How managed services are transforming wholesale telecoms

The amount of change that a telecoms operator’s business must undergo to support digital services is so massive that it’s often called a ‘transformation,’ and wholesale business models are no exception.

The amount of change that a telecoms operator’s business must undergo to support digital services is so massive that it’s often called a ‘transformation,’ and wholesale business models are no exception.

Operators that have launched LTE data services are feeling the impact of this transformation now as the 2G/3G networks that handle voice and messaging, and the LTE data network interconnecting with other LTE licence providers, MVNOs and content providers, must co-exist. This is a very complex transition period that requires careful co-management of both platforms in new and more efficient ways.

While looking for innovative ways to capitalise on network investments, cut costs and create efficiencies in 2G/3G service delivery, many mobile operators are now turning to ‘managed service’ providers who have wholesale expertise in both technology and process. To gain the scale and flexibility required to handle new digital services, reduce operating costs, improve operational efficiency and increase predictability on circuit switch services, managed services partners are becoming an invaluable asset for the transition to LTE.

The reality is that amidst stagnant budgets and fewer IT resources internally, operators simply can’t juggle all of their operational needs alone. Managed service providers are often an answer to being able to both innovate and capitalise on new LTE capabilities, and create new efficiencies in the service delivery and monetisation process.

In markets such as South Africa, where, just like many other parts of the world, operators are managing an exponential growth of new mobile subscribers and network traffic alongside 2G/3G infrastructure; end-to-end management of the wholesale billing business services platform has proven to be a successful strategy. For one of South Africa’s top mobile operators, bundling the BSS stack with network capacity has enabled it to streamline internal operations across its partner revenue sharing, wholesale billing, retail billing and convergent charging systems and processes to create a more efficient business that is optimised to deliver digital services.

The operator has realised the expected benefits of reduced time to market and lower running costs, as well as better accuracy and control of wholesale billing and reduced manual effort. By using experts to manage their billing stack, the operator has also taken a critical step that allows them to remain competitive, invest in innovative new service offerings and re-invest the cost savings from the managed service into strategic business solutions. The managed services business model has enabled the operator to more effectively manage their business transformation overall, ultimately moving them strategically forward in their evolution.

As more wholesale and mobile operators worldwide continue their business transformation into digital service providers, they face similar challenges: how do they take advantage of new market opportunities while reducing costs and preserving their core business? As new business models, partners and ecosystems are adding complexity to an already complex industry, many wholesalers are realising that managed services can be the transformative platform that offers the efficiency, growth and agility that’s required for the digital era.

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