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mobile network operators

Business Support Systems (BSS) is the software and processes required for the “back office” to function. Typically, for a telecom operator, the scope of BSS includes managing rating, orders, products, billing, fraud, and customer relations. Also included are providing revenue assurance and business intelligence.

Operation Support Systems (OSS) refers to the network-centric elements, such as design, configuration, and monitoring; fault management; infrastructure security; and service fulfilment, quality, and assurance.

Market Size and Growth Trends

According to Ovum, annual revenues for the global OSS/BSS market will grow from $54.3 billion in 2015 to $63.1 billion in 2020, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.05 per cent.

Meanwhile, the analyst firm forecasts that OSS and BSS revenues will keep pace with each other. OSS revenues will increase from $29.1 billion in 2015 to $33.7 billion in 2020(a 3 per cent CAGR). The growth in the OSS segment is expected to be driven by network management requirements- particularly network monitoring and optimization. BSS revenues will increase from $25.1 billion in 2015 to $29.3 billion in 2020 (a 3.1 per cent CAGR). Revenue management is expected to drive BSS growth at a CAGR of almost 5 per cent through 2020.

In addition, the revenue/business model usually deployed in this sector is undergoing a change. In the period under consideration, software-led revenues will witness a marginal decline from $22 billion in 2015 to $21.9 billion in 2020, while service-led revenues will increase from $32.2 billion in 2015 to $41.1 billion in 2020 (a CAGR of just over 5 per cent). Cloud-based services will drive overall growth in OSS and BSS service revenue, especially since telecom operators are likely to shift to software-as-a-service (SaaS) and virtualized networks.

Region-wise, OSS and BSS revenue growth will be the highest in Western Europe and Asia-Pacific, while Latin America will witness the largest CAGR through 2020, growing at a rate of 3.9 per cent.

What is Business Support Systems

Key Growth Drivers

According to industry reports, the global OSS/BSS solutions market is chiefly driven by the rising adoption of convergent billon systems, increased demand for highly efficient customer care across major industries, and the steadily growth of the global telecommunication industry. However, there are also certain challenges facing this space-namely-the inability to integrate new OSS/BSS solutions with conventional systems and certain regulatory-related issues.

Likely Future Trends

  • According to industry analysts, OSS and BSS vendors are likely to leverage the fact that network operators are becoming increasingly inclined towards outsourcing a certain part of their back-office functions.
  • Meanwhile, another trend will be the transition to next-generation networks, and the associated need for new management and support systems.
  • Transparency Market Research is of the view that the growing demand for convergent billing systems is likely to be a major trend, going forward.
January 12, 2016 0 comment
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At any particular time, a significant fraction of prepaid mobile customers have low or insufficient account balance.  At these times, the mobile service providers are particularly exposed to attrition as their subscribers look around for better deals prior to recharging their account.The mobile operators offer a number of services to help their customer communicate while they have an insufficient balance. These services are collectively referred to as low-balance suite.

What are the functions of a Low-Balance suite?

Industry studies show that 10-15 per cent of voice calls fail due to insufficient balance in a prepaid subscriber’s account. This results in loss of revenue for an operator and customer dissatisfaction. For an operator, maximizing revenues from voice traffic and minimizing any potential losses becomes important. To combat this, operators have launched the Low Balance suite. Typically, such offerings support a set of innovative solutions that help operators regain revenues lost due to insufficient credit balance.

Benefits of low-balance suite for operators

  • Restore revenue leaks
  • Enhanced customer experience, with always-on and seamless connectivity
  • Lower Customer Churn
  • Maintenance of ARPU
  • Increase revenue
  • Customer loyalty

Any threat can be converted into an opportunity and such an opportunity to reach out the mobile subscribers in order to extend support has been created by the low-balance suites.

The low-balance suites provide support to the customers and thus they help in building a loyal relationship between the service provider and the user. While there have been made a number of feature additions to the low balance suites, the latest ones also allow a user having a low account balance to reach out and request a call from a contact. And, thus the susceptibility for customer retention by the mobile service operators significantly increases its demand.

Extending emergency balance credit to the user accounts through the low-balance suites in the emerging markets has pushed the mobile operators towards a glorifying revenue scenario. Not only they have helped ensuring the users stay on the network and remain loyal to the operator but also they have supported the users with insufficient balance keep in touch.

