Tue From Hermansen, Director Product Management, Next Generation Solutions
Delivering true international roaming is key for any operator hoping to provide full roaming coverage for its users. Today’s jet-setting mobile users expect to be able to use their mobiles wherever they go in the world and at a fair price. If their operator cannot provide this service, they are more than likely to change their supplier to one that does. For operators, being able to provide coverage in as many countries as possible is common sense – simply put, the more countries they have inter-operator roaming agreements with, the more revenue they can expect to see.
Delivering global roaming is by no mean an easy matter, however. Today’s mobile ecosystem is complex, with a number of countries using differing mobile standards. For a GSM operator, it is no easy matter to interconnect with a CDMA operator, for example, but it is vital for effective coverage expansion.
MTS India, one of MACH’s major customers, recently announced that it has used our Inter-Standard Roaming (ISR) solution to become the first operator in the country to launch international roaming services for CDMA prepaid subscribers. MACH instantly enabled the operator to provide its customers with full roaming across 433 GSM networks in 231 countries.
For MTS India the benefits are immediate – it can offer its subscribers a greater range of countries to visit without them having to change their phone or number. As well as ensuring good customer service, this also means that MTS India can enjoy the revenue share from each call or data session made by its customers on visited networks.
For MTS India to have set these services up on its own would have been both time consuming and costly. By choosing MACH’s ISR solution, it benefitted from a plug and play approach without any of the headaches associated with negotiating IOTs and working through the technical difficulties of interconnecting between CDMA and GSM networks. It could launch its services immediately and without any costly capital expenditure.
Inter-standard roaming will be one of the hot topics as we move into 2012. Operators are already starting to look at working with WiFi providers to offload some of their roaming traffic, while 4G/LTE deployments will mean that there is yet another set of standards for operators to deal with. We strongly believe that the simplicity and cost effectiveness of our hub-based ISR solution will prove effective in helping operators to grow their roaming revenues in this increasingly complex environment, helping them launch into new geographies faster than the competition and offer their customers a more compelling proposition.