Competitive Wireless Carriers, also known as those Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) that compete with larger tier-1 MNOs, operate in a dynamic environment with a continually changing industry landscape comprising new network technologies (e.g. LTE, IMS, 5G, cloud hosting), new device model introductions together with competition and regulatory changes. Accordingly these MNOs address this changing business environment through continuous business process transfomation while performing their budgetary and resource planning exercises.
The IT groups within these Competitive Wireless Carriers have traditionally been responsible for maintaining the IT infrastructure for management, and employees. However, in response to the changing business environment, many MNOs have moved to an all-IP, open NFV inftrastructure with the IT groups within these MNOs assuming more responsibilty within the organization. These teams are now often responsible to manage the IT infrastructure for Administration (Payroll, Finance, Supply Management, etc), Billing Systems, Company Web sites, Customer portals, and in many cases the mission-critical operations for Mobility, Landline, Internet, IPTV, Home Security and any other lines of business. As the IT groups have become an increasingly important and critical, skilled company resource, this has driven the requirement to improve efficiency by streamlining their efforts and reduce costs within this constantly changing business environment.
The Primal Technologies OSE Competitive Carrier Collection (OSE C3) is a new commercial offering including a set of turnkey NFV VAS/Applications that can be easily deployed within any MNO’s Private IT cloud to further assist any MNO to achieve a more efficient use of their IT resources and capex/opex.
“In past years when MNOs deployed their Value Added Services, there were many hidden costs and inefficiencies that Operators eventually became aware of with a patchwork of Value Added Services/Applications from different VAS vendors. After these MNOs migrated to a Primal Open Services Environment (OSE) NFV VAS solution within their private IT cloud environment, they immediately experienced improved efficiencies and a significant reduction of these hidden costs,” states Ravindra Conway, Chief Technology Officer at Primal Technologies.
This white paper also describes some of these leading edge VAS/Application features available to Competitive Wireless Carriers in the Primal OSE C3 offering to not only streamline costs, but also improve existing monthly plan revenues with a greater selection of plan types and subscriber convenience features that may better address the needs for existing and prospective wireless subscribers while lowering the operators billing and delinquent account handling costs.
Primal OSE C3 Offers the Latest Features
Primal Technologies Open Services Environment Competitive Carrier Collection (OSE C3) is a commercial package, which includes a comprehensive set of NFV VAS/Applications specifically for Competitive Wireless Carriers. The OSE C3 package includes the latest revenue generation and convenience features required by leading edge MNOs and the commercial terms and discounts provided by this package only apply to these small to mid-sized Competitive Wireless Carriers.
The Primal Technologies OSE C3 commercial package includes services that optimize the MNO’s investment in their core and access networks with turnkey and component VAS Services which allow MNOs to differentiate their bundle offerings, improve revenues and lower their costs. Such services include Advance Pay/Prepaid with OCS and all of the messaging VAS (i.e. SMSC/IP-SM-GW, MMS Server, Voicemail (VM) with Missed Call Notification, Visual VM for Apple iPhone and Android phones, EIR) for any type of network including 2G/3G/4G only, VoLTE/IMS, or all network types.
Dave George, President of AIslecom Grenada, a Primal customer for six years, says, “As a greenfield mobile network operator, we looked around for suitable vendors and Primal Technologies was the best vendor who could meet our specific commercial and technical requirements that we have in Grenada. We are very pleased with the comprehensive set of bundles that we can offer our subscribers and the flexibility, openness, and performance of their Primal turnkey services solution.”
Turnkey Cost Savings
When an MNO has a patchwork of VAS from many different vendors, this arrangement often leads to higher financial costs but there are also numerous hidden costs which often aren’t considered:
- • Employees need to be trained on different platforms with different functionality, screens, APIs, CDR formats, etc.
- • Provisioning API Interworking and any custom CDR / Report processing for the IT department requires more effort for more vendors
- • Interworking between two or more platforms requires coordination and interoperability testing for any new features which requires time, effort and cost
- • Vendors have different support processes that need to be followed which the MNO needs to keep track of
- • Cumulative Annual Support costs across multiple VAS vendors is always higher
- • Multiple VAS vendors require more hardware, higher capex and higher electricity costs
The Primal Technologies OSE C3 Turnkey Advance Pay/Prepaid and VAS bundle includes all of the comprehensive service functionality that a wireless operator requires to sign up subscribers and start generating revenue while reducing both the financial costs and these hidden costs stated above thereby saving MNOs significant amounts of capital expenditure and human resources effort over the long-term.
