Just like many other industries and businesses, “Testing” in today’s dynamic telecom industry is extremely important to assure the quality of the international roaming services provided to customers. Obviously, each operator wants to reduce costs and increase margins, yet without compromising quality. To achieve this balance, Mobile operators need to start with the basic activity of performing IREG and TADIG testing. In fact, these tests usually come before signing the international roaming agreement between the 2 operators. If you are wondering what an “international roaming agreement”, please read our previous article about it here. Indeed, the international roaming agreement is established after a series of testing processes called IREG and TADIG testing. & validating the TAP files through testing. But what does that even mean?
The name IREG comes from the “International Roaming Expert Group” of the GSMA (GSM Association) who designed the tests. The objective from this test is to reassure that calls, SMS, and other services work well during roaming, which includes testing call functionality and user experience, signaling, call handling, etc.
The name TADIG also comes from a GSMA Group: “Transferred Account Data Interchange Group” who designed the standards for it.
The objective here is different: it’s to reassure that the roaming partner will bill the calls correctly, which includes testing the billing system, its performance, any changes in the software/hardware, etc.
So, to keep a long story short, while the IREG testing is to test the proper functioning of the established communication links, the TADIG testing is to check the billability of the calls.
As you can see, both IREG and TADIG testing play a major role in establishing a roaming agreement and ensuring the quality and profitability of call/services for both operators. And that’s exactly where we come in. We, at RoamSmart, provide advanced solution for both these testing processes.
Our IREG360° is an automated web application which helps managing the full process around IR.21/IR.85 handling (RAEX and Non-RAEX) and building a centralized and comprehensive database with the updated data of all roaming partners, in addition to automated change detection and notification. It simply offers you piece of mind with a reliable solution at minimum cost. To learn more about it, please visit our page here.
In addition, our TADIG module is an innovative application which automates the process of TADIG validation through comprehensive check of TAP file content (the usage by a subscriber in a visited network is captured in a file called the TAP: “Transferred Account Procedure”) based on the received test sheet and the latest IOT document of the roaming partner. To learn more about our TADIG module, you can visit our page here.
International mobile roaming is a service that allows mobile users to continue to use their mobile phone or other mobile device to make and receive voice calls and text messages, browse the internet, and send and receive emails, while visiting another country. We have all been there, whether traveling for tourism or for business, where we need to keep our communication going and not just rely on the hotel’s internet or its international calls service. That’s where international roaming comes in handy, but you should know that there is a lot going on behind the scenes to ensure the service is available to you and with a reasonable cost.
First, let’s try to quickly understand the players involved in delivering the roaming service via this simple diagram:
Apart from yourself initiating the call abroad and the phone user you are calling at home, we have the 2 telecommunication companies or network operators in the two countries, in addition to the international transit service providers. In order to be able to connect to a visited network and make your phone call, a roaming agreement needs to be in place between the visited network and the home network.
To ensure a successful roaming operation, these various stakeholders have to collaborate closely on various technical aspects. And to make this collaboration work smoothly, they need to have clear and detailed “International Roaming Agreements” that specify the roles and responsibilities of each party. These agreements are essential when drafting Direct Wholesale Roaming contracts for instance. In other words, it is a binding document between the roaming partners that specify the legal roaming business aspects negotiated between them, such as billing of the services obtained or the monitoring to be performed, etc. The GSM Association broadly outlines the content of such roaming agreements in standardized form for its members. The agreements may be composed of various parts, for example:
AA.12: it is the International Roaming Agreement. It is a standard GSM Association PRD (permanent reference document) with standard clauses.
AA.13: it contains the Common Annexes with operational information (e.g. information on tap file, billing data, settlement procedure, customer care, fraud, etc.)
AA.14: Individual Annexes: it contains the information about the operator (e.g. contact details of roaming team, fraud team, IREG team, TADIG team, etc.)
You may have noticed the terms IREG and TADIG and you probably are wondering what those terms mean. We actually explain those terms in another article, you can read it here.
Now, we don’t want to get too technical here or dive into too much details, but you surely got a sense of how complicated the international roaming agreements can be and the challenges behind ensuring what seems to be a simple phone call: and that’s where we come in.
We, at RoamSmart, are here to make this whole process easier for all the stakeholders involved. We support Telcos (Telecommunications companies) in the digital transformation of their roaming and wholesale business and we provide them with high value services addressing their specific roaming needs. Our solutions help optimize workflows and monetize the existing roaming data from several sources. To keep a long story short, we help create win-win partnerships for all the parties involved and, above all, ensure the satisfaction of the end customer.
