Press Release

Native WiFi Calling Gaining Ground on OTT Calling

Native WiFi Calling Gaining Ground on OTT Calling

Native WiFi Calling Gaining Ground on OTT Calling

19th of October 2017

Making calls over WiFi is no new thing to us. It’s hard to even remember the days before online video and chat OTT services like Skype and WhatsApp. However, what was once an experience distinct from cell phone calling, requiring separate software and logins is now becoming integrated into standard cellular service, altering how people make their WiFi calls.

The Early Days of Native VoWiFi

Apple’s iPhone started the change. When FaceTime launched 7 years ago, the shift started to happen almost overnight. Like iMessage, if you were connected to WiFi, you could make FaceTime video and voice calls without using your cellular data or voice plan. The benefit to subscribers was immense, considering most people spend the majority of their time connected to WiFi. The only disadvantage of FaceTime and iMessage? It only worked between Apple devices.

Today’s Native VoWiFi

Fast forward to today. Now, calls can be made over WiFi to any other device, be it another cell phone or a landline, just by calling as you would for any call through the device’s native dialer. What does this mean? Gone are the days of WiFi calling’s dependence on OTT apps or the need to have an Apple device! For operators, instead of a threat, WiFi calling actually presents a unique opportunity for real innovation. Plus, if operators implement VoLTE, this offers users a truly seamless handoff from cellular to WiFi calls, presenting an extra incentive to not use OTT apps, as they can remain mobile, even when calls began over WiFi.

Native WiFi Calling vs OTT WiFi Calling

OTT (over-the-top) VoIP WiFi calling is a cloud-based service that requires a separate client and typically does not allow for mobility. Carrier WiFi calling, on the other hand, is integrated with the mobile carrier’s network, uses the native dialer on the handset, and is generally an extension of the mobile subscription plan, and typically includes a seamless mobile experience.

 Native WiFi CallingOTT WiFi Calling
DescriptionUsers’ devices directly access IMS networks to perform voice services with few changes in the core network. Calls will glide from cellular to WiFi and back again without any interruption in service.This is similar to what Skype calling or a voice call over WhatsApp offers, which works great until you leave the WiFi hotspot. Calls will drop as soon as you are out of WiFi range. It is unavoidable for calls to drop since there is no seamless handoff from cellular to WiFi.
Advantages
  • Unified dialing/message interface. No need to fire up a third party app.

  • Voice service continuity can be achieved utilizing the same phone number (seamless handoff).

  • Same QoS maintained as that in VoLTE.

  • Easy set up on the user’s device (just turn on WiFi calling option).

  • Only IMS network remodeling required.
  • Easy to deploy, no IMS or additional network infrastructure necessary

  • From a user's perspective, all he/she needs to do is download the app, register and it’s ready to go.
Limitations
  • An ePDG needs to be in place.

  • Limited user devices support WiFi calling, currently the latest models of iPhone, Samsung, LG, HTC to name a few (this list is naturally going to get bigger over the time)
  • Not a carrier-class voice solution, thus less reliable.

  • Lack of service support

  • QoS not guaranteed (no ownership of customer experience).

  • No general and regulatory services provided. (i.e. Emergency calls).

  • No standards defined.

Native WiFi Calling Benefits

Overall, native WiFi calling can be a win-win solution for both subscribers and operators. According to an Ericsson Consumer Lab study1, the key reasons users are interested in native WiFi calling are those shown in the chart below. Users value the fact that they do not need to download any extra apps or perform any additional logins. They also appreciate that their VoLTE calls get seamlessly handed over once they come in the range of WiFi, and vice versa. But, the bigger drivers are extended coverage and eliminated roaming charges. Gone are the days of going out on the back patio to get a better signal because the inside of your house is a dead zone. Or avoiding calls while traveling abroad for fear of the massive roaming charges you might rack up.  For carriers, these subscriber benefits correspond with distinct business gains, such as reduced CAPEX and OPEX, new revenue streams, competitive advantage, improved customer experience, increased international service, improved quality of experience, and first-mover advantage.

