Defending Revenue with Network Initiated Collect SMS
Robust revenue augmentation solution in the hands of the operator
With new mobile technologies leading the digital evolution, both in their own right, as well as transforming the way other industries connect and innovate, it is fundamental not forget the technologies we have grown to know and love – e.g. SMS & MMS and how we can leverage these further to get more form the network generate new revenue streams and boost customer satisfaction. This is particularly relevant in emerging markets where, traditional technology usage is still rife, with no signs of waning....
Today mobile growth continues to shift from the traditional revenue streams, of voice and text, towards data, while at the same time seeing revenue slow down. Operators across the globe face an increasingly common set of challenges, in particular rising competitive pressures from OTT’s. This paired with the pressure to lay down significant capital investment in new IP networks with superior coverage, makes the need for smarter network investment and further exploitation of current services, all the more important.
In line with this, in the advent of the evolution of social networking, enhancing the end user experience is essential in securing a greater cut of the 7.1 billion SIM connections that are live globally. As world trends shift and consumer needs change, so do the opportunities, and operators need to be able to respond, and fast.
There’s still huge growth potential in monetizing SMS services, especially in emerging markets as more and more individuals overcome cost barriers with more flexible pre-pay tariffs. In developing countries, for example, pre-pay tariffs are chosen by the overwhelming majority of mobile subscribers, and provide the opportunity to stay in touch. However, how do these users continue to communicate during low or out of periods?
Taking all this into account, Xura has launched a Network Initiated Collect SMS service. Completely unique to the market, Network Initiated Collect SMS builds on the success of Xura’s award-winning Collect SMS solution and is underpinned by Xura’s MCO spam and fraud filtering, positioning this a secure, industry-leading product at the forefront of SMS innovation. This secure service provides the operator with a new innovative SMS service to ensure continued text usage, with 360-degree control to effectively address conditions within their network, eliminating unsolicited traffic and enhancing end-user experience.
Xura’s Low Credit Services give operators the ability to offer this type of service, which gives its pre-pay customers a means to continue to communicate in a simple effective way, even when their credit is low or out. For example, Xura’s Collect SMS service makes it possible for people to request a message recipient to accept the cost of an SMS. If the proposed recipient agrees, then the message can be sent, satisfying both users, as well as the network operator, who earns money. As part of Xura’s Monetization portfolio, these types of services currently generate more than $100m annually for its operators through monetizing the ‘no credit’ gap. As the winner of the ‘Best Emerging Market Product’ at the World Vendor Awards 2012, Xura’s award-winning Collect SMS service has been providing a win-win solution for both operators and mobile users for years, by giving users a chance to stay connected and operators a new source of incremental revenue. With its latest offering, Network Initiated Collect SMS, Xura continues to define the future of mobile and collect services.
The monetizable opportunities of Network Initiated Collect SMS are immediately alluring to operators. By tapping into this “niche” opportunity, Xura are able to “defend” operator revenue by reinventing their legacy services of SMS. With minimum investment, Network Initiated Collect SMS, provides a service that when credit is low or out, the network triggers a reminder to the customer stating they can still send messages through the Collect SMS service. To date, Xura are helping to successfully reduce the 45 Million monthly SMS delivery failures from insufficient balance, boosting customer loyalty with the potential of recovering an annual revenue loss of $4,536,000 in additional chargeable SMS traffic which would have otherwise been unprocurable.
Here’s more detail on how it works
Most prepaid subscribers experience a zero balance at some point. When out of prepay credit, Network Initiated Collect SMS, allows the operator to directly notify customers they are out of credit and offer them an immediate solution by asking if they want to use Collect SMS. Once initiated, the original intended receiver is then notified of a Collect SMS and can opt to pay for it. Large numbers of undelivered SMS messages from prepaid senders are due to insufficient balance and attempted SMS’s from out-of-credit customers reach carriers’ infrastructure but do not get delivered. These messages can therefore not be monetised with a Network Initiated Collect Service. Network Initiated Collect SMS, identifies the barriers and potential in periods of no-credit, providing a collaborative experience between operator and customer, whilst securing chargeable SMS traffic.
As the winner of the ‘Best Emerging Market Product’ at the World Vendor Awards 2012 for Acision’s Collect SMS service, Network Initiated Collect SMS builds on a service that already differentiates itself from comparable solutions. With a quick go-to-market strategy taking advantage of an already winning service, Network Initiated Collect SMS, makes for an enticing prospect, putting this truly robust revenue augmentation solution directly in the hands of the operator, and a means to continue communication for the user.
The user-friendly services are activated by the network meaning no customer activation is required or the need to install an app. Not only does it enable customers to continue to communicate when funds aren’t available but it increases customer loyalty and can secure additional revenues for mobile operators through a simple, transparent, high-value service. By lifting existing credit restrictions for mobile users, Collect SMS ensures users can always stay in touch.
Collect SMS is also the perfect emergency communications channel allowing critical communications to get through when they are needed most. The scope of this encompasses benefits from the day-to-day comfort of teenagers reaching their parents or improving the quality and number of connections with an elderly relative, to more distressing incidents such as natural disasters.
Built from the ground-up, Network Initiated Collect SMS is tailored for individual operators, to provide differentiation in the market and are underpinned by Xura’s unique messaging portfolio.
For example, by utilising Xura’s Message Controller as part of the deployment, operators can deploy selective service triggering, introducing a rule and keyword filter, which protects subscribers from SPAM. By proactively installing anti-spam integration, the network is able to ensure they are preserving user experience. Any SPAM Collect SMS requests received by a targeted contact would undermine the service offering and significantly affect customer confidence, therefore reducing their desire to accept charges from authentic Collect SMS requests from their friends or family.
With the mobile social and digital landscape evolving at such an astonishing rate, and the desire for rich communications, behaviours are rapidly changing to an increased appetite for sharing, the potential for Network Initiated Collect SMS is enormous. Xura are in the R&D stages of planning next steps extending the service to MMS, as well as, an International Network Initiated Collect SMS service to enable communication with other operators cross-region.
To keep empowering people and society with communications solutions, we need to continue to collaborate within the ecosystem to unleash the potential in delivering even better solutions in the future. As a premier player in its space, Xura can’t wait to be at the table to shape what happens next.
To learn more or speak with a specialist, contact us here.
 The GSMA forecasts revenue growth of 2.9% per annum out to 2020, against over 5% in the previous five years.
 IAB Research March 2015