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Amdocs, Bridgewater target mobile data ‘experience’

Recently merged companies deliver a new division and solution to help mobile operators monetize their emerging mobile data networks

Fresh off its acquisition of policy vendor Bridgewater, Amdocs this week delivered a new pre-integrated offering that aims to find the ‘sweet spot’ where mobile networks, policy and IT come together.

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Aimed at the exploding mobile data market, the solution and new division is more about the experience than the data. There is a need for “telcos to be able to define plans quickly and intuitively,” according to Ann Hatchell, director of data experience marketing for the new group. “The complexity must be kept behind the scenes. Customers want a tailored social network plan, for instance, not a plan based on gigabyte consumption.”

The first offering comes with eight plans for delivering and billing for mobile data services, all pre-integrated for faster implementation and therefore faster time to revenue. “In our recent research we confirmed that the majority of operators need to see the policy and charging integrated, but they agree that it is expensive and risky.” says Hatchell, “We have done it for them, giving them one place to control policy and charging, providing simplicity and accuracy for customers and opportunities to cross-sell and upsell.”

The pre-integrated plans include tiered services, intuitive top-up capabilities, data passes for one-off usage, WiFi offload, LTE capability, pay as you go and bill shock prevention. Most of the plans have marketing potential behind them and allow telcos to address bill shock problems and service delivery challenges in a proactive manner. Provide a customer with a temporary boost if he comes to the end of his allowance in a busy month and he will possibly upgrade his package – if the approach is right. This must be a better solution than simply throttling.

The area that Hatchell finds the most exciting is the shared wallet plan. Being able to configure a family’s usage plans is one of the things that telcos are almost universally keen to offer. This, and shared plans across devices are two of the big trends in ‘data’ usage at present. As tablets and other devices become mainstream ways of viewing TV and ‘screen’ content, MSOs are focusing on seeing beyond the living room and addressing the individuals in the room (CP: The opportunities and risks of TV Everywhere). That plus the ‘stop watching on one device, start on another’ trend will mean that the sooner telcos can offer packages that enable this, the better.

The integration of policy and charging will ultimately make it easier for customers to design their own packages and it also makes sense for the telcos. With the majority of telcos in the research believing that business rules should reside in a centralized or billing product catalog rather than on the network, the two silos that were ‘network’ and ‘IT’ are being pulled down by policy – and the customer.

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© 2014 Penton Media Inc.

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