Voip wifi calling

Figure 1: Why Users Find WiFi Calling Appealing

Conclusion: Watch Your Back, OTT!

With all the benefits of native WiFi calling, it’s easy to see why OTT apps are losing their stronghold on the WiFi calling market. It will be interesting to see how the OTT market changes over the next few years to try to remain competitive and relevant!

Learn more about WiFi calling with Alepo’s white paper.

Ryan Gray

Ryan Gray

Partner and Sales Director

Ryan is intrigued by where telecommunications will go in the next few years. As a Partner and Sales Director, she’s been exposed to many aspects of the industry in different technologies and markets. When she’s not speaking in telecom acronyms, you can find her traveling the world, skiing the Colorado Rockies or doing DIY projects on her home.

WiFi Calling vs. WiFi Offload

WiFi Calling vs. WiFi Offload

WiFi Calling vs. WiFi Offload

19th of October 2017

While on a call the other day, it occurred to me that even highly knowledgeable people in the telecommunications industry have a difficult time deciphering the differences between WiFi calling and WiFi offload. The two types of technology are both constantly talked about, and often in relation with one another, but somewhere along the way, the defining line of what distinguishes them has become blurred. I’ll try to clear up this confusion so that you can make clearer decisions when the time comes for you to consider WiFi strategies. To start, let’s explore WiFi Offload…

The (Abbreviated) Origins of WiFi Offload

Years ago, the industry was hit with a pair of realizations: 1) the current cellular infrastructure wasn’t going to be able to handle rapidly growing data usage and 2) WiFi is a much cheaper and easier network to build than cellular. So, the solution of utilizing WiFi to handle cellular traffic was born.

So, Just What is WiFi Offload?

Getting slightly technical, WiFi Offload uses EAP-SIM/AKA technology, to automatically “offload” cellular users onto a recognized WiFi network as soon as they come in the range of the hotspot. Offload is as straightforward as it sounds. The EAP-SIM/AKA authentication compares the SIM information in a user’s phone to the information in the mobile provider’s home subscriber server (HSS). If the SIM credentials match, it kicks a user off of the cellular network and puts them on the WiFi network, without any action from the end user. The experience is seamless for the user and they shouldn’t even notice that their phone has been offloaded onto WiFi. This is similar to the way that your phone automatically connects when you come within range of your home WiFi. The difference is that the user is automatically offloaded onto hotspots they have never connected with before, and there is no need to enter a password or key.

Why Mobile Network Operators are Interested

Offload helps operators ease network congestion and improve the quality of service their customers receive in high-density areas. Often, operators will put hotspots in crowded public locations, like a stadium or downtown area, where network congestion is high. Operators can also “expand” their network coverage, installing hotspots in areas with poor cellular coverage, instead of installing a microcell. The main benefit here? WiFi is MUCH cheaper.

If those benefits weren’t enough, operators can form partnerships with other businesses/ISPs/MNOs in the area, or worldwide, to let their subscribers automatically offload onto the business/ISP/MNO WiFi networks as well. The advantage here is that operators can expand their network without making any investment in hardware. Plus, they can gain revenue by letting other operators’ customers roam onto their WiFi network.

Depending on their business model, operators utilizing WiFi Offload can either continue to charge customers at the same rate they would for cellular data or provide WiFi access free of charge. Regardless of charging models, operators and customers gain significantly from utilizing WiFi Offload.

Operator Gains:

  1. Free up space on the cellular network, especially useful in high density/congested areas
  2. Provide a higher-quality of service (QoS) to all users
  3. Form partnerships to expand their network coverage without investing a dime in hardware

Customer Benefits:

  1. Save cellular data if their operator doesn’t charge them for the WiFi use
  2. A boost in QoS makes streaming movies and video chatting much better, and customers won’t experience the frustration of not being able to send a Snapchat or post to Instagram when they’re at the biggest football match of the season.
  3. Say goodbye to dead zones! Customers will love the increase in coverage locally and/or worldwide.

So, What’s WiFi Calling?

WiFi calling is related to offload, but not quite the same. So, now you have a network of WiFi hotspots around the city, and you are offloading users onto it. Great! Now the issue is, how will a user choose to make a call?