This was a year ago … Al Jazeera English is talking about Roamsmart’s business story , redrawing our business path as a leading provider of innovative #Roaming Management and #Big_Data Solutions to mobile operators
We never dreamed of success we worked for it , know more about Roamsmart’s backstory in this reportage
We were there, among the connectivity champions in Africa .. #Connects_Africa of tech and telco events was an amazing experience for Roamsmart!
We want to say Thank you to our customers and partners for meeting with us.
WAS#10 was an exceptional event! Special thanks to the host Telefonica and to our customers who took the time to meet and collaborate with us!
RoamSmart has been offering RAEX Management tools, managed by highly dedicated IREG teams specialized in handling RAEX and non-RAEX IR.21/IR.85 documents on daily basis.
This sensitive information has to be updated and organized in a way that is extractable from different formats (xml, pdf, word).
Using an automated RAEX IR.21 Management system has several advantages like securing roaming revenues, saving costs and strengthening the core network enough to avoid fraud risk. Besides, it upgrades the roaming experience for the roaming customers.
RoamSmart’s IREG360° is an automated web application which helps managing and building a centralized and comprehensive database around IR.21/IR.85 with the updated data of all roaming partners, in addition to the automatic creation of configuration files. It features:
• Dashboard for easy follow-up on coverage status and document availability.
• Automatic upload of IR.21/IR.85 updates from GSMA Infocenter Inbox.
• Version Control and Parsing of RAEX compliant IR.21/IR.85.
• Manual conversion of non-RAEX documents (in pdf, word or excel format) to be done by RoamSmart Managed solutions team and full content to be available within 48 hours from document availability. IREG360° makes all your partners RAEX compliant and creates xml IR.21 for those who send other formats.
• Changes detection and classification based on sub-section and target groups.
• Automatic notification to target departments/teams.
• Follow-up and completion workflow.
• Comprehensive reporting for better visibility.
The IREG360° is the optimum solution for any mobile network operator, it enables many operations such as roaming audits and making the whole process effortless. Besides to providing adaptability to customer requirements and integrations.
The process of Roaming audit aims to identify the potential misconfiguration cases and review the roaming configuration in a pro-active approach leading to a network quality improvement and a revenue increase. The roaming audit engine is established to detect the changes, report to the involved departments and compleate successfully the roaming footprint for implementation on network configurations.
In fact, The Roaming audit commercial and technical teams are making sure that the IR.21/IR.85 updates from the roaming partners are getting configured correctly on the network on a daily basis.
The issue with the implementation of the roaming network, is that sometimes it can be so neglected that almost forgotten. Lack of importance from humans or some urgent projects can be the main reason of this omission. It results in missing and erroneous configurations that can lead to unavailable services for potential roaming customers. Therefore the poor quality perception and a major loss of revenues; Basically every mistake in IP network configurations impacts data roaming services both for inbound and outbound roamers.
The Roaming Database Audit features
· Dashboard for easy follow-up on coverage status and latest audits.
· Automatic upload of IR.21/IR.85 updates from GSMA Infocenter Inbox.
· Version Control and Parsing of RAEX compliant IR.21/IR.85.
· Manual conversion of non-RAEX documents (in pdf, word or excel format) to be done by RoamSmart Managed solutions team and full content to be available within 48 hours from document availability. RDBA makes all your partners RAEX compliant and creates xml IR.21 for those who send other formats.
· Build and maintain an updated reference Database.
· Upload of Core Node Database tables.
· Automatic Audit and detection of configuration gaps.
· Comprehensive reporting and alarming for better visibility..
RoamSmart’s Roaming Database Audit (RDBA) is a computerized web application providing an up-to-date audit service that can identify Roaming configuration errors .
The mechanism is built on RoamSmart’s modular Unified Roaming Platform which provides configuration solutions in your mobile network by using intelligent analysis and search tools along with full flexibility and adaptation to customer specific requirements.
Roaming Management System helps take care of data and simplifies collaboration among roaming partners and their network accurately and with ease. Precisely, it offers the right tools and data to make the roaming process faster.
The operators on the other hand need to maintain a significant amount of data (Documents, SIM Cards) and manage a complex internal communication and interact with external partners and systems. The inconvenient with this, is that most roaming teams are managing these processes and documents using manual ways such as Microsoft office and shared folders which increases the risk of human errors, therefore becomes inefficient.
Since the network is in constant evolution, the data can be modified based on that evolution: Using one single database, a roaming relation can be tracked from agreement contracting to service implementation. This service is very important not only to boost revenues, but also to satisfy customer needs.
