexity, or changes to the existing business and network environment. Whether an operator requires a simple “overlay” solution to introduce one or two innovative business plans or requires a complete core + back office for mobile broadband, Alepo’s Mobile Broadband Accelerator solution can be readily adapted for success.

The solution brings together best-of-breeds software products from Alepo and Alepo partners and expert professional services on a single, pre-integrated platform. Its unique, modular design ensures that operators receive the “best fit” solution for their specific network environments.

Emerging Mobile Broadband Use Cases

The main tenet of Alepo’s Mobile Broadband Accelerator Solution is to enable operators to rapidly introduce new mobile broadband use cases that increase market share, revenue, and success. Regardless of an operator’s current network environment or stage in mobile broadband, Alepo can help to bring use cases, like those described below, to market faster and more efficiently than ever before.

Alepo supports a wealth of leading mobile broadband use cases out of the box. What’s more, operators benefit from Alepo’s constant innovation and development of new business use cases and features as they emerge. With over a decade of expertise in “all things data,” Alepo understands the mobile broadband landscape and continues to build and test new capabilities so they’re ready for market at the moment they’re needed.

To learn more about any of the use cases below or to inquire about additional use cases that are not listed here, please contact Alepo directly. Contact information is available on the last page of this document.

Figure 1 – What do you want to achieve today? Alepo’s Mobile Broadband Accelerator solution supports leading mobile broadband use cases out of the box.

A Formula for Mobile Broadband Success

At a time when the growth in mobile broadband penetration and traffic consumption worldwide far outpace that of revenues and ARPU, operators are in search of new and different ways to stimulate stagnate revenues and ROI. Alepo’s Mobile Broadband Accelerator solution makes that possible by delivering the tools and capabilities needed for business success. It enables operators to innovate data offers that move beyond price per byte, attracting new market share and building customer loyalty through a more sophisticated customer experience. What’s more, operators can segment customers and target those innovative data offers in ways that optimize ARPU in all segments. With built-in business analytics and marketing and CRM automation, operators can continually analyze and refine their mobile broadband business, while looking for new revenue streams and business opportunities for their networks.

Innovate Mobile Data Offers to Increase Market Share

With an Alepo MBBA solution, operators gain a single platform that can support the most attractive and revenue-boosting mobile broadband plans and promotions on the market today. With out-of-the-box support for a wealth of popular use cases, including speed-based plans, data rollover, family data plans, and more, operators can stand apart with differentiated service offerings that win market share and customer loyalty. With Alepo’s constantly evolving library of use cases and capabilities, operators can stay ahead of the competition as market trends shift and customer expectations evolve.

Sample Use Case: Half Price Data Happy Hour

With the most advanced policy and charging control capabilities met with the ease of drag-and-drop editors, Alepo’s Mobile Broadband Accelerator solution makes it simple to offer a “Data Happy Hour” promotion to any or all customer segments. In the example below, customers enjoy a 2-for-1 or half price data happy hour, during which all data quotas are counted at 50% of the actual usage. Operators can also elect to give free data usage on specific apps or content, or to increase bandwidth speed during those hours. These types of time-based data promotions, operators can encourage usage during off-peak hours in ways that help to reduce peak-hour congestion while at the same time boost brand positioning with fun and unique data promotions.

Prepaid Data Innovation

Prepaid or Pay As You Go data packages are commonplace in many markets around the world today, and even in traditionally “unlimited data” markets like the U.S., they continue to gain momentum as customers opt for more affordable and custom plans. Prepaid data plans allow customers to pay for only the services they need, while avoiding long-term contracts, deposits, and overage charges. Instead, customers typically purchase refill cards or make refills at retail stores with cash or a credit card or online with a credit or debit card.

With Alepo’s Mobile Broadband Accelerator solution, operators can enhance their prepaid data business with advanced features like emergency top ups, recharge rewards, application-based refills, data rollover incentives, and more.

Sample Use Case: Data Rollover as a Recharge Incentive

For pay-as-you-go customers, mobile data vouchers often carry a volume (MB) limit and an expiration. For example, a 10GB prepaid voucher must be used within 30 days of activation. Once the pass validity expires, the customer typically forfeits any unused data. However, with data rollover – enabled by Alepo’s Mobile Broadband Accelerator Solution, operators can allow customers to roll over or carry forward any used data into the next plan or package. Operators can create incentive for PAYG customers to renew their package by only allowing data rollover if the account is renewed or refilled within seven days of the expiration date.

