OTA platforms remain the most cost-effective way for mobile network operators to manage their SIMs out in the market allowing them to quickly and efficiently update data, apps or launch new services Over-The-Air. Most operators have some sort of OTA platform in place but quite often the activities that run on them are limited and, essentially, underused. So I guess you’re thinking why would you not want to maximise an asset that can offer your business value in terms of improved quality of service or revenue? Well, let’s take a look.
Common OTA problems for operators
We found there are some common reasons why operators may have limited use of their OTA systems such as having procured a proprietary solution from an OTA platform provider that means updates and new campaigns are restricted to being managed solely by that vendor which of course restricts the competitiveness of the cost of projects and may equate to an expense the operator may not be willing or unable to pay. Also, we’ve seen cases where the MNO has invested a considerable amount for a platform and applications that were a priority for the business at the time but no longer meet current requirements which have since evolved.
So how can MNOs get more from their OTA systems?
There is a wide range of possibilities for operators when it comes to their OTA systems from remote file management (RFM), remote applet management, push messaging campaigns and other initiatives. Based on our experience, here are four of the most popular and most effective we find with clients.
Enhanced SIM management
It’s always good to start with the basics; with a core OTA platform, operators can enhance their database overcoming the pain points of quantifying the volume and specification of SIMs and apps live in the field. By building a card repository for existing and new SIMs, they can gain a better understanding of their SIM capabilities from a central viewpoint knowing things like what’s pre-paid and post-paid, the type of profile, applets and specific versions in the market. It is as a continuous process but this understanding of live profiles and technologies provides the operator with the insight to launch better-tailored and more-effective campaigns and value-added services.
Customer Network Name
Customer Network Name (CNN) is a simple remote file management activity which requires no additional development but effectively can be used as a highly efficient way to increase ARPU. A premium can be charged by offering either VIP individuals or businesses the option to rebrand the displayed network name on their device to their own choice such as their name or company. Alternatively, it can be used to run seasonal or promotions for a limited period or even to segment subscribers by plan or loyalty category. We have worked with several operators who have had tremendous success implementing such programs and, in addition, to the added revenue have enjoyed an increase in user satisfaction and reduction in subscriber churn.
Quality of Service
Quality of Service (QoS) may be a common part of an operator’s dashboard to help gain insight on their network performances but as more and more business use cellular IoT connections to perform life, mission or business-critical functions the value of these businesses being able to track and understand their connectivity with complete visibility becomes a much sought-after requirement. By using remote applet management (RAM) to install an applet Over-The-Air on all the SIMs of an operator’s enterprise client, an accurate picture of actual connectivity and performance can be provided. Whilst we realise some may be apprehensive at sharing network performance with their clients, we believe this is a great way for operators to reinforce and demonstrate the value of their premium business accounts to their enterprise clients. Enterprises value reliability to perform the most and by offering this visibility they can see the successful performance of the network, the adherence with Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and this helps reinforce the tangible value delivered by the network rather than just see the service as a pure cost.
Another option, which like the last represents a fast-growing and sizeable opportunity in the enterprise IoT space is security. With the advent of IoT, 5G, eSIM and other emerging technologies, operators will see a surge in the number of businesses looking for cellular-connected solutions that go above that of just smartphones to smart meters, healthcare devices, cars and connected airports. As the type of connected device changes so does the type and sensitivity of the data which means it will be more important than ever before to secure the new types of sensitive data being transmitted from potential new, unseen threats. Providing secure communications to the end-users in this IoT age will be critical to the long-term success of both the enterprise client and mobile operators. IoT secure credential management addresses this issue by using Remote Applet Management (RAM) to install an applet on the SIM that adds a layer of security to UICC and eUICC SIMs. This SIM applet ensures highly secure connections between endpoints by issuing and storing keys and certificates. The GSMA has introduced a framework for this recently called IoT Safe which Workz’ solution complies with. The added protection and peace of mind that this can provide operators’ enterprise clients make this a highly attractive offering for businesses and requires relatively little development work on the operator’s side. Again, this can be sold as a premium service or offered as a value-added service to support an operator’s premium enterprise offering.
If you’d like to learn more about low-cost, opex-friendly OTA platforms without large set up costs and revenue-generating VAS solutions that quickly provide a strong ROI then please get in touch by dropping us a message here.