October 23, 2015 0 comment
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In today’s business environment, network traffic is at an all time high due to increased use of data by social media sites and now cloud services. This has created a bandwidth challenge for organizations as they struggle to ensure that there is enough bandwidth available to allow uninterrupted flow of data across offices, data centers and backup sites. It is not economically feasible to keep adding bandwidth to ensure a good transfer rate for network traffic. It makes far more economic sense to monitor network traffic for optimal bandwidth usage.

Network traffic usage tends to fluctuate depending on business need, making it important to monitor network traffic to avoid unexpected performance breakdowns. A network breakdown in the middle of an important business activity can prove to be very costly for the organization which is why most organizations chose to take preemptive action by monitoring network traffic to identify problems before they can actually occur. A network traffic monitoring tool helps identify applications that are consuming more bandwidth as well as applications which are running slower than usual signaling a possible problem area. Monitoring network traffic also helps organizations optimize bandwidth usage according to business need by prioritizing the flow of network traffic according to business priorities. It enables organizations to validate smooth working of QoS policies.

There are many benefits that organizations can enjoy by monitoring network traffic. These benefits are:

  • Deliver higher quality service to users by optimizing bandwidth usage
  • Reduce performance and server breakdowns
  • Make it easy to identify and troubleshoot network problems
  • Reduce cost associated with purchasing additional bandwidth for smooth network performance
  • Identify and optimize applications using high bandwidth

It is not only big organizations that need to monitor network traffic. Even small businesses and homes with multiple devices consuming bandwidth need to be monitored for network traffic to ensure that bandwidth is not being consumed uselessly.  It is very easy to setup your system for monitoring network traffic; all you require is a basic understanding of protocols and network.

Monitoring network traffic can be done in a few simple steps:

  • The first step is to install a network-monitoring tool on to your system. There are plenty of network monitoring tools available online and downloading one is extremely easy and simple.
  • Next, begin recording traffic data by clicking on the Start button.
  • You can then begin viewing data captured while the application is still recording or you can stop the recording to view all the captured data.
  • It is then possible to analyze the data that is already recorded while the program is still recording.

Network traffic data can be analyzed to determine:

  • Any unwanted data being received or sent from your system.
  • Any unwanted systems participating in your network
  • Any programs using up bandwidth more than expected
  • Usage pattern across programs, how often do programs run updates etc
  • Programs consuming maximum bandwidth

As network traffic continues to grow with the explosion of the internet and social media, monitoring network traffic has become a business and personal imperative to ensure your network is able to perform at optimal capacity.


August 31, 2015 0 comment
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With smartphone penetration reaching unprecedented heights, the demand for multimedia services has increased multifold. The diverse variety of contents allowed by multimedia messaging have culminated sweep uptake for the mobile operators. Support for the various multimedia formats from images to audio and video, has presented a scenario where service providers can explore new markets and extract revenues from the customer segments that were previously underused.

The mobile subscribers are encouraged to combine text, images, audio and video knowing the fact that the Multimedia Service Center can seamlessly offer support to multimedia messaging across the growing variety of devices, including the legacy handsets as well as the new-generation standard devices.

MMSC platform allows the mobile operators to efficiently and swiftly monetize their MMS capabilities, oversee their MMS portfolio’s every aspect ranging from content to delivery and launch new services.

Multi-protocol support

The MMSC platform simultaneously supports multiple protocols including GSM, CDMA, IP, LTE and IMS on a single platform. It also supports the below listed standard MMS protocols:

  • Mobile-to-mobile messaging
  • Messaging to and from mobile devices and email
  • Inter-carrier messaging
  • Value added service provider messaging
  • Full range of 3GPP audio and video formats

Often MMSC include integrated transcoding and optimization of multimedia messages to adapt various message types to receiving device’s characteristics, giving the users a widespread access to various multimedia contents.

Web tools enhance visibility

The web-based tools for MMSC enable the operators to gain visibility into detailed consumer information, like traffic summary statistics, enter-carrier and VASP messages along with the total volume. Visibility into message status, User agent profiles and detailed logging events improve troubleshoot, reducing the associated costs and improving customer service.

VAS for maximum benefits

The maximum value of MMSC can be enjoyed by integrating additional features like blacklisting, whitelisting etc. as well as the option to restrict international text messages or blocking any specific country code.