The Rise of OTT Apps

Traditional mobile phones could only make calls on voice networks (2G and 3G). To fill this void, OTT apps like Skype and Whatsapp hit the market with high-quality calling and messaging enabled over any data connection, LTE or WiFi. Operators then started to see a huge decline in the revenue they used to get from voice calling and text messaging. Users realized that they could save their minutes and messages by simply calling and messaging with their OTT apps. Operators were forced to focus on data as their key service offering. Finally, voice over LTE (VoLTE) was introduced and calls could be made over a data connection. But, calls still couldn’t be made on WiFi. But it was only a matter of time. Today, all new phones hitting the market are WiFi calling enabled too, meaning a user can make a call on WiFi with their phone, without using an OTT app. This is often referred to as VoWiFi. But, native VoWiFi calls (not through an OTT app) will not work on a WiFi calling enabled smartphone unless the operator makes the required changes in their network. This is what a WiFi calling solution provides. So, until the operator changes out their network, their users will have to use an OTT app to make VoWiFi calls.

The Fall of OTT Apps

The time has finally come for operators to take back what they have lost from OTT apps. When an operator has a network that supports both VoLTE and VoWiFi, they can provide a seamless experience to their users. So, when a user is on a WiFi call and they move out of range of the WiFi hotspot, the call is seamlessly connected to the LTE signal and the call can continue uninterrupted, and vice versa if they come back into range of a hotspot. Because all new handsets are WiFi calling enabled, this functionality is going to become progressively important as calls are increasingly made on a WiFi or VoLTE connection, as opposed to the traditional voice networks. The fact that operators are already decommissioning their 2G and 3G networks is an indication that all calls in the future will be on LTE data, which is going to increase the need for seamless VoLTE to VoWiFi calling.

Why Mobile Network Operators are Interested

The key benefits of WiFi calling for operators:

  1. Combat OTT apps and gain back lost revenue
  2. Provide a better, controlled QoS compared to OTT apps
  3. Provide benefits to subscribers. Happy subscribers = loyal subscribers!

The key benefits of WiFi calling for users:

  1. Simplicity! No need for an app. Just call straight from your phone’s native dialer.
  2. Calling over WiFi doesn’t use up talk time minutes
  3. WiFi calls don’t waste LTE data!
  4. WiFi often has a much higher-quality and a clearer sound

Conclusion

So, while WiFi Offload and WiFi calling are distinct, they both provide benefits to operators willing to shift their network to support calling over WiFi. While offload is designed as a dynamic solution to congestion and limited coverage, WiFi calling provides an opportunity for customers to originate calls over WiFi, not just get offloaded when the cellular network falls short. This gives customers and operators the opportunity to preserve cellular network integrity, and offer higher-quality calls at a lower price. To combat OTT apps and increase customer satisfaction, WiFi Offload and calling present the perfect opportunity to increase revenue and quality of service in a highly competitive market with plateauing or falling profits.

Ryan Gray

Ryan Gray

Partner and Sales Director

Ryan is intrigued by where telecommunications will go in the next few years. As a Partner and Sales Director, she’s been exposed to many aspects of the industry in different technologies and markets. When she’s not speaking in telecom acronyms, you can find her traveling the world, skiing the Colorado Rockies or doing DIY projects on her home.

Delivering Service Innovation with Convergent Billing and Charging

Delivering Service Innovation with Convergent Billing and Charging

Delivering Service Innovation with Convergent Billing and Charging

19th of October 2017

For telecom operators, fixed line services were the only source of generating revenue in the past. Since then, the industry has taken great strides, with operators developing various innovative services that have empowered customers to look beyond voice and SMS and explore streaming video, maps, music, and many more data applications.

The opportunities created for customers have enabled telecom operators to plunge into new services. Today, quality customer experience plays a big hand in generating revenues. In this customer-centric era, telecom operators are driven to promote timely personalized offers and deals at attractive price ranges to cater to customer needs.

With the rise of service offerings, operators are facing tremendous pressure on their billing platform. The need to enhance the capabilities of the BSS system has become as significant as improving network capacity from time to time.

