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August 2013

Special Report: Wholesale Systems for Advanced Services

Special Report: Wholesale Systems for Advanced Services

Dear Colleague:

In my day, I’ve researched and authored more than a few analyst reports on the billing market, but I never looked at the Interconnect and Settlements area in any depth because it was a relatively small market and so specialized and complex.

So this is why I was delighted to get a call from Subex asking me to conduct an independent survey and report on the changes coming to telecom wholesale systems as a result of advanced services.

Plenty of technology and market changes are going to disrupt the telecom wholesale market:

  • Advanced telecom services, such as LTE, IPX, HD voice, and Carrier Ethernet services require enormous planning and pricing dexterity as they come into the wholesale mix;
  • A flood of new partners has entered the delivery stream in content, cloud, and machine to machine (M2M) services — often bringing with them innovative, multi-party contracts that stretch a wholesaler’s settlement dexterity to the max; and,
  • Fast execution — that’s going to be vital in this new world as time-to-market, profit assurance, and managing credit risks all rise in importance.
Wholesale Systems Report

Now the typical wholesaler-to-partner relationship of the past has been quite formal and business-like — often adversarial.  The reason?  The wholesaler was largely in control of the relationship because the partner’s choice of wholesale suppliers was rather limited.

Yet now that advanced services have arrived, the wholesaler/partner relationship has been flipped on its head.  Today, it’s often the partner or reseller who has the stronger negotiating hand thanks to some dramatic industry developments:

  • The Commoditization of Voice -- Thee impact of Skype, VoIP Providers, and mobile competition is turning voice into a low margin, high volume service.
  • Real-Time, Policy Driven Call Routing -- Advances in least cost and optimal routing techniques allow a partner to implement a very granular routing plan and efficiently manage dozens of wholesalers, not just a few.
  • Efficient Trading Systems -- Partners also have highly automated trading systems today which enable them to collect and organize new tariff schedules from wholesalers with the click of a mouse.
  • Network Federation to Partners -- Telecoms used to be a business of great vertical integration.  Today, the only prudent way to offer a “full-service” capability is to lease the facilities, content, or services of other providers.  So the wisest players know when to own and when to partner.

So these are some the issues explored  in this survey report entitled, Wholesale Systems for Advanced Services, which you can download from the Subex website for free.  The report is 19 pages long, but I think you’ll find it an easy read — there are many charts and figures to scan.

I would like to thank Subex and the Global Settlements Carrier Group (GSC) and its members for contributing their expertise and thinking to this research.

Hope you find the report interesting and profitable reading.

Copyright 2013 Telexchange Journal

 

About the Experts

Dan Baker

Dan Baker

Dan Baker is research director of Technology Research Institute (TRI) and editor of the on-line magazines Black Swan Telecom Journal, Top Operator Journal and Telexchange Journal.

Baker is author of the 2015 TRI report, Telecom Fraud Management Services, Software & Strategies, featuring commentary by 14 domain experts.   Contact Dan via

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