Bart Dijkman, AMS telecos billing expert is available for interview from 26 July
Non-standard infrastructures, constant regulatory and competitive pressures are to blame, says AMS
American Management Systems (AMS), the international business and information technology consulting firm, today launches a European initiative to address the complexities of telecoms roaming. Earlier this month, nine UK and German operators were raided by the European Commission during a mass probe into overcharging in roaming. The key premise behind the raids is that operators within a group are colluding to fix roaming prices. AMS asserts that the high costs of offering roaming services across non-standard platforms, constant regulatory changes and reliance on broker services are the barriers to lower prices.
Bart Dijkman, billing expert at AMS, contends that the wide variety of roaming business support systems and processes across a group of affiliated operators inhibits the group from leveraging its larger footprint to drive down tariffs. “We see operators incur high costs by following individual approaches, ranging from in-house development to waiting for COTS roaming modules. Delays drive operators into the arms of expensive clearinghouses. The result is a non-competitive patchwork of solutions, which makes implementing pan-European tariffs cumbersome, does not provide for the transparency required by the Commission and lacks the flexibility to implement advanced roaming plans.”
Mr. Dijkman asserts that the solution is for operators to employ a global approach to managing their roaming business. "Roaming is where the integration between operators matters most. A common roaming billing platform across all subsidiary companies will help operators roll out new services more quickly, so improving operations and profitability. Given the regulator's aim to unleash fiercer competition within the roaming market, a platform that allows companies to operate efficiently and flexibly will be critical to their success."
AMS has worked with a number of European operators to increase the efficiency of their roaming processes and systems. The company helped Airtel of Spain to become one of the world's first TAP3 compliant operators and AMS's own TAP3 compliant roaming system, INTransit, is implemented at Amena, a GSM1800 operator in Spain. The platform improves operators' cash flow and operating efficiencies by standardising processes and by enabling faster, more accurate exchange of roaming data. It also provides real-time access to customer behaviour and billing information to give operators additional competitive advantage. Most importantly, the comprehensive system unlocks the enormous potential of offering roaming for 2.5G, 3G and value-added services and of providing a robust roaming solution for the large prepaid market.
AMS is an international business and information technology consulting firm that helps clients create value by increasing revenues and market share and decreasing costs. The firm combines analytical, business process and technology skills with deep industry expertise to provide leading edge solutions that deliver competitive advantage to clients.
Founded in 1970, AMS is headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, with 8,750 employees and 51 offices worldwide. European headquarters are in The Hague, The Netherlands, and AMS has staff and offices in 11 European countries.
AMS reported 2000 revenues of $1.28 billion. The firm is traded on Nasdaq under the symbol AMSY. AMS can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.ams.com
1. COTS: Commercial Off The Shelf - Ready made products that can be easily obtained
2. TAP 3: Transfer Account Procedure - Systems of this standard are needed to allow operators to bill for 3G and GPRS services
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