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Real-Time B2B - B2B2C Charging Allows Netherlands-based Mobile Virtual Services Enabler Teleena to Deliver What Customers Wan

  • July 2014
  • -
  • Frost & Sullivan
  • -
  • 15 pages

Summary

Table of Contents

This week’s SPIE expands on how the industry is using real-time service enablement, operational control, and monetization functionality to enhance the customer’s digital experience. This report focuses on how real-time rating & charging and customer self-care CSP operations can enhance the business of life, not just account for gigabytes of data consumed. This report also explains how Teleena, a European-based virtual network enabler, has used the real-time monetization capabilities from MATRIXX Software to help it evolve to a world where enhanced communications services are purchased in unique combinations to satisfy increasingly important service needs.

Introduction
In the past, voice and text messaging was all that was needed by everyone, regardless if the services were from a fixed-line connection or delivered to a mobile phone. Enhancing the electronic human-to-human (H2H) experience with voice and text was the extent to which most communications services were defined.

Up until approximately seven years ago,2 this business model was the law of the land, which was administered by those that built and operated networks and sold to those that needed network connectivity, especially in the mobile environment. Yes, data services existed back then, but they were not at today’s level of broadband everywhere, “always need to be connected” access. Consumers paid for their voice and text services either upfront before use—still the most commonly exercised payment method by mobile consumers globally—or at the end of a usage period, typically a calendar month in regions where extendable credit is both practical and allowable for consumers and business.

Evolution of mobile user devices, especially smartphones and tablets, along with upgrades to faster mobile network technology, now combine to provide customers in most global regions the opportunity to engage with enhanced services involving content or cloud-based functions. These “network plus” services have not only allowed electronic H2H communication to flourish, but they have enabled the digital lifestyle to take deep root with both consumers and business customers.3 Mobile connectivity, combined with apps for everything, has pushed the interaction of people with people and people with “things” to new levels. Add to this pathway the maturation of cloud platforms and service functionality, and it is no wonder today’s business and consumer environment is radically different from the plain voice and text messaging world of yesterday.

What CSPs, their business and consumer customers, along with the supplier community continue to struggle with today is the purchase and payments functions that address the end-to-end customer support and monetization processes. Purchasing and payments are some of the core accountability functions that are needed to satisfy customer service needs, to collect revenue, and to compensate partners. Each of these functions are strategic in the support of network services, and to meet the needs of complex service offerings that are quickly becoming mainstream.

This week’s SPIE expands on how the industry is using real-time service enablement, operational control, and monetization functionality to enhance the customer’s digital experience. This report focuses on how real-time rating & charging and customer self-care CSP operations can enhance the business of life, not just account for gigabytes of data consumed. This report also explains how Teleena, a European-based virtual network enabler, has used the real-time monetization capabilities from MATRIXX Software to help it evolve to a world where enhanced communications services are purchased in unique combinations to satisfy increasingly important service needs.

Why the Need for Real Time and Why Now?
The business model that has driven the communications industry for so long, as shown in Figure 1, has primarily been a business-to-consumer (B2C) relationship focused on the delivery of network access through a fixed set of service offerings.

The B2C business model for mobile network connectivity services worked well, until approximately five years ago, as a prepaid business for voice services in most global markets, and as a post-paid business in select markets for customers willing to pay for a bundle of voice, text and data access services. The weakness of this simplified model surfaced with the incorporation of content and cloud-based services. This action resulted in a more complex model, largely enabled by advances in user devices and evolution of mobile network technology.

Shown in Figure 2, today’s mobile B2C services environment contains not only network access but linkage to content and cloud-based services from partners, managed through business-to-business (B2B) relationships. Real-time retail support and a growing level of real-time wholesale management are needed to satisfy market demands and customer expectations. These real-time needs can be categorized around the capabilities to support connected customers, connected services, and connected data, which is more fully explained in a later section of this report.

Monetization of mobile network access services has seen an evolution from unlimited data usage plans, prepaid voice minutes, and a set number of text messages, to improved levels of flexibility tied to policy-enabled, real-time or near real-time monetization solutions. Such solutions can now address the flexibility requirements from services that involve a combination of content, cloud-based apps, and network access. A sampling of the more popular real-time service offerings available today within various global regions include:
- Tiered pricing
- Data sharing across multiple devices

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