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June - 2013 - issue > CIO Insights

Multi-IMSI Ecosystem: A Revolution in International Roaming

Nigam Shah
CIO & SVP - Cloud Services-Roamware, Inc.
Thursday, May 30, 2013
Nigam Shah
Santa Clara based Roamware, Inc., is a mobile operator service solutions provider with a customer base of over 575 mobile operators and MVNOs across 168 countries.

Imagine a scenario where you want to travel overseas and you buy a SIM card for travel or a local SIM card upon landing. You have to endure complicated dialing procedures and have little or no integration with applications on your phone like your address book. You cannot use your home number and people you call see a different number flashing. While these are irritants in your experience as a subscriber, you opt for them because you want to save communication costs as a traveler. The question is โ€“ why are operators not making this simpler for their global travelers โ€“ a segment that crossed the one billion mark in 2012.

The challenges for MNOs and MVNOs are two fold โ€“ operators are finding it difficult to offer attractive roaming rates and substitute offerings such as local SIM cards, travel SIM cards, over the top (OTT) applications and local Wi-Fi, are aggressively marketing their benefits to subscribers.

Mobile Operators need a solution which enables them to offer attractive roaming rates to subscribers on their home number, so that they can retain their loyalty and profitably serve them while they roam. In order to make this happen, an operator needs to build a global cloud ecosystem of fellow operators that can enable his subscriber to get attractive rates in the countries of travel on his home number. While it is time consuming for each operator to build such an ecosystem, in the true spirit of Cloud-based solutions, all they need to do now is plug and play and let the cloud ecosystem do the work in the background.

Cloud Computing has its roots in Enterprise IT and aims to leverage a network of computing devices spread in order to perform the tasks that were hitherto done owned IT servers. In the telecom world, there is the concept of the Carrier Cloud, which provides a cloud computing infrastructure for mobile operators and telecom carriers. While an Enterprise IT cloud would take care of areas such as storage, computation and computer networking, the Carrier Cloud would provision operator services using the cloud. Some examples of services that can be provided over the cloud are:


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