Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Starhome sets new standard with release of local roaming data solution

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND: Starhome, the leading provider and acknowledged driving force behind roaming profitability for mobile network operators, is pleased to announce the release of its Local Data Roaming™ solution.

The current boom in global data usage has been fuelled by a shift in subscriber usage, where the need to stay connected while roaming is even more important than when in the home environment. Accessing data services to connect to email, favorite social networking sites and the Internet have become mainstream activities for today’s roamers.

Roaming data usage has also been further empowered by new tablets and other large-screen mobile devices that enhance the experience of roamers on the move. Super data users are now more aware of the dangers of bill shock, and, in an effort to avoid sky-high bills on returning home, have opted to make extensive use of Wi-Fi and other such services, which are not always available and cannot be consumed while on the go.

To compete with the Wi-Fi challenge and protect subscribers from bill shock, VPMNs (Visited Public Mobile Network) need a solution that can combine low-cost access to data services and promote products and benefits to increase their inbound market share and create new revenue streams.

The Starhome Local Roaming Data™ solution provides operators with the ability to offer lower-priced, local roaming data packages for inbound roamers to eliminate potential bill shock. The solution also enables the VPMN to offer attractive pricing packages, which are similar to local charges. One of the main advantages of the solution is that it allows roamers to roam with any mobile device, without having to replace SIM cards or switch devices.

The solution fills a niche in the roaming market for an alternative solution for communicating with inbound roamers. With the Local Roaming Data solution, visited networks are able to offer packages, promotions and location-based services together with discounted offerings of third-party vendors, encouraging opt-in by roamers. Seamless access to the roamer’s home portal is done in the usual way.

Initial registration for the service is quick and simple and is offered on the roamer’s first attempt to set up a roaming data connection, using a mobile phone, laptop, tablet etc. The solution is equipped with SMS notifications to warn subscribers if they inadvertently move to another network that does not provide the service and increases potential voice and SMS revenues from inbound roamers.

The service works by eliminating visited-to-home-network traffic while the GRX intermediary allows the VPMN to offer local data plans for inbound roamers, which improves the quality of service for subscriber data consumption.

”Communication with inbound roamers is a valuable method of attracting new roamers to the visited network, as it offers them additional new services as well as information,” said Amit Daniel, VP Marketing at Starhome. “The Local Roaming Data solution differentiates the visited network from the competition and enables the visited network to define which home networks are targeted for this offering. Home networks with which the visited network does not have any data roaming agreements in place are potential candidates to extend the existing the voice and SMS coverage.”

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