Why should telecom operators upgrade their billing system?

Telecom operators have put billing systems on the front burner for driving initiative to capture revenue and reduce costs. What telecom operators need at this hour is a BSS system that can fulfill the evolving needs of customers.

There are many communication product opportunities resulting in a complex blend of mobile and fixed offerings apart from applications, entertainment, and value-added services. This has only complicated the billing process. Flat-rate pricing has taken the backseat with flexible and creative pricing emerging as a strategic differentiator for telecom operators. The increasing price complexity has in turn driven operators to augment BSS systems with more capabilities for handling billing and charging complexities.

Even though there is a great demand for mobile data services, operators fail to earn good revenues from these services. New charging models not only make it a requisite to redefine rating rules, but also promotes BSS systems with robust capabilities to support the ever-growing event data records.

The pricing models for prepaid and postpaid services pose another challenge for the telecom operators. With different systems driving the rating and charging of these services, operators realize the need for a convergent platform to conquer the expensive and complicated process. Take pre-paid and post-paid billing for instance; there are two different systems driving the pre-paid and post-paid billing services. Telecom operators face challenges while using different systems for different network services and also when legacy systems do not support the launch of new charging models.

There is also the dire need to hasten time-to-market when it comes to new services with the objective to gain competitive advantage. These challenges entail a convergent billing platform that lays the foundation for improved customer experience, faster reaction to market changes and reduction in operating costs.

Are there any challenges?

Though convergent billing systems provide answers by turning a single invoice to a combination of customer charges, implementing this system comes with its own set of challenges. The litmus test comes when there is a need to create an agile and dynamic architecture aimed at sustaining the ever-growing and evolving telecom business to integrate into legacy infrastructure.

With increasing transactions day to day, the pressure on the single platform could pave the way for problems. If there is a single point of failure it could cause a delay in charging a customer or disallow customers from using such services. A spike in transactions could put too much pressure on the single billing and charging system due to which customer service can take a beating. This potential damage caused by immense pressure on the platform can also translate into revenue losses for the telecom operators.

With the right planning and modern architecture in place, such challenges can be mitigated and turned into opportunities.

Why make a move to customer-centric convergent billing system?

Today, customers are at the core of telecom operations making them the dominant partner in their relationship with telecom operators. The days of providing fixed line services and raising a single invoice for customers are at an end. Triggered by evolving consumer demands, more business partners have joined hands with telecom operators, like content providers and resellers to generate one bill for multiple services. Customers subscribing to services also see it as a way to procure additional content.

In this scenario, a convergent billing system must adopt a customer-centric approach by allowing operators to create convergent offers and promote personalized services. The system must allow telecom operators to create a bundle of services and cater to the specific needs of customers.

What makes up for the ‘ultimate’ convergent billing system?

Telecom operators must look for the following salient features that make up for the ultimate convergent billing system.

Real-time charging

Real-time charging is key to any prepaid/postpaid convergent system, as it’s necessary to enforce not only prepaid plans but also any intelligent postpaid plan, with dynamic rates or caps. The ideal convergent billing system is the one that allows consumers to keep a tab on their usage. By sending real-time alerts to customers, the system not only alerts customers about their usage limits but also recommends better plans. In short, robust convergent billing systems ensure consumers take control over end-to-end real-time services.

Integration with other systems

The real worth of the convergent billing system is evident when it is integrated with legacy systems. This can be achieved by leveraging open interfaces and Service Oriented Architectures that help reduce the complexities resulting from the integration. Also, the key to ensuring integration success is a vendor with a strong history of successfully integrating with a wide range of systems.

Support for an array of business models

Business models evolve with time. In the past, telecom operators billed business customers and expanded their services to cover individual customers. Initially, telecom operators reached out to consumers through direct selling and later ramified their operations by joining hands with resellers. With business models evolving, convergent BSS systems must adapt to emerging business models embraced by telecom operators.

Rapid time-to-market

Existing billing systems fail to support modern products while time becomes a constraint in configuring individual products. The systems also lack the ability to promote product/offer definitions as well as rating/changing scenario definitions. The ideal convergent billing system must ensure new services are implemented quickly and easily.