Segment and Target Offers to Optimize ARPU

With Alepo’s Mobile Broadband Accelerator solution, operators can easily segment customers based on any number of commonalities or usage patterns and then create targeted, segmented offers that appeal specifically to those customer segments. In doing so, operators can grow ARPU, delivering the right data plans and promotions to the customers who value them the most. In addition, Alepo’s solution features tools that automate marketing campaigns, so that customers receive targeted offers directly on their devices, email inbox, and online. Real-time reporting tools give operators greater visibility of campaign performance so they can continually refine and optimize offers.

Sample Use Case: Deliver the Right Speed at the Right Price

It’s no question that consumers today want faster mobile broadband service. In fact, according to a 2013 Accenture report, 63% of mobile subscribers would be willing to spend more money on faster data connectivity – between 10% and 30% more money. Still, this leaves 37% of mobile subscribers who reported that they would not care to pay additional costs for faster data connectivity. Therefore, operators need more granularity in how they price data services in order to satisfy their high-end and low-end customer segments.

Alepo’s Mobile Broadband Accelerator solution provides this granularity by enabling operators to create data service tiers based on different bandwidth speeds. With it, operators can satisfy customers who want lightning-fast speeds as well as customers who want a low-cost option. Take, for example, the following set of data plans. The first option, the “Platinum Plan” could be an attractive option for customers who value the ability to download large files or stream online videos, while the “Silver Plan” could be a great fit for customers who simply want to check their email or occasionally browse the internet. By giving different price points across different market segments and customer types, operators can appeal to a wider audience of customers and maximize ARPU.

Customer Experience Innovation

Mobile broadband operators know that a stellar customer experience is key to success. The customer experience serves to build brand equity and customer loyalty, reduce churn and customer care costs. When the customer experience is optimized, it provides new opportunities for up-sell and cross-sell, contributing to higher ARPU and overall revenue.

Alepo’s MBBA Solution helps network operators to enhance the customer experience on multiple fronts. It enables more personalized and contextual data offers, features integrative and intuitive web self-care tools, and ensures real-time customer communications. Alepo automates customer experience processes wherever possible to achieve efficiency and interactions with customers.

Sample Use Case: Happy Birthday Data Gift

What’s more personalized than a special data promotion delivered on customers’ birthdays? With Alepo’s MBBA Solution, you can automatically deliver special data offers and freebies to customers on birthdays, customer anniversaries, and holidays – all with simple drag-and-drop creation. Even if connected with an external CRM, Alepo can use this subscriber information to realize this type of use case and others that create a more personalized and enjoyable customer experience.

Analyze Insights to Refine MBB Business

With Alepo’s Mobile Broadband Accelerator solution, operators can leverage insights about customers, the network, and business plans in order to continually test, refine, and optimize their mobile broadband business. Alepo’s platform enables operators to create graphically rich, web-based dashboards that give system users the data they need to make informed business decisions.

Alepo’s web-based dashboards can be customized per system user role to show the reports and insights that are most relevant to that position or department. For example, a reports dashboard for a marketing user may show statistics about high performing campaigns and offers, whereas a network manager may see a summary of which services and applications are most heavily utilized at different locations. Users can drill down to gain deeper insights in a logical, organized way.

To see a full list of reports and insights available in the Alepo MBBA solution, please contact Alepo.

Figure 3 – A Sample Reports Dashboard for a Marketing Manager in Alepo’s MBBA Solution

Sample Use Case: Customer Win Back Campaign

Alepo’s Mobile Broadband Accelerator solution can help operators to defend their market share by winning back customers that have churned or are at risk of churn. In this end-to-end example, the operator leverages Alepo’s powerful business and customer insights to identify and segment customers who have had an inactive account for 30 days. The operator creates a special offer for this segment – an extra 10GB of data with the purchase of any new plan or package. The operator delivers this offer to the inactive customers via email using Alepo’s own “Notification Center” and monitors the results with performance reports. The entire process – from analytics to segmented marketing to the creation and purchase of the plan to business reporting – can be handled on the Alepo platform.

