Handling Peak Roaming Traffic

One sure thing about mobile subscribers is that the more they get, the more they want. They want higher-speed service for popular pastimes such as mobile social networking, mobile video, online gaming and a myriad of OTT services. They also expect convenience, unified access and a consistent experience, not just while on their home network, but wherever they are. During major events, the ability to share the experience with distant family and friends via social media, voice and video is of great personal importance. That’s why operators need to be prepared for the traffic volume spikes these events generate. iBasis can help.



The Hajj Management Event Experience

In Saudi Arabia, the Hajj pilgrimage is the largest annual event for Muslims. Each year, in September, more than three million pilgrims (almost half of which are from abroad) gather in and around Mecca in an area covering just 26 km2. Ensuring normal communications and a positive user experience during the event is a top priority for all operators in Saudi Arabia. Although the Saudi operators provide local pre-paid SIM cards as a service, more people use their own SIM cards, and operators are providing special roaming offers to their subscribers.

When this happens, mobile operators have to deal with the explosive traffic – a 200% increase in 2015. Such massive traffic increase may even exceed performance and capacity specifications, resulting in instability and poor subscriber experience. The peak traffic of voice and data services during busy hours reaches about 400 active users per cell which is an enormous amount.

Our Event Management team, which can help ensure smooth operations and roaming traffic monitoring is looking at trends in volumes and can share their experience about capacity planning. We strive to exceed expectations in every manner of execution. Timely planning and outstanding coordination between various teams are the cornerstones of high profile event management success.

A Series of Professional Services for Enabling Superior End-user Experience

iBasis Event Management services can handle various conditions and scenarios, such as sports events, holidays, political and religious activities or emergencies, regardless of population density, traffic peak volume or numerous VIP subscribers.

The services listed below provide operators with end-to-end event management and dedicated resources to guarantee high QoS during key events, focusing on problem prevention before an event, monitoring during an event, and experience summary and standardization after an event.

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Make sure your IPX is ready to provide the best roaming experience during high peak events and the summer season and contact the iBasis Event management team now.

Exciting Roaming Season Coming Soon!

The summers of 2016 and 2017 will be very important for the international roaming industry. On April 30, 2016 roaming charges in the EU will be lowered to national charges plus maximum surcharges of €0.05 per megabyte for data, €0.05 per minute and €0.02 per text — a very significant step in lowering the roaming premium within the EU. With roaming tariffs now coming very close to national tariffs, EU operators are holding their breath in anticipation of how their customers may respond this roaming season and how roaming traffic volumes will be effected.

Before the introduction of the full Roam-Like-At-Home (RLAH) concept on June 15, 2017, there are two hurdles to clear:First, the introduction of RLAH depends on the European Commission’s ability to determine the new wholesale caps before the deadline of June 15, 2016. The European Commission has already shared their method for establishing the wholesale caps with all European Operators to gather their feedback. One of the main cost components for international roaming turned out to be the national MTR’s. The one big presumption proved to be true: it seems very difficult to come up with one wholesale cap that does justice to all the existing differences between the EU member states.

Second, the Fair Use Policy needs to be determined as well; the deadline for this is December 31, 2016. Nothing is known yet about what the Fair Use Policy will look like: will it be an allowance expressed in amount of days or amount of minutes and megabytes or a combination of the two? One thing is certain, the six months after the determination of the Fair Use Policy will be busy ones for all EU operators implementing it.

Awaiting the developments on the new wholesale caps and the Fair Use Policy, 50% of the EU operators have already introduced some form of RLAH. Examples of that can be found in France, where Orange, SFR, Bouygues and Free offer full RLAH in the EU for the highest propositions of their line-up. Probably before this summer roaming season begins, more operators will follow this example.

PS: The Dutch Tourism Board expects a five-fold increase in the number of tourists coming from Europe to the Netherlands. If you need a good price for un-forecasted traffic volumes, it might be a good idea to contact the iBasis-KPN roaming department for an attractive deal on the best 4G network with the best carrier in the business.