Roaming management system helps build a centralized database of all roaming related data with external communication in addition to a wide range of customizable reports and integrations that features:
– Dashboard for easy follow-up on rollout projects status and task progress.
– Rollout workflow platform: Project creation, follow-up, reporting and alarming.
– Document management: upload and access through search engines.
– RAEX Import and Validation: Upload of RAEX documents and validation according to GSMA standard.
– RAEX Document parsing: The tool automatically reads the content of the RAEX documents, extracts to data and parameters for future use.
– RAEX Document Reporting: A flexible and user-friendly reporting interface on any KPI of the RAEX documents (IR.21, AA.14, OpData, IOT).
– SIM Card Management: data entry, filtering and reporting on test SIM cards.
– Flexible reporting on Rollout status, Roadmap completion and Task progress performance.
– Document creation: automatic and easy creation of AA.12, AA.13, TCC and CLL contracts.
RoamSmart’s RMS, known as Roaming Management Tool (RMT), is built on RoamSmart’s modular Unified Roaming Platform which offers full flexibility and adaptation to customer specific requirements for reporting and integration to external systems ensuring that the roaming process is accurate and up-to-date .
RoamSmart team attended the WAS#9 event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia between 8th and 11th of April. Here is a summary of the hot topics discussed in the main conference hall, made available by RoamSmart experts for our customers and followers, in order to remain updated with latest industry news:
RCS (Rich Communication Services)
RCS is expected to be the next generation upgrade to SMS. It has been clearly the main hot topic of WAS#9 event. Interesting panel sessions gathering the major players in the messaging industry to discuss the operational and commercial requirements that will enable RCS to become the future business messaging platform. Leading players in this market also showcased their success stories implementing RCS and explaining the reasons why Operators will benefit by moving forward with RCS, in addition to the subscriber expectations and needs.
Today, 74 operators launched RCS services. This number is expected to reach 110 live deployments by mid of 2019.
MIoT (Mobile Internet of Things) :
GSMA is issuing a dedicated handbook to cover MIoT roaming from different perspectives: difference between LTE-M and NB-IoT, Charging/Billing aspects for MIoT Roaming & Interworking, Testing process and Fraud/Security considerations. LTE-M use cases are time-critical like Alarms, Security, Medial applications, Wearables and Fleet Tracking. NB-IoT are rather non-critical like water meters, parking meters, Farming and environmental use cases.
VoLTE and 5G Roaming:
VoLTE deployments worldwide reached a total of 171 in 86 countries as of February 2019. Telenor shared insights about its VoLTE Roaming launch experience and proposed to simplify the testing procedures in order to ensure a quicker rollout.
5G Roaming is indeed a critical subject with so many question marks confirmed by GSMA members: Implement 5G roaming using the network slicing approach? How to implement steering in a 5G roaming scenario? Impact of launching 5G roaming on existing roaming agreement (AA.12 and AA.13)? How to exchange mission critical information (RAEX?)? Hoping to get few answers and better visibility during WAS#10 event presentations.
BCE (Billing and Charging Evolution):
BCE, the future Billing & Settlement Solution (meant to replace TAP in the mid/long term) was thoroughly discussed during closing day of WAS#9. GSMA Charging & Billing experts gave WAS delegates a first view of what can be expected and when to consider using BCE. Few open questions still need to be answered regarding the BCE readiness and the implementation process. BCE should be deployed exclusively for MIoT traffic as a first step before extending it as replacement of the existing TAP standard. TAP standard will not be enhanced anymore (no further versions to be released). WAS#10 is expected to provide insights on Operator field Experiences from early adopters.
Many exciting and challenging topics are changing the landscape of roaming and wholesale business during the coming years. RoamSmart is closely following these major technology shifts and will ensure to reflect them on its Unified Roaming Platform, the most comprehensive roaming management system in the market covering Roaming Rollout, RAEX Management (RAEX IR.21, RAEX IOT and RAEX opdata), Roaming Audit and Inbound Roaming Market Share.
We would like to invite you to join RoamSmart at WAS#9 event, organized by GSMA in Kuala Lumpur between April 8th and 11th. During this event, RoamSmart will be showcasing the new version of its Unified Roaming Platform, the most comprehensive Roaming Management Platform covering Roaming Management System, RAEX IR.21 handling, RAEX IOT, RAEX Opdata, Roaming Audit and Inbound Roaming Market Share. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a meeting.
RoamSmart : Taking Roaming Froward !