Allow new charging models to be added

Data service usage has reached a new high. For telecom operators, this translates to an increase in network capacity investments as well as maintenance rather than an increase in revenues. An ideal convergent billing system must make it easy for telecom operators to personalize tariffs and services to customers, distinguish service types and add new charging models.

Allow convergence on many levels

Multi-level convergence allows providers to invoice customers in a way that makes sense to them. Multiple services, pre- and post-paid can all be invoiced to a single account, or divided into sub-accounts. This eases confusion on behalf of the customer–the services they’re receiving and value they’re getting is clear, on the page, and all interactions with the company reflect this shared balance and account.

Robust and scalable system

Reliable service delivery is the key to ensuring customer satisfaction. A modern convergent billing system must be robust and scalable to recover resiliently when a problem arises, without creating a dent in service revenues. In order to respond to market shifts quickly with a rapid expansion of service offerings, the system must be capable of handling a breadth of transactions and ensure the security of system and data.

Like the emphasis on customer service driving changes in the telecom industry, changes in customer data toward convergent and personalized offers is creating a paradigm shift in the way customers are billed. From leveraging the promise of data to cutting costs and generating revenue, convergent billing and charging systems have become requisites for telecom operators to thrive in the market as it exists today, as well as how it will evolve into the future.

Rajesh Mhapankar

Rajesh Mhapankar

Director, Innovations

A seasoned professional, technologist, innovator, and telecom expert. With over 20 years of experience in the software industry, Rajesh brings a strong track record of accelerating product innovations and development at Alepo. He supports the company’s mission-critical BSS/OSS projects in LTE, WiFi and broadband networks, including core policy, charging, and control elements.

How a Centralized Product Catalog Revolutionizes a Telco’s BSS Offerings

How a Centralized Product Catalog Revolutionizes a Telco’s BSS Offerings

How a Centralized Product Catalog Revolutionizes a Telco’s BSS Offerings

19th of October 2017

With a growing demand for smartphones and other data-hungry devices in the new digital era, offering customers the right products at the right time remains a challenge for CSPs. It can be difficult for CSPs to create, manage and monetize data offers efficiently. Despite having a variety of products, many CSPs fail to respond to the growing needs of customers in an ever-changing marketplace due to an unconsolidated BSS platform, a poorly integrated order management system, and multiple product catalogs. While customers clearly indicate that quality, reliability and consistent service are keys to retention, operators’ BSS systems fail to anticipate the customers’ needs and proactively deliver personalized offers.

The root of the problem is a lack of ability to deliver on customer demands for bundled services and siloed product offerings, and the ideal solution is to have a single centralized product catalog. A centralized product catalog helps CSPs to seize revenue-generating opportunities, deliver an unparalleled Quality of Experience (QoE), reduce time-to-market (TTM), retain a profitable subscriber base, reduce churn, and improve brand loyalty.

A Single Centralized Product Catalog Versus Multiple Product Catalogs

Operators and their many distinct teams (such as business, product, operational and network) currently maintain several product catalogs for multiple channels, i.e. subscribers, affiliates, casual customers, etc. However, to gain a competitive market advantage and to ensure the timely launch of new products, CSPs need to quickly design, create, price, bundle, collaborate and launch offers based on customer needs and preferences. Unfortunately, as soon as the market and customers’ preferences evolve, these old product catalogs take a back seat, and the need to create a new product catalog arises. The constant creation of new products and need for bundled services across multiple departments makes it difficult for operators to manage multiple product catalogs scattered across the BSS.

To make the product portfolio instantly available to marketing and product teams and to reduce complexities, a single centralized product catalog offers a powerful solution to the constant battle to respond quickly and efficiently to market changes. It helps CSPs to design, collaborate, organize, and manage offer lifecycles with ease, giving them a competitive edge to launch numerous innovative plans and services on the fly. The reduced TTM and ability to respond quickly to the customer’s needs redefine the customer experience, assure customers’ happiness, increase ARPU and ROI, and lower operating costs.