The Advance Pay Difference
Normally when an MNO runs a billing cycle for their postpaid accounts, there is CDR processing (and reprocessing if errors occur), envelope stuffing/mailing and chasing delinquent overdue accounts. Such activities are inefficient and oppose the principle goals of improving profitability for the MNO. Unlike the Primal Advance Pay/Prepaid Service, the MNO also typically pays the Postpaid Billing vendor a monthly fee per subscriber for these services.
While Primal’s MNO customers have been able to offer traditional real-time prepaid plans to many of their subscribers, most of our customers have also launched their own monthly “Advance Pay” plans including unlimited monthly bundles or those with various amounts of Voice, Text, and Data buckets. These plans look identical to postpaid plans but often include greater flexibility (e.g. being able to purchase “x-Day add-ons” via their mobile phone or laptop), while still retaining the ability to generate download .pdf invoices on their bundle purchases and usage.
The MNO is really benefitting with the elimination of many of these operational costs mentioned above, while simultaneously being able to offer additional convenient features for their subscribers who also have many options to pay their monthly Advance Pay mobile subscription including Responsive WWW Subscriber Self-Care Web Pages for mobile devices and laptops, while the IVR and USSD continue to be supported.
Kathy Canterbury, Director of OSS/BSS at Atlantic Tele-Network International (ATNI), a Primal customer since 2009, states “Primal Technologies flexible OCS allows ATNI to target many different types of Advance Pay and Prepaid subscribers due to the broad range of features available for us to use”. Furthermore, “Since Primal Technologies can meet all of our VAS requirements from a fully redundant platform, this has significantly reduced our capex/opex expenses”.
Primal’s WWW Skynet Provisioning and Customer Care screens, WWW Responsive Subscriber Self-care screens, USSD, IVR are also pre-integrated and together they efficiently bundle all of the VAS together for a more intuitive provisioning and customer care experience with reduced costs, reduced training and a faster time-to-market.
Primal Technologies offers Responsive WWW Subscriber Self-Care screens to all of our MNO customers so that their subscribers can more easily manage their mobile subscription including usage review and topups (with support for PCI-compliant credit card, voucher cards, Paypal, etc), reviewing voice messages online, or sending single or group text messages form the web.
Our MNO customers have expressed that they appreciate the savings from as much billing automation and Responsive WWW Subscriber Self-care screens as possible as this also reduces the number of customer care staff that is required. Furthermore, all of our WWW Subscriber Self-care pages are branded with the logos and colors of each of our MNO customers since we know that branding and subscriber touch points are very important for them.
As many MNOs also have their own web development teams, we also provide a comprehensive HTTP Prepaid REST API to support seamless integration into an MNO’s existing web portal.
The Primal Technologies Custom Timed Services (CTS) module allows MNOs to create a rate plan bundle of any duration, such as a daily, weekly or monthly bundle or simply create a separate standalone bucket bundle that can be purchased at any time should a subscriber exceed any of their buckets before the end of their monthly plan, as shown to the right.
MNOs can also create their own Dynamic Buckets for subscribers who call/text a certain country and also create a bucket that can be drawn from when any subscriber roams to that country. These Dynamic Buckets can be added to any rate plan bundle as part of a monthly rate plan, or alternatively the MNO can allow subscribers to add these buckets as CTS options for a specific number of days whenever they require. Dynamic Buckets can also be created for Data (e.g. for a specific social networking package, or any other specific data traffic types).
The Primal Promotions module allows our MNO customers to provide subscribers with promotional packages as a reward for topup amounts and other criteria. This allows the MNO to further promote their own brand and improve subscriber loyalty and usage.
