Blog article

Roaming Matters; steering counts

6 Jun 2020

Roaming Matters; steering counts…

According to research, mobile roaming (voice and data) generates approximately $90-$100 billion in revenues per annum – although returns are likely to be impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic (an increasingly familiar refrain!). Nevertheless, in the medium to longer term these numbers are only likely to grow further as appetite for data, and the advent of 5G networks, drives the industry forward. Given that roaming represents somewhere in the region of 10% of operator billed revenues, it’s clear that the steering of roaming is a function that telcos need to discharge effectively. But how?

Selecting mobile operators when roaming

Well, first of all, how does roaming work?  Generally, when a mobile subscriber is roaming outside his home network, a local network for sending and receiving calls and data is targeted. Generally, the goal is for the roaming be handled by local operators with acceptable prices and high network quality. Home network choice of the roaming-hosting network is handled by steering. This function can be either network- or SIM-based.

Having established that implementing more efficient ways of lowering costs, by switching to a different network when appropriate, allows MVNOs to achieve better margins… let’s address the best way to do it. Here at Evolving Systems, our approach is netSteer, which enables an MVNO to switch host network seamlessly based on location, to manage complex rate plans, and to provide a better quality of service among other advantages.  Taking these steps matters, given that the ability to effectively switch MVNOs means the negotiation of better deals with partners, better network performance for your subscribers, and the more effective management of your network traffic.


An Evolving Systems approach to the problem

Our netSteer solution allows you to define network switch policies and preferred roaming partners so you can effectively leverage your network agreements with host networks.  Just as importantly, it provides configurable business logic combined with machine-learning algorithms. This makes routing decisions automatic, based on hand-picked parameters such as Quality of Service (QoS), threshold, price and capacity.

If you’re not already supporting effective roaming, equally importantly netSteer can be deployed quickly; either in the cloud, as a standalone system or as a complement to other Evolving Systems solutions (Tertio® Service Activation (TSA™), Dynamic SIM Allocation (DSA™) or Total Number Management (TNM™) platforms). Given the revenue impact to hand, return on investment is near immediate and, additionally, deployed as a hosted SaaS solution, the change is low investment and low risk.

Investing in network steering in any flavour is, as I pointed out at the start of this blog, table stakes. Meeting subscriber expectations with fair prices and high quality is no longer optional.  For MVNOs who haven’t yet prioritised and optimised a network steering solution, now may be the time to do so. With a changed world just around the corner, the present is as good a time as any to prepare for it.

6 Jun 2020