How a Centralized Product Catalog Reduces TTM

From offer creation to fulfillment, Alepo’s next-gen BSS platform (with built-in product catalog), Service Enabler (SE), is designed to increase revenue and customer loyalty by facilitating a rapid TTM for new, innovative products and services. The centralized Alepo Product Catalog Manager gives CSPs the flexibility to agilely respond in a continuously evolving market across multiple access technologies with fine-grained prepaid, postpaid, and hybrid plans. With Alepo’s Product Catalog, the products can be configured and brought to market via a simple point-and-click interface and defined by many metrics based on volume, value, time, and quality of service.

10 Key Considerations for an Ideal Product Catalog

1. Single, Centralized, Convergent Tool

A product catalog should be a single, truly centralized, convergent, and service-agnostic application that bundles multiple service offerings into one package within a few minutes, anytime and for any network.

2. Simple, Intuitive Interface

A product catalog should have a simplified, modern user interface (UI) that helps business users to conceptualize and design new offers quickly. Alepo’s Product Catalog, a robust and standalone application, takes the user experience to new heights with a “drag-and-drop” UI, helping CSPs to create new features with ease.

3. Product-Centric Dashboard

With cutting-edge product catalogs such as Alepo’s, marketing and product teams are able to maintain a smart dashboard. With quick insight into upcoming, ongoing, and expired offers, as well as the most discussed offers, a product-centric dashboard efficiently managing the product offering design process.

4. Manages Offers Efficiently

A single and centralized or master product catalog serves as an offer repository when integrated with other IT systems of the BSS platform. A product catalog reduces the effort put into creating and managing offers. Irrespective of the number and nature of offers, the ideal product catalog manages all manner of offers, system-wide, in a single catalog, ensuring efficiency.

5. Eases Teamwork and Collaboration

A product catalog should provide features like sharing, discussion, and history. This built-in communication eliminates the need for spreadsheets, whiteboards, or paper versions of the offers that get easily lost or are hard to organize. With all of this information in one place, collaboration is more efficient, and fewer mistakes are made. Discussion forum functionality enables marketing and product teams to manage the offer design process efficiently. It encourages active participation and discussion across departments during the offer design process. This collaborative process helps CSPs to reduce operational cost and respond with agility to shifts in the market.

6. Flexible Offer Design Interface

The platform should provide flexibility in designing offers, allowing marketing and product teams to create and modify offer attributes/features and offer items, while capturing granular details of a feature/item. Advanced applications like Alepo’s Universal Offer Designer help CSPs to create attractive and innovative products, without limitations, giving CSPs a competitive edge in the market.

7. Intelligently Organizes Offers

The list of offers present in the product catalog should be easily scanned by adding filters such as tags and categories. The platform needs to be flexible, managing offers through the use of a search filter tool, offer versioning, categorization, and tags. New offers can be designed quickly and intelligently to fill gaps in the current catalog through the use of offer import/export, cloning, and product comparisons.

8. Supports Multi-Play Offerings

The role of a product catalog is not just to create and manage offers, but help CSPs gain new subscribers, offer complex service bundles, improve ARPU, and generate revenue. The product catalog remains a powerful channel for CSPs to improve their multi-play offerings and digitally evolve their network.

9. Secured Access

A product catalog should provide role-based authentication for creating offers, editing offers, read-only access, deleting offers, creating features, etc. This administrative aspect helps in maintaining authorized access, reducing human error.

10. Flexible Deployment Options

The product catalog is generally a standalone tool and comes with flexible deployment models such as “SaaS” or “on-premise.” Considering the business needs and IT complexities, Alepo’s Product Catalog supports multiple business models, i.e. as an internal component of Alepo’s BSS Solution or as a standalone master product catalog with integration’s to other IT systems through RESTful API integration.

Anju Gulati

Anju Gulati

Marketing Operations Manager

A core marketer with over sixteen years of combined cross-discipline experience, including marketing communications, operations, and content creation. I believe with an increasingly competitive marketplace, marketing is the magic to expedite sales closures, achieve business success, sustain brand leadership, and drive future growth.