For example, on a specific day (or any day) if a subscriber tops up with a $20 amount using any topup mechanism, then the MNO can give the subscriber another $20 in promotional balance that the subscriber can use on local calling or SMS, which expires after X days. If a subscriber on a specific rate plan tops up with a certain amount they can be assigned a better rate plan (e.g. offering unlimited calling between 6-9PM, which expires after X days). Alternatively, if a subscriber on a specific rate plan tops up with a certain amount, they can be given a certain amount of promotional data, which expires after X days.
Primal Technologies Voicemail and Visual VM
Whether some of your subscribers may require Missed Call Notification (MCN) alerts, or perhaps the Standard and Advanced features of a Primal Voicemail Service, we can meet your needs.
Today your residential and business subscribers may also be requesting either Visual VM for their iPhones or Android devices. Visual VM allows subscribers to more easily listen to and better manage their incoming voice messages and it has quickly become a commodity offered by most MNOs today. This is a “sticky” marketing feature that often earns MNOs an extra $X per month.
The Primal Android Visual VM client is shown to the right. The Android client is further branded in the colors and logos for each mobile network operator. If the MNO also has a Primal Advance Pay/Prepaid service then for convenience of their subscribers, their balance, expiration date, and current rate plan bundle can be displayed in the lower banner. Support for the Native Android client (available in Marshmallow+ releases) will be in 2018.
Primal Technologies fully supports the native Apple iPhone Visual VM client today, as shown to the left.
If you don’t offer Visual VM today, as an MNO you will likely want to consider offering this same feature to attract subscribers from other MNOs that may already offer this feature. If you offer Local/LD landline services then Primal Technologies includes a comprehensive set of Standard/Advanced Voicemail features including dial by name/dial by extension among others that some of your business customers may require.
Georges Yaacoub, VAS Manager of Engineering and Operations at Eastlink Canada, a recent Primal customer, states, “We use Primal Technologies for all of our Wireless Voicemail needs. Primal Technologies has provided us with many Standard and Advanced VM features, Apple Visual VM and Android Visual VM with complete component fail-over and redundancy which we have deployed on our in-house NFV Data Centre. We are very pleased with the performance of the Primal VM and VVM and the pricing that they were able to provide to us.”
Lower that Electricity Bill
The annual cost of electricity for any IT group within an MNO is a large operational expense. Since the cost of electricity per hardware server can amount to several hundreds of dollars per month, it can become very expensive for an MNO to operate their CRM/Billing and VAS Services across separate vendors hardware servers. It makes a huge cost difference in electricity for MNOs when they have the ability to run on two hardware servers (instead of 4,6,8 or more servers) to support all of their VAS requirements.
Since Primal Technologies can scale down our complete set of turnkey services to run on a minimal set of virtualized or non-virtualized hardware servers (e.g. two hardware servers) or alternatively on the Primal cloud, this provides a significant electrical bill saving for many MNOs. Furthermore, since Primal Technologies’ ongoing goal is to always deploy on the latest energy efficient servers, this ensures that the MNO can always keep their energy costs to a minimum.
Primal Technologies is a wholly owned private company with a successful 20+ year history working with a focus on small/mid-size MNOs. We do not experience many of the challenges that companies owned and controlled by some VCs and Equity Partners have unfortunately experienced over the years (e.g. short-term investment horizons leading to discontinued product lines, lack of product investment, etc). Some new entrants charge high ongoing monthly fees to implement many of the features that they don’t currently have, leaving MNOs waiting years for some features that most VAS vendors like Primal Technologies readily have available today.
Similarly, the major network equipment vendors, who make 95+ percent of their revenue and earnings from selling RAN, Core Network Equipment and related Professional Services have also attempted to sell VAS, but we have observed that after a few years, they typically begin to look at their ROI and costs and begin to rationalize their development budgets to focus on their core products. As a result, many have lowered their support to inadequate support levels especially for the mid-size and smaller MNOs and have not put sufficient investment back into VAS Services, leaving MNOs to look for alternative VAS vendors.
Primal Technologies operates effectively and efficiently without such distractions. This has allowed us to make sound, focused long term investment and product decisions that have continually benefitted all of our MNO customers in many ways, but especially with being able to provide the long-term commitment and stability for the VAS Services that they require. For further information on how Primal Technologies has assisted various Competitive Carrier MNOs and similarly how we could assist our MNO, please feel to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.