By Guy Reiffer, Vice President Marketing & Partnerships
Implementing a ‘Bill-Shock’ solution ensures that your company is compliant with regulatory obligations, and with the typess of roaming transparency initiatives introduced by the CTIA and the GSMA.
Telecom regulatory bodies, including the FCC in the USA and the EU regulator, have stipulated that subscribers must be notified about data usage in real-time and provided with a choice of whether to continue with the service or to cease a data session with immediate effect. EU regulation forces operators to impose a monthly default cut off for data roaming of €50. Operators are obliged to send roamers a warning notification when they reach a set proportion of their usage limit (currently 80% of the limit). Once the limit is reached, unless there are active responses from the subscriber, then they will be disconnected from the data session.
The CTIA issued its “Wireless Consumer Usage Notification Guidelines” in 2010 and regulatory bodies in various parts of Asia have also issued guidelines for similar mechanisms for price transparency and a cut off threshold chosen by the consumer. From October 17, 2012 participating carriers have needed to comply at least partly with the CTIA guidelines. The deadline for complying with the guidelines that apply to international roaming usage is April 17, 2013.
The GSMA Data Roaming Transparency Initiative has signed up multiple operator groups who committed to implement data roaming transparency by the end of 2012. The GSMA promotes the adoption of these guidelines across its full membership base and will develop a customer facing trust mark for mobile operators implementing its measures.
According to the GSMA guidelines, mobile network operators become compliant when they have completed the implementation of three measures:
• Send a text message notification to remind subscribers about their data roaming tariffs when they arrive in another country and turn on their mobile device
• Implement a monthly data roaming spending limit to help subscribers manage their roaming bill and send alerts when their data usage approaches a defined limit
• Temporarily suspend data service when usage exceeds the spending limit