Planning for a Challenging 2016 Roaming Season

2016 will mark a major turning point in the roaming landscape, especially in Europe with the first stage of mandated reductions in roaming fees, leading to the end of roaming charges within and between the member states in 2017. As of April 2016, the maximum surcharge will be €0.05 per minute for calls, €0.02 for texts and €0.05 per megabyte for data.

This will inevitably give rise to a surge in roaming traffic; industry analysts at Ovum have suggested that roaming use will exceed home use. People are less likely to have Wi-Fi abroad than at home – on average, two-thirds of people’s smartphone data usage at the moment is via Wi-Fi rather than cellular. People also tend to have more leisure time when they are away, meaning more time to upload photos, videos or even to stream content such as movies or live sports.

2016 will also see many high profile events such as the European Championship Football matches and the Olympics. Clearly, roaming traffic usage will increase with multiple significant volume spikes during the year.

Right now is the right time to anticipate the network impacts and to plan for capacity and redundancy needs. By working together to align your roaming marketing plans and capacity needs, we can ensure that you maximize the business opportunities while delivering the high-quality user experience your subscribers demand.

The iBasis event team will first run a capacity and utilization audit, review critical destinations and then jointly develop a strategic plan to ensure the appropriate upgrade, if needed, and the best utilization to avoid any network congestion that would impact your overall customer experience.

To learn more about planning for 2016 roaming, better anticipating your network needs and how iBasis can help, please contact the event management team through: bvanheyningen@ibasis.net

2016 View from Ajay Joseph, iBasis CTO

The global mobile market is facing a time of great change, challenges and opportunities, which many predict will intensify in the year ahead. As described by Chetan Sharma, the 4th wave of digital services, beyond voice, text messaging and data access is the enabler for new models, which will capitalize on advanced technologies and capabilities.

Our focus for 2016 is on capitalizing on network reach optimization and performance and on advanced analytics to harvest new emerging digital services, such as Voice over LTE, connected car and new monetization models.

Although consumer demand for mobile data is tremendous, consumers may not be willing to pay much more. As a result, operator revenues for mobile data are forecast to significantly lag behind traffic volume growth. According to a McKinsey study, while mobile data traffic has increased 40X from 2008 to 2013, the revenues associated with it have barely tripled. Operators are looking for ways to create sustainable business models. As a result, Sponsored Data is emerging as a potential new model in some markets. With an entity other than the end-user paying for some portion of the mobile data use, it could be a solution to increase revenue from increased mobile data traffic and also a way to increase consumer stickiness.

I’m looking forward to attending MWC 2016, and I hope to have an opportunity to discuss further the implications of the new digital services wave, such as this new business model, along with our expanding role in international VoLTE deployments and our recent success in the M2M connected car market.

You Can’t Fix What You Can’t See.

Up to 50% of your subscribers are in possession of a 4G handset but do not have an LTE subscription or do not have access because of incorrect provisioning. But, you can’t fix it because you don’t know it. In fact, you can’t see it. Our new analytics monitoring solution, iBasis InVision, helps you turn this roaming challenge into active 4G roamers and additional roaming revenues.

“You can’t manage what you can’t see” is a popular axiom at the foundation of iBasis roaming management strategy: maximize visibility across all networks.

The InVision Opportunity Identifier, a new module within the InVision platform, enables you to quickly identify subscribers who own a 4G handset but either don’t have an accompanying LTE subscription or do have one, but were incorrectly provisioned in the system – depriving the user of LTE services for which he/she is paying and very possibly leading to an unhappy customer.

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Bridging the gap between VoLTE Roaming Models

Most mobile operators around the world are planning to launch voice service over the LTE infrastructure, better known in the industry as VoLTE. Before 2014, standards bodies such as the 3GPP and GSMA, along with most mobile operators, were considering the Local Breakout (LBO) model for VoLTE roaming. In this model, a visited LTE operator provides local breakout of roaming calls, routing them locally or sending them to the home network for routing. This was considered an effective voice roaming model, similar to the roaming model used by 3G networks.

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