Roaming Revenue Assurance

/ / Revenue Assurance, Success Stories, Testing & Revenue Audits

Key Facts
Operator size: 9m
Technology: LTE, UMTS, GSM
Scope: Roaming RA
Initial error rate of test calls: 5%
Impact after 12 months: Error reduction worth €3.65m

Challenge
Significant roaming revenue and dynamic promotions required a flexible RA solution

The European operator with 9m+ subscriptions generated a significant part of its profits from roaming and international revenue. A key differentiator and part of the marketing message was the value provided by its roaming offers and promotions. Especially for destinations outside of Europe. To enable the operator to provide this best value, it was essential that all of the roaming and international events were being recognised in the roaming partners TAP files, were metered correctly and had the correct Inter-Operator Tariff rating applied. It was also essential that the very dynamic promotions were applied correctly in the operator`s own billing systems in order to accurately account for this roaming usage.

The resources in the Revenue Assurance Department were limited and it was challenging to keep up with the testing necessary to assure all of the roaming revenue. Manual tests using SIGOS GlobalRoamer platform were used to provide some visibility but the small number and manual reconciliation left a great deal of the risk uncovered.

Solution
No HW investment as test calls are based on GlobalRoamer covering 2G, 3G and 4G worldwide

The operator approached SIGOS for a way to automate the GlobalRoamer testing they were currently using. SIGOS was able to go one stage further and provide a fully managed Roaming Revenue Assurance Service. The service required zero footprint at the customer´s offices and simply required filtered CDR feeds from the mediation server at a point after the TAP files had been received and a further filtered feed from the end of the billing system. Because the feeds only contained the CDRs for the test SIMs, no customer information was being shared with SIGOS and data protection was not an issue. The filtered feeds also resulted in quite small file sizes which were easy to handle. A small script was implemented to send the files to SIGOS on a daily basis. One benefit of the SIGOS solution was the use of SIM Multiplexing. This enabled a small number of SIMs to be used to generate test events in all of the countries required by the operator. Administration of the SIMs was simplified and security was also improved as the SIMs did not leave the SIGOS office and did not need to be installed into test call  generators in the countries of interest.

SIGOS tested the main roaming revenue generating countries and services every day, with alarms being raised as soon as any issues were detected. The operator`s RA Team now had the time to properly investigate the detected issues and also had time to proactively look at the whole risk environment and direct SIGOS to test areas and services in addition to the business as usual testing. These additional tests could be in response to the continual new product developments or anomalies detected in changing revenues and margins in certain countries.

When new countries are added to the testing schedule the operator benefits hugely from not having to deploy any resources or infrastructure to enable the testing. SIGOS already has test call generators available in virtually every country in the world, so the volume of testing is only limited by the commercial requirements of the operator. The same applies as new technologies are implemented by the operator`s roaming partners. SIGOS has a programme to keep its test call generator probes up to date with the latest available technologies so 3G, LTE and even VoLTE roaming can be tested.

Conclusion
Identified issues are rectified by operator/roaming partner and re-tested.
Reports are regularly shared with national telecoms regulator

Without increasing its internal resources, the operator now has much greater coverage of the risks associated with roaming revenue. The operator now knows within 24 hours if any of the test events;

  • Fail to generate a CDR on the roaming network
  • Are metered incorrectly by the roaming partner
  • Are incorrectly charged by the roaming partner according to the IOT
  • Are incorrectly missed or added to inclusive bundles
  • Are incorrectly charged by the operators billing system

The existing resources are now much more efficiently deployed in rectifying detected issues and identifying potential risk points which need to be tested. The operator´s RA Team is in daily contact with the dedicated SIGOS RA consultant who has managed the service since day 1. The great service provided by the consultant has resulted in a number of formal requests for recognition sent from the operator to SIGOS Management.

The automated testing allows test to be carried out 24 hours a day and includes peak periods in the roaming time zones which were not previously tested during the operator`s normal working hours.

As new countries and products are added, they are quickly included in the testing program to verify the correct generation of CDRs and billing accuracy. When identified issues have been rectified by the operator or its roaming partners, they are tested again to confirm the closure of the issue and confirm that no additional unforeseen issues were introduced as a result of the rectification.

The SIGOS Revenue Assurance Service is approved by TÜV SÜD BABT. This allows the operator to include reports from SIGOS in its submissions to the national telecoms Regulator.
The operator is pleased that customer complaints to the national regulator regarding billing issues are the lowest of any network in the country and over 80% less that some of its competitors.
Confidence in the accuracy and completeness of its roaming billing allows the operator to continue to offer disruptive roaming products to take market share from more established competitors.

Download the story as PDF