Another year and another Mobile World Congress, an event that just gets ever bigger and one this year which signalled that shifts in the communications landscape are bringing a new coherence to the industry. Key drivers such as monetization of 4G, the response to new EU roaming laws (that threaten to eat many an operators’ lunch) and a focus on how to make system estates more agile in order to capitalise on growth opportunity, were all key themes for the OSS/BSS segment of the show.
There is a marked shift in Europe to managed services and private cloud as a model, especially for BSS. These models offer service providers the opportunity to add key capabilities into their system estates at a much lower total cost of ownership and with the agility that does not mean a rip and replace strategy or high risk transformation.
The ability to move with agility in order to capitalise on market segments such as MVNO, Business and vertical industry specific offerings is becoming increasingly key and it is not a one size fits all. The limitations of some BSS to offer truly converged capability between post and pre-pay, voice and data, but also new IT services (SaaS models) continues to hinder the progress of many operators.
BSS system estates now have to become a strategic tool for service providers around which they build, monetize and launch their propositions. The next generation aspects of real-time charging for data and policy management are capabilities that must blend seamlessly into a BSS environment and enable a new generation of service offerings and customer experience. This for the first time in the communications industry appear to be within reach.