We’ve speculated many times that all billing ultimately will move to real time. It makes sense when you consider factors like pre-paid/post-paid convergence; increasing demand for account and spend controls; more on-demand services that utilise real-time triggers and transaction capabilities; and expanding applications for real-time notifications. The shift from traditional billing architectures to any new architecture can be viewed as painful but there is a huge upside to be had moving towards a real-time billing environment.
Mobile data is now driving real-time requirements because of the risks associated with failing to measure, notify, and charge for data services as they are consumed faster and faster. Standards like IMS and 3GPP have also introduced more real-time concepts as policy control, enforcement, and charging become essential to delivering application-based services that respond immediately to taps on a touch screen.
Technical considerations aside, what’s really driving the development of new real-time technologies, however, are the experiences that consumers gain from sectors outside of telecom. If we look at what’s happening in the online, over-the-top, e-commerce, and pay TV environments, we see that the successful players are using communications technology to drive group-oriented social interactions that translate into more revenue and more lasting relationships.
What does this mean in practical terms? It means that if I’ve built up a heck of a lot of credits in a game, or rewards points from jumping through the right hoops, I’m starting to be able to share them with – or gift them to – my friends and family members. It means that instead of asking my buddies to fill out a referral form or remember my arcane customer ID when they subscribe to a new pay TV service, they can do something simpler, like serve up my Twitter handle so we both get rewarded.
It also means I can buy a friend a drink; send my cousin a micro-loan; gift some video-on-demand coupons; or use my miles to fly my brother to Las Vegas for a weekend. And I’m starting to be able to do all of that through my mobile phone. So why doesn’t my operator allow me to do the same kinds of things with my mobile services?
Want to send the rest of your data allotment to your girlfriend right at the end of the month so she can download that new movie she wants to see? Real time is your cupid’s arrow.
Want to meet up with friends to catch a ball game at a local venue? Group text, real-time notification, group share of rewards points, and group payments – all executed through real-time infrastructure.
Want to get all of your neighbors in on a “while supplies last” reserve wine promotion and throw a summer block party? Real-time can do everything but pull the corks.
Want to get paid in points, miles, or cash for those 900 of 1000 Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram friends you only kind-of know, but who take up a travel offer because you recommended it? Real-time is friend 1001.
Ultimately, this is the upside of moving to a real-time environment.
Read more of the MATRIXX Software blog at blog.matrixxsw.com
To speak to Matrixx head to stand 33 on the exhibition floor at the LTE Asia conference, taking place on the 18th-19th September 2013 at the Suntec, Singapore. Click here to download a brochure for the event.