August 28, 2015 0 comment
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The current trend towards tiered data plans from mobile operators has evoked a mixed reaction from customers. Some consider these offerings as a useful measure to curb “data hogs”, while others view it as yet another price-gouging tactic. There is a series of changes being made in the mobile system; each with their own significance

Mobile service carries have been long urging users to use Wi-Fi networks wherever possible even though the security threat is on the rise.  Cautious customers who avoid using open Wi-Fi networks for the same reason need a mobile data connectivity plan for addressing their requirements. But, at the same time, data plans needs adapting very smart usage management in order to control the data expenditure for the ones who have not shopped for an unlimited plan.

In case, you are also one of those who rely on an unlimited data plan from your carrier and aren’t either in a mood to sign on with the spirit, what ways can you manage your mobile data? Well, managing your data usage should be put on foremost priority. So, a few ways to minimize your mobile data load may include:

1. Restrict your music, games, applications and podcasts downloads to Wi-Fi only

While there are some applications which have a negligible size of few MBs, others can arrive at a whopping 500 MB or even 1 GB or more. Downloading few songs when you’re getting bored can also add up significantly to your data usage. Unless it’s really an emergency, one must wait to get access to his home Wi-Fi network or any trusted one.

2. Save streaming for Wi-Fi also

Slacker, Pandora, Hulu, YouTube, Netflix and other streaming services along with image-intensive sources like Flickr may incur a lot of data bandwidth on the go. You can save such sources for the time you have access to Wi-Fi or broadband internet access.

3.  Set your e-mail accounts for manual sync

Sync your e-mail account in batches whenever you have access to Wi-Fi or broadband connection. In case you are one those who get tons of e-mails then you may not wait for periodic downloads, then check if your smartphone provides you an option to download e-mails without attachments or images. Most of them do.

4.  Turn-off Push notifications in your smartphone whenever your find it okay to limit your background data capabilities across your applications.

5.  Search for the apps which use location data in the background.

Turn it off if it’s not really important.

6.  Try any alternate browser

If you are having a later android device, pop-up windows can be blocked and image loading can be turned-off on your device by changing the settings on your browser. Such options don’t exist in Safari, thus in case you are an iOS device user, get an alternate browser like Skyfire or Opera Mini to minimize your web data usage.

7.  Use mobile-friendly site when available

Many people don’t like mobile optimized sites but it is to be noticed that they exist for a significant reason. The mobile sites strip out unnecessary stuffs such as animated ads or large images, implying they take less data bandwidth to load.

8.  Turn-off mobile data when you don’t require it

Turning-off mobile data is certainly different from switching your phone to Airplane mode. By turning the mobile data off you can still receive calls and text messages but with eliminating the risk of any app secretly connecting keeping you unaware of it.

All the above given tips may collectively seem like a bit much and we would not deny this- it actually is. By trying them in turn and sticking to some of them that you find the most convenient ones making the biggest difference to your individual data usage is highly recommended.

August 25, 2015 0 comment
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Deep packet inspection (DPI) is a form of filtering used to inspect data packets sent from one computer to another over a network. DPI operates at the seventh layer (the application layer) of the Open System Interconnection (OSI) reference model. The effective use of DPI enables its users to track down, identify, categorize, reroute or stop packets with undesirable code or data.

Operators utilise DPI to allocate available resources to streamline traffic flow. For example, a message marked as high priority can be routed to its destination ahead of less important or low-priority messages or packets involved in casual Internet browsing.


  • It is capable of producing new vulnerabilities in addition to protecting against the present types. Although it is successful against denial of service attacks, buffer overflow attacks, and some kinds of malware, DPI could also be used to trigger those same types of attacks.
  • It increases the complexity and cumbersome character of firewalls as well as other security-based software.
  • It requires periodic updates and alterations to stay optimally efficient.
  • When DPI (Deep packet inspection) is implemented, the processor remains busy and ultimately cannot free its resources for other user applications. This adversely affects the speed of the computer.


  • Shields vulnerable networked systems
  • Blocks attempted malware attacks
  • Permits internet service providers to identify and “black hole” potential malware packets


August 20, 2015 0 comment
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Churn management is the art of identifying the valuable customers, who are likely to churn from a company and executing proactive steps to retain them.

The telecommunication industry has got fierce competition among the various service providers. And, thus they keep introducing new alluring offers every another day, making the customers switch from one competing mobile service provider to another. This customer tendency to switch is referred to as Churn.

