Last week’s 5th edition of the RoamsysNext Connectivity Innovation Forum was dedicated to the impact of the global COVID-19 crisis on the roaming business. As billions of people are still not able to travel carelessly, the repercussions of plummeting retail markets are not yet foreseeable.
Roaming is about connecting
The fifth webinar of the RoamsysNext Connectivity Innovation Forum (CIF) started with Ema Proda, Business consultant at RoamsysNext. Her insightful analysis clearly showed how the current situation of crisis is impacting the roaming business: plummeting retail markets, networks prioritizing traffic and still ensuring undisrupted service reveal how to an ever-increasing extent the telecom industry dwells at the heart of the population. All the at-home students, home office workers and people seeking entertainment via mobile devices need the telecom industry.
The roaming industry, however, needs to keep the business running. It is facing challenges in that IOT discounts are called into question, and adaptation to reshaped priorities is highly in demand. The looming economic recession with roaming decline to virtually zero level due to international traveling policies, the ARPU is expected to drop severely. The effects of loss of roaming revenue will show in the next quarters. In times of fragility and human panic, traditional fraud and new COVID-19-related attacks, such as attacks to collect subscriber data and bank data as well as the use of ransom ware, are on the rise.
Ema made the case for adapting quickly to the new realities, making use of new technologies to alleviate the pains of change, remaining vigilant and protect the network assets. There is no other way around but to proactively engage in protective measures and of course, using smart and trusted tools to share valuable information with peers to help them protect their networks, too. We all don’t know how long we have to endure, and yet, eventually, the situation will change for the better, “roaming is about connecting”. Let’s protect our relations, especially with regard to maintaining roaming agreements in these difficult times of change.
RAEX Options for MVNOs
Carmen Kwok, RAEX Manager at GSMA, shared details about the “Rapporteur” member category on InfoCentre² which, as of 1st April 2020, can be assigned to MVNOs in order to use the RAEXTools application. The “Rapporteur” member type provides access to InfoCentre² (member only platform), RAEX (Roaming Agreement Exchange), network settings exchange and discounts on GSMA Intelligence.
New MVNOs can get in touch with Carmen at CKwok@gsma.com who will guide through the application process. The use of RAEXTools allows operators to distribute roaming information in a secure way. For recipients of the distributed data, RAEX enables the automatic download to internal systems. RAEX distributions can also be copied to agents, ensuring a more efficient implementation of network elements and inter-operator tariffs, monthly RAEX trainings sessions included.
Carmen presented MVNO membership statistics since April 2020 which showed an impressive growth of new MVNOs and converted associate members. She also addressed concerns regarding privacy and confidentiality controls and demonstrated how MNOs/MVNOs can restrict access to their IR.21 data in the public Catalog by marking the whole document as private or mark sections as confidential.
To encourage the usage of RAEXFormat, Carmen presented an email template that can be sent to roaming partners who are still not using GSMA’s RAEXTools applications to distribute their roaming information.
Thank you to all for the valuable input provided by the presenters and discussion participants. As usual, the Connectivity Innovation Forum is a perfect place to get insights without needing to travel. A date for the next webinar is planned for September, the agenda is currently up for discussion and will soon be announced.
If you would like to be a part of shaping new stands and want to belong to an innovation-driven think tank, too, we are always looking forward to meeting new members: Join an exciting community that challenges processes with state-of-the-art knowledge about the right technologies, get ahead! You are welcome to contact Mihai Luca, Business Analyst, firstname.lastname@example.org or register directly at email@example.com.