Explore New Business Models to Grow Revenue

As the prevalence of mobile broadband grows across society, industries, and applications, network operators must be able to ready to unlock new revenue streams and business models. An Alepo MBBA solution holds the key, making it simple to introduce new business models, either as part of the existing network, adjunct with some integration, or as a standalone, all-in-one platform independent from the existing core network. A standalone solution can enable operators to quickly sandbox or test new revenue models without risk or disruption to existing services. Operators are assured of an open platform that readily integrates with the existing network if and when they decide to do so.

Sample Use Case: Data Pass for Visitors and Casual Users

The data pass business model opens a new market of casual and short-term mobile data users – for example, tourists or customers who sporadically need mobile data services on a secondary device such as a tablet. With Alepo’s MBBA Solution, operators can introduce an all-in-one platform that supports an entire data pass business model: data pass creation and inventory management, online purchase, provisioning, policy and charging, reporting, reseller and affiliate management, and customer support. As a standalone solution, Alepo’s MBBA platform allows operators to quickly introduce this new business model with zero impact on the operator’s core business.

Solution Features & Highlights

Perfectly Packaged to Fit Your Network

With the recognition that no two network environments are the same, Alepo designed its Mobile Broadband Accelerator solution to be flexible and modular as to create a “best fit” solution for each operator. “Best fit” means that Alepo delivers only the products and services necessary for the operator to achieve its specific business goals, thereby reducing complexity, cost, and duplication within the network environment. Alepo works closely with each operator client to understand its network landscape and to design a solution that effectively bridges the gaps to business success.

A packaged solution, Alepo’s Mobile Broadband Accelerator solution is delivered on a single, pre-integrated platform. Whether a few components are needed or many, the packaged solution delivers everything the operator needs to accelerate its mobile broadband revenue growth and ROI.

Alepo’s best-of-breed products employ open, standards-compliant interfaces to ensure vendor neutrality and flexibility to evolve within any best-of-breeds network environment. In addition, Alepo uses open APIs and high-performance integration frameworks in order to achieve convergence and to streamline operations in the most high performance and cost-effective manner.

Designed to Empower the Business User

Alepo’s Mobile Broadband Accelerator solution works to bridge the divide between an operator’s network-oriented and business-oriented teams by delivering high-performance solutions designed to fulfill the operator’s specific business goals. Designed with the business user in mind, Alepo’s solutions feature graphically rich and intuitive user interfaces with drag-and-drop editors, wizards, and template libraries, making it simple and logical to configure new data plans and promotions as well as customer processes.

Works to Reduce CAPEX and OPEX

Alepo’s Mobile Broadband Accelerator solution works to reduce CAPEX and OPEX as much as possible. The solution can serve an alternative approach to replacing legacy components by promoting reuse and integration. This can enable operators to invest in new revenue growth and solutions with rapid ROI instead of upgrades to aging elements.

Alepo’s MBBA Solution can provide operators with new ways to reduce the costs of delivering data services. With products and expertise in caching, Alepo can assist operators in the creation of their own content delivery network (CDN) and reduce the cost per byte for the delivery of mobile broadband services. Alepo’s MBBA solution has been deployed with Wi-Fi Offload capabilities, which often provides another mechanism for reducing the cost per byte for data services on mobile devices.

Customer Success Story: Digicel Jamaica

Digicel is a truly global mobile operator with 13.5 million subscribers today spanning 32 markets in Central and South America, the South Pacific, and the Caribbean. In Jamaica, Digicel offers convergent 3G and 4G mobile broadband services to residential and commercial customers.

Alepo has served as a strategic data partner for Digicel Jamaica since 2009 when the wireless network operator decided to launch a 4G mobile broadband network alongside its existing 3G GSM voice and data network. Digicel wanted to launch quickly, but realized that its legacy mobile core did not immediately offer the full functionality needed to readily launch and monetize new mobile broadband services. Not wanting to pursue costly or complex upgrades and customizations to the legacy network environment, Digicel took a different approach with Alepo – a zero-replacement, packaged solution overlaid on its existing network, effectively bridging the gap between the 3G and 4G mobile broadband services.

To accelerate Digicel Jamaica’s mobile broadband business, Alepo provided a solution to manage the entire mobile broadband customer experience – from initial purchase to activation to self-care and product selection and promotions. The solution featured Alepo’s advanced policy and charging control, CRM, and other business support systems, including product and inventory management.