The importance of Churn management

The percentage of a service’s subscribers that discontinue its subscription to the service within a time period is called Churn Rate. While a high churn rate implies that a company loses a high percentage of its subscribers every month; a company’s low churn rate statistics justifies its capability of retaining its subscribers with a quality service. Thus, companies try their level best to lower churn by retaining their customers.

Churn can be classified into three categories:

  • Account Churn- Where the customer is completely lost
  • Product Churn- Where the customer has lowered his subscription profile
  • Decreased Spend- Where the customer has reduced his spending without changing his subscription profile

As the customer acquisition costs are continuously increasing, customer churn management has become critically important. High Churn Rate depicts various aspects such as unsatisfactory service, unsatisfied customers and the class of its customers and thus, Churn management becomes essential. However, it is quite crucial as we don’t know:

  • How to manage the critical customer relationship optimally
  • Who the customer would be
  • What they exactly want
  • What makes them go and what makes them stay

Churn Management involves the tracking of two customer metrics- Churn Score and Customer Value.

  • Churn Score- The calculation of customer behavior
  • Customer value- Calculated on the basis of customer’s desires and satisfaction

Both these values are calculated and fed to the company’s CRM system through application messaging from analytics applications and are updated in the consumer component’s attributed page. The CSRs as well as other company officials can see their customer churn score opening up the records. Evaluating the customer churn score, a company can go for the best suited actions, generally referred to as customer retention tools.

There may be several or a single issue within a company’s functional chain leading to customer churn. Beit revenue issue, or improper marketing, or sales issue, or customer dissatisfaction, or network coverage issue, or even issues with the new technologies and strategy; anything can lead to alarming churn statistics.


Within a saturated market for the communication service providers, customer acquisition no longer ensures sustainable revenue. The paradigm has moved towards customer retention. The current scenario full of challenges for every telecom service provider states churn management as the door to revenue growth.

Now, amazing the subscribers by demonstrating how much you understand their needs is the key to success.A better customer understanding, how to target them and what they need can help in reducing churn and lowering the marketing costs substantially.

August 11, 2015 0 comment
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Managed Value Added Services or VAS essentially refers to the business practice of partnering with an external vendor with a view to delegating a part of the IT operations to them to achieve greater efficiency in operations and cost by delegating certain tasks to a third party to perform instead of assigning those to internal personnel.

As per a CISCO report, the managed VAS services industry grew to an estimated $217 billion globally, a sharp 15 per cent CAGR rise from $110 billion in 2009. The upward trend is likely to gain further momentum as organizations increase spending on Managed VAS services to avail greater operational efficiencies.

Managed value added services are finding increasing favor among operators as they realize the business benefit of concentrating on their core business. It has been noticed that leading operators are following the wider global trend toward outsourcing in order to concentrate on their core business expertise in order to provide customers with a superior experience with the objective of expanding their customer base to include more customers. Choosing to partner with external vendors for managed VAS services has become a matter of strategic priority as operators find it much more profitable to focus their limited expertise and resources on building their core competencies with a view to gaining competitive edge over other players in the market.

One of the biggest advantages to the organizations from availing Managed VAS is that it frees its internal resources for working on development and growth of business critical areas. Another big benefit accruing to businesses is the fact it is able to access and leverage the expertise, technology and resources available with a specialist in the specific domain to be able to derive maximum capacity utilization, something it might not be able to achieve due to limited expertise and resources in that area.

The benefits of Managed VAS services for business in terms of financial gain can broadly be summed up as below:

  • Helps to reduce time to market product or service leading to increased revenue
  • Reduced OpEx costs
  • Improved QoS leading to healthier bottom line growth

With an estimated 20 per cent savings in OPEX and CAPEX, there is a very sound business case for choosing Managed VAS in functions that are not core to the business.

Partnering with a vendor for Managed VAS services does not in any way imply that the organization has to give over control and ownership of the equipment, application or service to the vendor. The organization retains full control and ownership over the asset and only delegates the day to day management of the asset to a 3rd party vendor for business reasons. In fact one of the main reasons why Managed Value Added Services is slowly gaining ground over strategic outsourcing it that it enables organizations to gain access to highly specialized expertise without losing control over company owned IT asset or infrastructure. All of these make a sound case for the growth of Managed VAS services in times to come.

August 4, 2015 0 comment
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