We have all read the shock horror stories about roaming bills! They go like this. My son took his new iPhone to Spain for two weeks in the summer and clocked up a bill of more than £2,000 on web surfing, music and picture downloads, the works – without even realising it!
So serious are subscriber concerns over roaming costs that mobile network operators (MNOs) tell us that more than 40% of roamers actually switch off their GPRS connection when they travel abroad. Clearly what subscribers want is roaming tariff transparency, so that they can confidently use data services when roaming, as well as some sort of control mechanism to ensure they do not incur excessively large bills when roaming.
So how do MNOs overcome this hurdle in order to earn more revenue from data roaming?
Until recently MNOs simply were unable to harness the requisite subscriber level information that was necessary to analyze roaming patterns and provide tariff transparency. Additionally, billing system constraints have restricted roaming tariff flexibility and policy level controls did not exist.
The need of the hour is a solution that helps the MNOs reach out to their customers with customised roaming data packages in such a way that high usage subscribers, particularly enterprise customers, might get unlimited usage packages, while other subscribers would receive data packages with banded limits of usage. Such a solution will be lucrative for the MNOs since it encourages individual subscribers to use more on-net data services while roaming. This also satisfies the additional requirement from regulators, in those countries where regulatory controls over data usage have been implemented.