Following our recent industry meetings in The Netherlands, this wrap-up is an overview of the many key topics and policy points we explored during the Wholesale Solutions (WSOLU), Wholesale Agreements (WAGREE) & 5G Workshops. Our thanks to the team at KPN for hosting our meetings, in Amsterdam. Thanks also to all the delegates whom attended both in-person and via Microsoft Teams. The discussions were very energetic with many views and suggestions raised to help plot our way-forward on many important aspects as we future-plan across so many important initiatives.
Key Topics at a Key Moment!
The WAS Sub-group meetings covered many key topics which will affect all Operators as we continue to evolve our international roaming products, services and customer capabilities.
What matters most
During our 5G Workshop, we assessed the current status of the 5G landscape across our industry. We also developed plans to address the commercial and charging impacts of Network Slicing, 5G Security, 5G Charging and 5G SA Implementations.
WSOLU #68 – Key Topics
- This was an important discussion to highlight the ability to place Emergency Calls.
- Devices need to be “VoLTE-capable” – and the user’s Device capabilities are key.
- Operators are steadily shutting down 2G/3G networks, with many Operators opting to switch-off 3G first. Please share your Network Closure information to ensure our report is up to date.
- WSOLU considered what details could potentially be captured within the LTE/VoLTE Handbook, BA.65 (e.g. VoLTE Emergency Calls and CSFB calls), with other details potentially being incorporated into RAEX IR.21, including VoLTE and 5G SA launches. Our discussions continue and your input is critical!
- We examined the opportunities around mission-critical services, and how to best address these services using network slicing to ensure the ability to deliver. This may align directly with our roaming SLA guidelines.
- A potential output could be a Guidelines document, somewhat similar to the ‘VoLTE Roaming Guidelines’, only shorter!
LTE & LTE-M – Differentiation
- The ability to differentiate LTE from LTE-M traffic was discussed. It was understood that very few operators have implemented the feature, but agreed that we should insist that RAT Type be implemented – and pass it on to the respective Data Clearing House.
Emergency SMS – EU Regulations
- We discussed the important obligations around the Home Network sending an SMS to customers roaming in the EU to alert them to the availability of the ‘112’ – As required by the new EU Roaming Regulation. This must happen every time the roaming customer switches Visited Networks.
- A key message was that HPMNs should engage with their VPMNs to ensure that:
- QoS details on the Mobile Network available throughout the EU are known.
- A Welcome SMS on Emergency Numbers will be sent (which applies only to EU citizens roaming in EU states).
- EID will be mandatory for TAP & BCE from 1st June 2022 and it is important to engage and communicate clearly with Operators to ensure compliance – Operators must comply with EID by 1st January 2023.
- We also discussed the BCE future-version business requirements, and agreed to set up a focus group to ensure commercial wholesale models can be supported. Join Group.
5G & Network Slicing Workshop
WSOLU approved the first version of the commercial roaming guidelines, WA.51 5GS Guidelines. Be on the lookout for the WAS eVote to approve! It provides a great baseline and guidance to commercial roaming managers on 5G SA roaming.
Network Slicing Update & LBO
- A few key technical documents that address Network Slicing are NG.113 5GS Roaming Guidelines and NG.116 Generic Network Slice Template and defined network slices (NESTs).
- A 5G SA Roaming will have 1 Slice available by default, and most Operators are likely to use the eMBB NEST. We discussed how we will charge for network slices – please engage as we determine how we will charge in roaming!
- Another key for the future: How do we ensure an E2E requested Slice with particular KPIs will be delivered in that end-to-end scenario?
- What will be the timing of LBO? Tomorrow? Or is it years away?
5G Mobile Roaming Revisited
- The technical merits of the TLS security mechanism and the key management aspects are included for initial deployments. For early adopters for Roaming – the message is: we will be ready.
- For RAEX – There is a work in progress in terms of what needs to be included in RAEX IR.21 and the method to support Key and Certificate exchange.
- There is an ongoing, active debate on how the security deployment models for 5G SA roaming will be defined and implemented.
- As noted above, we can support the basic charging models for 5G SA today.
- For new services, many open questions and decisions need to be made.
- With the new updates to standards to support LBO wholesale and retail charging in 5G SA – we have more questions, education, discussion and decisions that need to be made.
- Other points we are exploring include; an elaboration on the case for differentiation of services for charging, and how we charge a Network Slice will different QoS/5QI indicators? Anything we decide must be supported by our new charging process, BCE.
GSMA WAGREE #67
New Roaming Agreement Template
- WAGREE have developed a new Roaming Agreement Template and Annexes for new and existing services to be used for 5G SA and beyond
- A first version will be available for approval soon. Don’t forget to Vote.
Removal of references to ‘HUR’ (High-Usage Reports) -> NRTRDE
- Given the development of NRTRDE many years ago it was determined to remove all references to HUR within the WAS Fraud PRD BA.20.
- As we transition away from Circuit Switched to alternative services, customers when Roaming need to be kept informed of what to expect.
- A review of BA.47 will take place to assess any updates but essentially it was agreed the home Operator should still take responsibility for notifying customers.
IOT SLA for Devices (KORE)
- IOT often uses SMS, and SMS remains “best-effort”, multiple times to deliver a message.
- There is a desire to mandate Regional Peerings.
- There is a need for mission critical support of Devices today.
Robocalling & Regulations
- During May 2022 the US Regulator; the FCC approved two new orders and opened a comment period addressing the issue of “illegal robocalls” originating outside the US.
- Gateway Providers which terminate calls into the US must certify with the FCC’s Robocall Mitigation Database (RMD), and implement STIR/SHAKEN to authenticate SIP calls.
- 98% of registrations have complied with the Database across Operators and Foreign Services providers.
- The FCC have not-yet posted the final language.
EU Regulation Update – BEREC
- BEREC have initiated a public consultation on Wholesale Guidelines (Published) Doc 15, and welcome comments from both Operators and the Public with a consultation period of 30 days.
- “MNOs must offer all wholesale roaming services for all available network technologies and all available network generations which are necessary for an MNO or full MVNO to offer retail services and which have typically been offered under wholesale roaming agreements on regulated terms in the period before the Roaming Regulations comes into effect.”
- It is estimated that this will be published end of Sept or beginning of Oct this year.
- The ‘Guidelines’ address the Wholesale Guidelines, Rates, How to deliver etc.
UK Regulation Update – Ofcom
- The Ofcom UK requirement is to provide a valid CLI.
- There are UK “Guidelines” but not “Obligations” (yet), but will likely move towards a requirement for Carriers in the UK, and we await further input and update.
See you next time in London!
Our next scheduled WAS Sub-group meeting series will take place in London between 22-24 August in central London, kindly hosted by CKH IOD UK.
- WSOLU #70 – August 22
- 5G Workshop – August 23
- WAGREE #69 – August 24
We welcome your requests on topics to include during these upcoming meetings. Please provide your feedback to us.
You might also like
More about WAS
The GSMA Wholesale Agreements and Solutions Group is responsible for operator-to-operator and operator-to-hub interoperability (including interworking and roaming) to provide GSMA members with a consistent, reliable GSM service to offer their customers.
Click here learn more about the group and how you can get involved.