To facilitate a truly convergent network environment cross access technologies, Alepo provided professional systems integration services to connect the Alepo platform with Digicel’s legacy mobile core and charging and billing systems. In doing so, Alepo was able to promote reuse of legacy systems and cost savings with zero impact or downtime on mobile services.

Most significantly, the Alepo Mobile Broadband Accelerator solution made it possible for Digicel to readily create new 4G mobile data plans and to create a more sophisticated customer experience. This included the ability for Digicel mobile subscribers to use existing refill vouchers already in their pockets and on retail shelves around Jamaica to top up all accounts and services. With Alepo’s advanced market segmentation tools, Digicel is able to push more targeted marketing campaigns and show mobile data offers to select customers via its customer web self-care portal.

As Digicel Jamaica’s strategic data solutions partner, Alepo continues to deliver market-ready solutions that position the operator as a world leader in mobile broadband. To date, Alepo has worked with Digicel in seven markets, delivering solutions for international roaming, remote device management, and mobile AAA. Alepo and Digicel continue to look for new ways to monetize Digicel’s business and accelerate success as the operator evolves its network and business.

Customer Success Story: BLU Ghana

Faced with a tight deadline to launch one of Ghana’s first 4G LTE networks, Greenfield operator, BLU Telecommunications turned to Alepo for a complete, pre-integrated mobile broadband solution (core + back office) that would offer a rapid deployment time and ROI, and would enable BLU to launch with some of the most advanced and competitive LTE and Wi-Fi Hotspot data offers. Alepo delivered to BLU a complete “LTE in a Box” solution that offered a rapid deployment time for advanced LTE and Wi-Fi Hotspot data services. The solution combined Alepo’s high-performance Evolved Packet Core, including advanced policy and charging control (PCRF, OCS), Alepo’s award-winning BSS / OSS suite, Service Enabler, and Alepo’s Carrier AAA infrastructure together on a single, pre-integrated platform. The end-to-end solution gave BLU full support for the delivery, monetization, and customer experience of innovative, competitive LTE and Wi-Fi hotspot services.

As a result, BLU was able to launch ahead of its deadline with the most advanced and competitive data plans, including video on demand services, tiered bandwidth speeds, app bundles, Wi-Fi data passes, and more. Going forward, BLU is assured of its investment in a flexible, high-performance solution that readily adapts to new market opportunities and technologies as they emerge.

Solution Components Included:

  • Alepo Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF) for Data monetization and Pricing Innovation
  • Alepo’s self -care tools for building a better customer experience
  • Alepo Convergent Charging & Billing System (OCS / OFCS)
  • Alepo High Performance AAA Infrastructure (AAA)
  • Alepo Event Messaging Framework
  • Alepo Notification Cent Alepo Service Enabler (BSS / OSS)
  • Alepo Enterprise Management System (EMS)
  • Alepo Captive Portal (Dynamic Subscriber Redirect)

Solution Deployment Options

As an open, flexible solution, Alepo’s Mobile Broadband Accelerator solution can be deployed to suit any type of network and at any stage of the network operator’s business. Different types of “best fit” solution options are presented below. For each individual customer, Alepo takes a holistic approach to learn about the operator’s goals, timeline, budget, and existing network environment. Alepo leverages organizational expertise in solution design, consulting, and systems integration to deliver a winning solution.

Overlay: A Zero-Replacement Approach

With Alepo’s Mobile Broadband Accelerator solutions, incumbent wireless network operators can rapidly introduce end-to-end solutions for emerging mobile broadband opportunities without adding unnecessary costs, complexity, or changes to their existing business and network environment.

As incumbent mobile broadband operators look to enhance their data services offerings with innovative offers, they often face challenges in adapting the existing IT and network infrastructure to support new, advanced use cases. Even the most robust legacy policy, charging, and CRM systems reveal their limitations at some point. When this happens, operators must decide whether to make changes to the existing infrastructure, to update or replace components, or to abandon the opportunity altogether. System changes or workarounds, tackled in already complex network environments, can risk disruption to existing services. System upgrades and replacement projects often demand significant time and investment, which slows the time to market for new products.

Alepo’s Mobile Broadband Accelerator Solution provides an alternative approach when it comes to introducing new mobile broadband opportunities into existing network environments – one that is simple, cost-effective, and fast. With an “overlay” approach, Alepo delivers only the components necessary to “bridge the gap” between the legacy network and the operator’s business goals. Deployed on single, pre-integrated platform, this approach can lessen the number of required touch points with the legacy network and reduce overall network complexity and deployment time. Wherever possible, Alepo promotes reuse of legacy components, thanks to Alepo’s standards-based products, a decade of experience in systems integration, and many proven IOTs. The flexible solution also enables operators to swap in and out components as they see fit, avoiding vendor lock-in.

