Edge roaming can be an expensive concern for mobile phone operators. It could cause unnecessary roaming fees from partners and unhappiness from customers. In some cases, the matter has caused extensive injury to operators’ reputations.
Border walking around has recently been receiving a lot of attention in the press. It has particularly been seen around the USA / Canada edge and on the Portuguese or Spanish border.
What is edge roaming?
Border roaming is actually a term that can be used to cover several issues. Generally, there are about three main scenarios to be aware of:
• Accidental/unintended walking around
• Retained returning area travelers
• National walking around
This scenario will be the one that you tend to notice the most. This is because it’s the one that generates the most user publicity.
This occurs each time a subscriber suddenly finds himself roaming, even though he has certainly not left his homeland. In some extreme cases, you can definitely find someone simply moving from another kitchen into their living room in addition to suddenly switches to calling, perhaps even without realizing the item.
Of course, the problem arises in the event the subscriber gets the bill. Dropped straight complaints, taking up expensive CSR time and perhaps creating undesirable publicity for the operator. Within a small European country often the CEO of an operator seemed to be obliged to appear on state television to explain the problem.
The challenge can also lead to payment quarrels with roaming partners in addition to pressure for unwelcome company action.
Retained Returning Floor Travellers
When roamers resume their home country via route or rail, they may be “retained” for some time by the roaming multilevel that they have attached to whilst to foreign countries.
The problems can be very similar to people experienced in the accidental calling scenario. However, this “returning” scenario can affect everyone going through the border, not simply those who live near the border. The standard returning roamer is thus much less likely to be aware of the challenge.
The problem is particularly acute to get data users.
Often regionally based agents in a single country will need to go into national roaming agreements for some other operators in order to provide their customers together with the coverage that they expect in addition to require. Usually, the client is not charged any excess for “roaming” on the other state network. This means that every time often the subscriber is “retained” by the roaming network when insurance policy coverage is available from the home network, we have a direct and unnecessary expense to the home network.
Operators have tried out a number of methods to mitigate the consequences of border roaming problems. Included in this are:
• Subscriber education
• Welcome SMS
• Phone timer settings
• Steerage platform extension
• “Billing” solution
One of the simplest ways to the problem is to try and educate your current subscribers about the issue of border roaming. Simply, it is possible to tell them to be careful while visiting border areas. You can also inform them how to force a community re-scan when they believe that these are in home network coverage.
Several argue that, if this is done, consumers have less reason to be able to complain if they get unpredicted roaming charges. However several find that, in practice, these kinds of messages get lost and possess a minimal effect on customer conduct or expectation. The information may even trigger negative feedback if the customers do not enjoy that this is an issue with every single roaming network, not just one that they subscribe to.
Welcome Sms interceptor
Perhaps the “next level up” in responses, is to mail customers a welcome COST-FREE message. To do this effectively, often the Welcome SMS platform really should check whether the subscriber was definitely acquired by a neighboring multilevel and then send a special concept.
This approach addresses the animal roaming scenario. You could believe, in this case, subscribers have been specially warned that they are roaming and they, therefore, have even significantly less reason for complaint. However, the Sms interceptor can be delayed and may very well arrive too late. They can also usually be simply ignored as “just another piece of SPAM”.
Adapting Handset Timer Settings
Often the handset has a timer that will prompt a regular re-scan. Commonly this is set at a half hour. Of course, a lot of roaming messages or calls and data can be used within 30 minutes, so the operator may reduce this figure to help, for example, 5 minutes.
This will absolutely reduce the exposure to border calling issues. However, it may not include that significant an effect with accidental roaming as most headaches are likely to occur when the roamer first crosses the line, i. e. in the initial moments. More seriously, a new shorter rescan time could drain the handset’s power supply much more quickly. This will lower customer satisfaction. It will also reduce the range of calls that the customer can certainly both make and be given.
Network-Based Steering Extendable
You could use your steering podium to try and delay the addition of a roaming partner or even attempt to force a re-scan. Simplistically this means using the steerage platform to issue any reject message when the 1st request comes through for a link with a network known to be highlighting the home network. This is fundamentally a delaying tactic that will hope that the home community can be re-acquired.
This is an easy task to implement if you have a suitable community-based steering platform set up already. However, it will only deal with the accidental roaming circumstance. Whilst the steering program is issuing multiple re-attach messages, the subscriber will be denied service. It also may well not actually prompt a re-scan and repeated use may possibly lock out the handset
The cancel location command also can result in denial of services or poor performance at the. g. inbound calls are probably not able to reach the prospect.
This nonstandard use may possibly degrade the performance of the steering platform and cause non-preferred network attachments (or breach GSMA guidelines in steering). Of course, this approach will probably be vulnerable to anti-steering actions e. g. based on GLR systems.
The particular operator can also examine different meaningful subscriber characteristics to generate a profile that would predict their particular likelihood of suffering from border walking around. This might include looking at their residence address, their roaming background any complaints that they could have made about roaming charging.
This can then be accustomed to modifying the application of measures like welcome SMS, handset the right time modification, and network-centered steering extension.
Operators could, especially if these are part of a group spanning both equal sides of a border, decide to fundamentally abolish roaming charges. This specific certainly solves the customer contact issue. It also generates several positive publicity for the workers involved. However, it could expense a great deal of money to put into action foregone roaming fees to people who were not experiencing border roaming.
This approach has been mentioned in the press as being a solution for the Portuguese and Spanish border issues.
Future Generation Solutions
More recently my personal company, Evolved Intelligence, provides a more direct control process for roaming network networks. Ultimately this will allow operators to make certain that, if the home network can be purchased by a subscriber, he will remain connected to it. This does not remedy all cases but will, we think, dramatically reduce the financial effects of border roaming for the operator.