How BSS can be turned into a telecom business profit generator

How BSS can be turned into a telecom business profit generator

How BSS can be turned into a telecom business profit generator

19th of October 2017

A BSS solution encompasses a wide spectrum of functionalities such as billing, rating and charging, customer experience, customer care, CRM, fulfilment, and revenue management, which can be turned into a growth-enabling driver when each piece is modernized and streamlined. Here, we analyze ways that a robust BSS solution can become a profit generator.

Predicting customer churn

Telecom companies can leverage advanced analytics to seek value from data residing in the BSS, OSS and CRM, among others. By leveraging data gathered from customer usage, transactions, complaints, billing and social media, predictive models can be built to identify potential churners. This, in turn, helps telecom companies to roll out offers, promotions and services to win and keep loyal customers.

Promoting a personalised customer experience

Digital users accept nothing short of unique, personalised experiences. By implementing a digital BSS system, telecom companies can capture interaction data and create targeted customer interactions. Whether it is the need to address network issues, reward loyalty, or recommend offers, telecom companies can leverage AI and deep learning to meet real-time customer demands. Additionally, BSS data, network data and performance data can be integrated to get a 360-degree view of the customer, giving companies the full picture necessary to create targeted offers that increase both ARPU and customer satisfaction.

Establishing innovative service lines

Cloud-based services are an increasingly important part of any provider’s offerings. Not only is their appeal becoming clear to consumers, but businesses are increasingly utilizing cloud-based services to enable ease of communication to employees across the globe. A robust BSS solution allows operators to bundle cloud-based services into more traditional offerings easily, ensuring that providers can both increase ARPU and be seen as innovative operators.

Promoting agility and increased efficiency

Additionally, a robust BSS solution that is itself cloud-based can offer businesses the agility necessary to support emerging technologies. For IoT and M2M systems for example, a cloud-based BSS allows providers to effectively sync and juggle the multitude of partnerships entailed in these complex new systems. As emerging business opportunities emphasize agililty in a shifting and complex marketplace, a cloud-based BSS solution presents the only way to allow businesses to manage and create partnerships and products the instant opportunities arise.

In a rapidly evolving marketplace, characterized by shifts in technology and consumer lifestyle, successful companies will seize opportunities the moment they arise. In order to do so, they must utilize a BSS solution that can effectively extract insights from network intelligence by leveraging real-time data analytics, allowing providers to identity and respond to market trends as soon as they arise.

Retaining profitable customers

The cost of acquiring new customers accounts is substantial for telecom companies. Because of this high cost, it takes time for services providers to recover acquisition costs, making it  important to retain profitable customers now more than ever. And in order to do so, it is vital that providers have a complete view of the customer’s habits and history. By integrating BSS and OSS applications, telecom companies can gain a comprehensive view of the customer to make convergent billing, tiered rates and applicable discounts possible. This way, it becomes easy to analyze the value that customers bring to business. This also empowers the telecom company to differentiate offers according to the value of the customer.

Constantly enhancing average revenue per user

The constant demand to improve ARPU drives telecom companies to deliver new services that meet the demands of customers. By integrating customer-facing systems, specifically BSS, with the other systems as well as service delivery mechanisms, telecom companies can inject speed into the launch of new services.

Whether it is a need to accelerate service provisioning, introduce innovative service lines or enhance customer experience to enhance the bottom line, telecom companies can leverage a robust and modernized BSS to make these objectives a reality.

Rohit Srivastav

Rohit Srivastav

Content Strategist - Manager

Facts aren’t enough, a brand needs to tell stories. Stories that people want to read, share and read again. Stories that deliver on business goals. I am the guy who turns facts into stories.

Is the Telecom industry finally surging ahead for growth in 2017?

Is the Telecom industry finally surging ahead for growth in 2017?

Is the Telecom industry finally surging ahead for growth in 2017?

19th of October 2017

The telecommunications market is in a period of transition—with years of declining traditional revenue, dipping average revenue per user, and loss of growth in the B2C sector, many operators are finding themselves wondering where the emerging business opportunities lie.