Mobile Broadband in a Box: Complete, Market-Ready Package

For Greenfield players, WiMAX to LTE providers, and legacy mobile operators alike, the rollout of a next-generation mobile broadband network such as 3G and LTE is marked by common opportunities and challenges. Without any legacy infrastructure to carry forward, the operator is able to build a best-of-breeds network with the latest and most advanced products on the market today. On the other hand, new market entrants in mobile broadband are often pressed to get to market quickly and generate a rapid ROI. As new mobile broadband networks are designed and deployed, operators must be able to monetize services from launch as well as ensure readiness for network and business evolution.

For Greenfield and legacy mobile operators, Alepo can provide a complete core network + IT environment that, in most cases, can be deployed off the shelf in under 90 days. With a “MBB in a Box” approach, Alepo delivers an end-to-end solution to deliver, monetize, and manage next-generation mobile broadband services – whether 3G or LTE – on a single, pre-integrated platform. Operators benefit from a rapid and cost-effective deployment without sacrificing the flexibility, openness, or future readiness expected from a best-of-breeds mobile broadband network. The solution is designed to scale and evolve alongside the operator’s business, enabling rapid revenue growth today and into the future.

Alepo Products & Components Description

An Alepo Mobile Broadband Accelerator solution may employ any of the following Alepo and Alepo partner products and components.

Advanced Policy and Charging Control

Alepo’s Policy & Charging Rules Function (PCRF) is an intelligent and robust policy control engine for Diameter core (EPC) networks. Built with the business user in mind, Alepo’s PCRF enables service providers to easily and rapidly introduce valuable “Policy 2.0” data plans and offers that boost ARPU, shape the customer experience, and allow for optimal network resource allocation.

Convergent Charging & Billing

Alepo’s Convergent Charging & Billing Platform (OCS) is a complete revenue management solution that performs real-time (online) and batch (offline) rating and charging. It offers the utmost flexibility in designing innovative data offers that attract customers and propel revenue and market share. The open platform enables service providers to merge all next-gen data services onto a single, carrier-grade platform and to integrate with legacy mobile charging systems (IN).

High-Performance AAA

Alepo’s High-Performance AAA infrastructure is a true best-of-breeds product that enables service providers to stay ahead of growing subscriber numbers on fixed and mobile data networks. Optimized to be highly reliable, scalable, and extensible, Alepo’s High-Performance AAA Infrastructure builds a strong and lasting foundation for service providers of any size.

Home Subscriber Server (HSS)

Alepo’s HSS is an integral part of any LTE or IMS core network. By centralizing all subscriber information, the Alepo HSS separates signaling from policy, creating a more streamlined and high-performing network. With support for Wi-Fi interworking, the Alepo HSS enables Wi-Fi offload and Wi-Fi hotspot monetization.

BSS / OSS Framework

Alepo Service Enabler (SE) is a complete, carrier-grade BSS / OSS software framework that enables the delivery, monetization, and management of the latest IP data services. Its modular design makes it highly flexible and adaptable to any network environment. Modules span CRM and customer care, voucher management, inventory management, and more.

Remote Device Management

Alepo’s standards-based remote device management products (TR-069, OMA DM) readily integrate with Alepo’s network environment, including AAA server and convergent charging and billing platform in order to achieve automated, end-to-end device management capabilities that works across all devices and NGN access technologies.

Figure 5 – Alepo’s modular products and services are the building blocks of the MBBA Solution

Professional Services

Alepo offers expert professional services for every size and type of project. Our team works with you from conception to launch and thereafter to ensure that your solution fully meets your business and network needs, so that you can remain competitive, innovative and profitable, even as markets shift and technologies evolve.

Managed Services

With Alepo managed services, service providers can reduce costs, save time, and ensure success of their Alepo solutions. Our dynamic team of business analysts, engineers, project managers, technical writers, trainers, and subject matter experts are some of the leading professionals in their fields, and whether you require a dedicated onsite staff or remote, your Alepo resources are fully supported and have access to Alepo’s vast knowledge base.

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