|Topic:||Next generation mobile challenges|
|Title:||Vice President, Engineering and Head of India Operations|
VVR KISHORE is the Vice President, and Engineering and Head of India Operations at Roamware; he is responsible for various aspects of core product engineering, including product design, development and quality. Previously, Mr Kishore was responsible for the customer support function and the technical delivery and operation functions. Prior to Roamware, Mr Kishore worked with Citigroup Overseas Software Ltd. directing their middleware infrastructure team; he also oversaw their L3 production support function for the Trade Group. Before that, he worked with Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. in their software division.
VVR Kishore holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Technology from Nagpur University, India and a Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) in Finance and Systems from Symbiosis, Pune, India.
Demand for mobile broadband is growing rapidly in India. Demand for mobile data service already exceeds supply, so service providers are investing to survive as the market evolves from a voice-centric market to one that relies on mobile broadband. A manage, optimize and monetize (MOM) strategy increases the user’s quality of experience (QoE) for enhanced Internet services, provides the flexibility to quickly launch new service plans, simplifies charging and increases penetration, helps increase ARPU (average revenue per user) and speeds ROI.
The last 12 months have been quite eventful for mobile operators. The global traveller count inched close to the one billion mark by four per cent and reached 982 million. Operators made US$42 billion in roaming revenue, a value that likely to have increased to US$46 billion by year-end 2012. Over 68 per cent of mobile operators named customer experience management as their highest business priority. QoE (quality of experience) emerged as a broader, holistic, view compared to QoS (quality of service). Operators lost $58 billion to telecom fraud.
Data usage on the mobile phone increased to 4.8 billion terabytes and is slated to grow to 6.3 billion in 2012. Thirty-four per cent of the mobile workforce admitted to having experienced a ‘bill shock’. Twenty-nine LTE networks were launched and 285 networks are in various stages of LTE trial and commercialization. Forty-eight per cent more cross border calls were made on Skype. of The SMS revenue lost to over the top apps amounted to US$14 billion. In addition, 12.7 million connected M2M (machine-to-machine) devices were shipped. EU regulation mandated opening up of wholesale roaming tariffs allowing subscribers to piece together a roaming package that best suited their needs.
The modern day operator needs to be able to respond to a wide variety of changes and challenges – subscribers, data patterns, competitor moves, regulations, substitute products such as false apps, fraudsters and the ever-changing dimensions of technology. The operator needs to handle these changes in their home networks and in foreign networks as well, wherever their subscribers roam. Mobile operator service infrastructure has to be both powerful and flexible enough to help operators meet these challenges.
Although the device platform sector has been a hotbed of innovation, service infrastructures have been slow to adapt. Infrastructure platforms built for 99.999 per cent availability are not, generally speaking designed to respond rapidly to market demands for new services. Constrained capital expenditures, regulatory pressures, the ‘PTT monopoly legacy’ of sluggishness, and the realities of their local markets are leading operators to evolve their business models. The mobile operator services picture needs a very different ‘look’ to keep pace with the times.
By 2020, mobile operator services will need to be:
• Rapidly deployed, on demand to users worldwide through an open framework of service integration
• Globally managed for QoS – including for data, voice and video application performance
• Integrated via device and cloud applications to provide security, and QoS
• Seamless experience and similar costs for all roaming and non-roaming usage
• Used by more automated (M2M) devices than user devices
Mobile operator service platforms will evolve to address core issues that operators face as markets develop.
• LTE roaming – enable services such as roaming traffic redirection, roaming hubs, automatic dialling number correction while roaming on LTE and non-LTE networks
• Customer experience management – testing QoE in local and roaming networks in real time.
• Big data analytics – analyzing large volumes of structured and unstructured roaming data to give operators actionable insight on cross-selling, up-selling and ROI of inter-operator relationships
• M2M – enable devices to seamlessly communicate with each other in diverse network technology environments
• Number services – enable operators to assign multiple numbers to a single subscriber and dynamically provide a subscriber with a temporary local number
• Call routing – automatically using the lowest cost routing available for global calls and passing the benefits to the subscriber
• Security – protecting operator networks from fraud attacks such as SIM Box Fraud and IRSF fraud
• Policy control – allowing operators to define, rollout and monitor policies related to data usage, tariffs and volume of voice and data consumption and give subscribers the ability to control their own usage without suffering bill shock at the end of the billing cycle
To empower operators and give them the flexibility to meet multi-dimensional challenges, they need solutions they can provision via either traditional means or using a cloud-based delivery infrastructure.
Management focussed on quality, both in home networks and in complex inter-operator environments, can ensure the quality of the customer experience. Operators need a holistic integration of quality management across both subscriber and network dimensions so that QoE becomes the focus, not just QoS.
Operators can monetize investments in LTE by provisioning value added services. Operators should migrate subscribers to LTE while managing a seamless subscriber experience in a multi-network environment that has both LTE and non-LTE networks operating simultaneously. LTE solutions must address such key issues as providing high quality value added services on LTE networks and maintaining the level of subscriber experience even when they roam internationally.
Operators have to to adapt to regional regulatory requirements profitably to survive. Recently the EU issued guidelines requiring operators to give subscribers clear information about roaming data usage and the unbundling of domestic and international roaming contracts in the EU region. Operators need solutions that can help them obey these regulations and still turn a profit. Operators can influence outbound subscribers to remain in preferred networks, attract inbound subscribers to latch onto their network and build trust with subscribers with interactive communication.
As with basic telecom services today, data is going to be the growth engine for roaming. Operators need to optimize data revenue by keeping roamers from switching off their data roaming services. Operators need to encourage subscribers to keep data services on even while roaming, control data usage in partnership with the subscriber, verify data roaming performance at a handset level in real-time, protect the subscriber against data fraud and ‘bill shock’. To build roaming revenues, operators need to make it easier and more cost-effective for the subscriber to use roaming their roaming services.
Operators need to use big data analytics to provide operators with insights on revenue and subscriber parameters. This calls for intelligent algorithms that analyze large and complex subscriber and operator data sets to arrive at actionable insights. Insights, though, are just one part of a solution; to optimise the experience it is essential to couple tools that help operators respond to the insights by tweaking network and subscriber experience parameters in real-time.
Subscribers want to have a next-gen communication experience and operators will need to make use of advanced communication platforms that enable intelligent and interactive communication with subscribers. Operators should be able to create and run campaigns targeted at specific customer segments based on real-time monitoring of subscriber experience parameters and behaviour.
M2M communications in a roaming context have opened up new segments for operators to address. Machines need to be able to communicate in multi-network environments. Roaming-related value added services, like the traffic steering that operators use, need to be adapted for machine communication as well. Automotive and consumer electronics industries are, already, early adopters of M2M communication platforms.
Empowerment and flexibility are ‘force multipliers’ that help mobile operators survive and thrive in today’s complex and rapidly changing technological and market environments.