BICS Helps Solve Roaming Headaches

For all its pleasures, travel can present plenty of challenges too. Over the years, mobile network operators have found ways of working together to help minimise the impact of travel on their users. Where once going abroad could easily mean being unable to use your mobile phone – or face steep call charges for doing so – we now rightly expect seamless user experiences as we cross borders.

Despite this progress, however, roamers can still face compatibility issues. They might find themselves unable to connect to networks they should have access to, or able to make voice calls but not use SMS. Where users cannot communicate fully while in a foreign country, operators must be able to provide answers, or those users may not stay with them for long. For their subscribers to enjoy the best possible user experience, operators and their network partners need real-time, quality data of the networks and devices those subscribers use, wherever they are.

There is thankfully such a resource. GSMA Device Map, a database of device intelligence derived from TAC data, allows analytical tools like those of global communications enabler BICS – which enables roaming in 183 countries – to provide operators with a complete picture of their roaming customers’ experience. BICS’ SMART Webvision tool draws on 120TB of data collected every day to give operators insights into global roaming trends.

If say a roaming VIP user finds themselves unable to connect to a network, it may be that their device uses frequency bands which don’t match those available in that country, or that they are trying to use services that aren’t supported by the network in question. They could be trying to access VoLTE when the visited network doesn’t support it, for instance, or there is no VoLTE agreement in place. BICS allows operators to respond to VIP user queries on issues like this with all the relevant contextual information to hand. The first thing to establish is whether the issue is specific to the individual device, or the context in which it is operating; the integration of Device Map data allows operators to check for device-related patterns, such as a failure of a specific model to access a given service on a particular network.

Damion Rose at MWC19 Barcelona

The resulting insights can then be used by operators to anticipate issues before they actually happen, which allow them to avoid reputational or financial pitfalls ahead of time; they can also help operators to understand how devices themselves can influence the behaviour of the roaming subscriber, and track the quality of their roaming customers’ experience over time. “All these insights are possible when you marry traffic analytics with device analytics,” explains Damion Rose, Product Manager for Mobile Signalling and Analytics at BICS.

In May 2018 BICS chose Device Map to support their SMART Webvision VIP KPI Dashboard module, which gives detailed analytics on selected VIP corporate clients. We are excited to see what other of our Device Map’s 150+ attributes BICS might select to ingest in the future.

If you would like to find out more about how your business can benefit from GSMA Device Map, get in touch with us today.