Keep Calm and Get Your Roaming Business Under Control

February 21, 2023

Dimitris Zoulis, COSMOTE’s Project Manager for Roaming Services and International Synergies, talks to Daniella Torres about how VoLTE, IoT, and 5G will impact the telecoms industry.

Do not take gaining control for granted! It’s something every operator aspires to but is rarely easy to achieve. As discussed in our last blog, roaming managers strive to gain “subscriber-level” control to define individual network policies to meet specific business needs. Gaining more control allows operators to solve business problems and puts their mind at ease.

We’d like to share a few use cases that illustrate how modern Steering of Roaming simplifies the roaming business.


The Best Cruise Deal for Mobile Operators

Maritime networks offer mobile communication services onboard cruise ships. Due to their exclusivity, their wholesale prices are far more expensive than standard discount agreement rates, reaching 20x, 100x, and more. Some operators mutually agree on a more sophisticated charging method, for example, a daily price per IMSI or for a bundle, but not all of them have this billing capability. In such cases, they selectively allow roaming on these networks since managing them effectively can be very tricky.

From a revenue assurance standpoint, terrestrial networks want to ensure that residents who live close to ports or are visiting touristic coast areas are not accidentally roaming on these networks. They also want to steer cruise passengers who are back on land to cheaper networks as soon as possible. This not only prevents bill shock and ensures a better customer experience but can also drive wholesale savings. The Steering on Demand (SoD) service allows operators to determine when to steer on and off maritime networks. The ability for operators to act fast here is crucial. SoD also allows operators to move a selected number of subscribers to cheaper networks on demand or block roaming data leakages. In all of the cases we mentioned here, saving time means saving money. Saving money will help your business grow.


Sometimes Local is Better

Let’s move back to roaming on land. Connectivity is everywhere, basically 24/7. To be mobile means to comply with this principle. Even though some operators don’t provide national coverage, they can still offer mobile services via national roaming partnerships. Several countries have specific regulations around it, e.g., National Roaming is mandatory in remote locations with a small population. There are cases where the national operators agree on an economic model, which is beneficial for all parties.

Apart from deciding on the preferred national partner per location, operators want to ‘pull back’ national roamers as soon as their network coverage becomes available. Typically, this process can take a few hours, which can result in unnecessary costs, estimated at $450K annually for a few thousand subscribers per day.

Steering of National Roaming traffic with SoD is an active service that focuses on domestic traffic, for both legacy and new technologies such as VoLTE and 5G. It reduces the ‘cost of waiting’ by immediately pulling back subscribers from national partner networks without affecting their user experience. The service periodically scans all national roamers’ movements to determine when they are back in covered areas. Similarly, the service is also used to retain subscribers by avoiding accidental national roaming.


Avoid bill shock and needlessly losing costs. Let us analyze your potential cost savings driven by these national and maritime roaming use cases:

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