In less than 6 months time, European travellers will be able to ‘Roam Like at Home’ (RLAH), paying the same roaming tariffs for regulated mobile calls, SMS and data that they already pay in their home country of residence or “Stable Link” member states.
While RLAH serves as an incentive to ensure that the most competitive domestic offers remain attractive, it really is just another example of how the telecoms industry is experiencing profound and rapid change. There are great challenges and risks on the near horizon, which need to be met with foresight and readiness.
The Fair Usage Policy’s (FUP) aim is to prevent abusive or anomalous usage by roaming customers of regulated retail roaming services. While the rules may look simple, implementation requires significant change and effort on the mobile operator’s part. FUP measurement is related to:
- Applying a volume limit to regulated data services for certain tariff plans like open data bundles and pre-paid subscriptions.
- Identifying RLAH abuse based on multiple objective indicators like prevailing domestic presence and consumption over roaming etc.
Many operators acknowledge that their traditional business systems are no longer sufficient or may require significant investment. These complications are not just limited to meeting FUP related regulatory obligations but also fulfilling an operator’s responsibility to notify roaming customers as part of transparency measures. The notifications vary from:
- Sharing information related to FUP data quota and breach
- Identifying permanent roamers
- Advising of applicable roaming surcharges for additional consumption over FUP
- Informing of available allowance balances within domestic “limited” tariff plans that customers can use while roaming
With roaming revenue in decline and the volume of roaming data increasing steadily, operators who are static will become uncompetitive, when they could be seizing the opportunity to build a fresh, mutually beneficial roaming relationship with their subscribers. The chance to boost subscriber satisfaction, engagement and experience – and the chance to monetize these assets – is at the core of this industry-wide change. There is a massive business opportunity far beyond simply complying with the regulation. New roaming regulations, in a way, provide room for operators to innovate and design alternative roaming tariffs which could include contractual usage conditions that fall outside a fair use policy established in accordance with the regulations. Besides this, operators have the right to take measures to tackle highly a typical usage patterns of voice or SMS roaming.
At Mobileum we recognize the need for operators to meet this new EU roaming regulation with sound strategic planning. We understand the industry, the market, the technology and most importantly the new business challenges, which operators will face.
Mobileum’s state-of-the-art converged policy solution allows operators to implement control measures related to FUP on roaming data allowance. Full compliance to EU roaming regulation obligations are guaranteed while abstracting and minimizing changes to operators’ billing and business systems. The solution allows operators to implement transparent control measures related to FUP on roaming data allowance, detect and act on permanent roamers by measuring roaming, domestic presence and consumption, and provides notifications for breach of available allowances within the user’s fixed bundle. Besides regulatory obligations, the solution can be extended to tackle a typical roaming voice/SMS usage and to launch roaming packs as an alternative roaming tariff plan. The solution not only aids in meeting operators’ obligations towards their customers, but also provides granular visibility of different attributes of roaming customers by virtue of roaming analytics.
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