2022 looks set to be an exciting year for telecoms. New technologies look set to hit the mainstream and provide an exciting opportunity for consumers and their providers. With these incoming changes however telecom’s business support systems (BSS) or their operations support systems (OSS) need to be able to adapt quickly to adapt to changing trends, products and services.
The rollout of 5G technology has been slightly delayed, due in part to the pandemic, however in 2022 5G connections are expected to top 1.34 billion. With so many connections expected to hit the market, network providers have a unique window of opportunity on which to capitalise. With the right strategies, business models and support systems in place, telecoms will be able to extract increased revenue from the rollout and monetisation of 5G networks. This can be achieved through offering network-as-a-service (NaaS), value-added service or by offering a network slice based on the needs of a customer. Many support systems currently in place are however ill-adapted to monitor, maintain and monetise a 5G network, so will need to adapt or upgrade quickly if they are not to miss this gap in the market. Telecommunication companies can leverage a cloud native Converged Charging System that seamlessly integrates with LTE services and 5G SA to make the best of 5G slicing.
2022 will also see the return of roaming charges for certain customers in the UK, depending on their provider, with many providers also implementing and enforcing “fair use limits” on the amount of data a customer can consumer while aboard. Because of these new regulations facing travellers from the UK to Europe, and travellers from Europe to the UK, network providers, and their business support systems, will need to be on top of monitoring the charges accrued by a customer when abroad, ensuring they are charged the right amount in line with the fair use ruling. With potentially thousands of customers travelling abroad in the summer months, network providers will need to embrace automated workflows that can prevent end-users from running up high bills and damaging their relationship with a network.
Pandemic Related Backlogs
The continuing fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic will also force telecom’s BSS and OSS to adapt further. With many teams now working remotely or within a hybrid setting, communication has never been more important and businesses are now looking to further embrace communication tools that allow employees to communicate across different locations and time zones. The need for new devices and plans means telecoms must be able to build and monitor plans and deals with multiple users and devices. Consumers will also need the ability to manage these devices and their billing plans from their end, meaning that if they don’t already have the capabilities networks will need to invest in self-service portals.
The rise of homeworking has also had consequences for telecoms. With people being allowed to work remotely, many have found they no longer need to work within a city and have moved to more remote locations. This has led to an issue with the coverage many networks are able to provide. With so many now working from a remote location, the network that can offer the best coverage is likely to be onto a windfall in the coming months. People working from home has also seen an investment in IoT devices such as Smartwatches, Tablets or home assistances like Alexa. With so many devices, spread out across a country, business intelligence will be key for network providers.
Customers will also now expect the ability to control minute aspects of their deals, down to the amount of data, calls and texts they use every month. Consumers are demanding more value and better service from their providers, knowing that if they don’t get something they deal worthwhile, it’s never been easier to find and switch to a better deal. To counteract this many telecoms will be looking to advance their offering in 2022, one example of this is SMARTY who offer customers money back for any unused data within a month. It will be important for Telecoms to understand what value their customers are looking for from their latest contracts. As such analytical data and intelligent reporting will become even more critical for business strategies. Being able to paint a true picture of where their subscribers are and what device they are using will allow a business to take smarter decisions, increase customer satisfaction and grow more revenue.
Security is always high on the lists of trends expected to shape business practices. Within the Telecom sector, fraud has always been a cause of concern. In fact, with the industry accounting for 48% of the worldwide consumer electronic revenue, it can come as no surprise it has been a target for fraudsters. There are many ways a fraudster can extract value from a telecom company or their customers. These can include setting up premium phone lines, using localised SIM cards to reroute international calls, subscription fraud and more. It is therefore important that telecoms can keep new and current subscribers safe from fraudulent attacks at all times. BSS features will need to adapt to act quickly to detect unusual customer behaviour and flag it to the relevant parties as soon as possible to minimalize damage. It will also need to be adaptive and able to update quickly to counteract new schemes as they emerge throughout 2022 and beyond.
With these trends and more expected throughout the year, the business support systems that underpin a network operator or service provider’s business operations will be critical. A good BSS platform must be designed to adapt and update very quickly to support changing market conditions, new business models and product offerings.
Lifecycle’s ALLinONE BSS is a comprehensive suite of modules that support the end-to-end, back-office operations of wholesale and retail telecoms providers and other subscription-based service enablers. From the point of initial sale through to provisioning, in-line customer management, billing, payments, collections and reporting, our BSS solutions are highly responsive, flexible, feature-rich and easily integrated. We automate business processes to optimise growth and deliver a seamless end-user experience.