Are there signs of business opportunities on the horizon for Telcos to step up their business growth in 2017?

 

telecom industry

B2B

The consumer market is growing just at 0.6%; in comparison, the B2B market has been growing at 2.6% annually. For Telcos, B2B services seem to be the ray of hope to propel their growth in 2017.  Just like consumers, businesses have come to expect fine-grained services, unique to their needs. However, while operators have focused their innovations on direct-to-consumer offerings, the needs of enterprise accounts have evolved, and a market opportunity has emerged to cater to these requirements. By re-positioning their offerings, operators can sell more effectively to this growing market, presenting businesses with telecom plans that also encompass workflow management, security, or CRM. By offering these more robust, enterprise-specific plans, operators are assured to distinguish themselves in the B2B growth market.

 

telecom industry

The Threat of OTT

Operators have also seen revenues plateau or drop because of the proliferation of OTT players. Companies like Google, Skype, and Netflix are increasingly taking market share from more traditional telecom providers, making competing with traditional services impossible.

 

telecom industry

While a select few telecoms have entered the OTT marketplace through large acquisitions of media companies (such as AT&T’s acquisition of DirecTV), this is not a viable strategy for most telecom companies. Instead, the threat of OTT challenges telecoms to differentiate their services according to their unique tech and market advantages.

By offering services more easily bundled into traditional telecom offerings, such as cloud storage, enhanced security, workflow management, or CRM, telecoms can find themselves increasing market share without attempting to compete directly with OTT providers. Additionally, by pivoting instead of competing, telecoms still win—after all, OTT use boosts internet and data usage.

The Rise of 5G

5G is the new trend expected to get off the ground in 2017. The potential of 5G to revolutionize business functions is not lost upon industries like transportation and energy. Moreover, 5G is predicted as the key to the rise of M2M and IoT applications like augmented or virtual reality and autonomous vehicles.

Cellular-connected IoT devices alone are expected to create 1.2 billion lines by the year 2020, the equivalent of 15% of global mobile subscriptions! The rise of 5G will enable such data-hungry technologies to thrive, creating a whole new market segment for telecoms.

Exploiting the potentials of new technologies could well be the new line of attack for the telecom companies. Vehicle connectivity, for instance, proves this point. In the US from January to March of 2016, connected cars were accountable for 32% of mobile connection net-adds, outpacing tablets (23%) and phones (31%). While telcos set their eyes on exploring new revenue-earning opportunities, collaborations established with these emerging technology players will prove to be viable to make this happen.

References:

http://www.bain.com/publications/articles/how-to-capture-the-b2b-growth-opportunity-in-telecom.aspx
https://www.telco2research.com/articles/EB_growth-strategies-68-operators
http://www.mckinsey.com/industries/telecommunications/our-insights/overwhelming-ott-telcos-growth-strategy-in-
http://pages.eiu.com/rs/783-XMC-194/images/Telecoms_in_2017.pdf
http://pages.eiu.com/rs/783-XMC-194/images/Telecoms_in_2017.pdf
http://www.bain.com/publications/articles/how-to-capture-the-b2b-growth-opportunity-in-telecom.aspx
http://www.strategyand.pwc.com/trend/2017-telecommunications-industry-trends
https://techannouncer.com/global-telecom-industry-find-opportunities-mobile-connectivity-emerging-nations/
http://www.information-age.com/top-3-telecom-trends-2017-123463558/
http://www.marketsandmarkets.com/PressReleases/over-the-top-ott.asp
http://www.telecompetitor.com/seven-top-telecom-trends-for-2017/
http://www.computerweekly.com/opinion/Telecoms-Opportunities-and-challenges-in-2017
https://www.zacks.com/commentary/98170/us-telecom-industry-momentum-to-continue-in-2017
http://www.bmiresearch.com/articles/global-telecoms-key-themes-for-2017

 

Rohit Srivastav

Rohit Srivastav

Content Strategist - Manager

Facts aren’t enough, a brand needs to tell stories. Stories that people want to read, share and read again. Stories that deliver on business goals. I am the guy who turns facts into stories.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!