Global connectivity has become an important driver of revenue growth for the mobile telecoms industry, with mobile network operators (MNOs), mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) and digital service providers (DSPs) all turning to roaming hubs for seamless global mobile connectivity. In this interview Travia Stewart, Senior Roaming Hub Coordinator at BICS, explains why roaming hubs provide the gateway between service providers and new revenue opportunities such as IoT.
Can you explain why global connectivity is becoming such an important enabler of revenue growth?
There are three primary drivers of demand for global connectivity. Firstly, more and more MVNOs are emerging as alternatives to traditional network operators and they need global connectivity to be effective. Both traditional MNOs and MVNOs are focusing on international roaming as a way to generate new revenues and roaming hubs have a key role to play here.
In addition, Digital Service Providers need global mobile connectivity and roaming hubs can of course help them achieve that. Finally, the Internet of Things (IoT) is creating new demand from global enterprises for connected services that cross international borders seamlessly.
Tell us a bit more about the Internet of Things. Is it really happening?
Yes, definitely. IDC predicts there will be 20 billion IoT devices globally by 2020. The IoT offers a massive opportunity for mobile operators. In our increasingly connected global economy, a significant proportion of IoT implementations will be international. For example, take a shipping company using IoT for container track-and-trace. They need to seamless connectivity wherever the package goes, no matter which national or network borders it crosses. This type of deployment will create new demand from enterprises for seamless global connectivity combined with Quality of Service. Roaming hubs are the most efficient and cost-effective way to meet this demand – and to launch new IoT services at the speed the market will need as IoT adoption accelerates.
Where does the BICS Roaming Hub fit in to all this?
Well, firstly, IoT deployments will throw up a number of new challenges for mobile operators. For example, enterprise customers will need to manage thousands of SIM cards in connected devices, with access to real-time data about devices that are frequently crossing borders. Our Roaming Hub is set up to deliver commercially-attractive roaming, with high reliability for any IoT deployment.
More generally, roaming hubs will be important enablers for MVNOs, DSPs and the enterprise looking to deliver seamless and ubiquitous roaming coverage for their customers or end user subscribers. We are continuously developing our service to offer the expertise, simplicity and efficiency the mobile industry ecosystem needs to meet the needs of the global connected economy.
Travia is a dynamic international roaming professional with extensive experience of roaming management, coordination and strategy development gained over 15 years in the global mobile industry. As Senior Roaming Hub Coordinator for the BICS Roaming Hub, Travia is responsible for operator relationships, as well as hub management, where her key priority is the delivery of seamless global roaming services for BICS customers. Before joining BICS in 2012, Travia worked for IMOBIX, the international mobile telecommunications consulting company, as well as Swiss-based roaming company Comfone and Digicel, the global phone network provider.