Someone once said that ‘it all comes back to billing’. That someone was the CEO of a new entrant into the North American wireless market. While billing has now broadened in scope, it still holds true. Now you might say ‘it all comes back to Smart Charging and Payments’.
The ETIS Smart Charging and Payments Group (SC&P) meeting on 11 and 12 May in Reading will prove this once again. The Group has been reaching out to other groups within ETIS, notably the Procurement Group and the Innovation Group, and part of the meeting is about how SC&P can support innovation and streamline the procurement process, which can – as everyone knows – be frustrating.
Led by executives from KPN and Deutsche Telekom, the meeting will discuss members’ current billing and charging challenges, focus on KPIs and benchmarking and hear some of the latest innovations in the industry.
Two important areas for discussion will focus on two highly topical issues.
The first is the imminent introduction of free data roaming across Europe and the other is zero rating and the opportunities it brings.
There has been a lot of discussion (and a lot of delay) over the introduction of free roaming but it is now a reality and will become the rule in the summer of this year. Some argue that it will be the death of innovation as it will strangle investment by operators. Others will argue that it is exactly what is needed to encourage more innovation.
Whatever your view, and many will be expressed, charging and billing executives need to understand the implications for their systems and processes. After this session, they will.
The other issue that is widely discussed at the moment is zero rating. It, too, brings out different views. Again, some say that it stifles the true value and openness of the internet. Others say that it is crucial for innovation to thrive, and a way for operators to truly partner with digital service providers to deliver services and products that are relevant to customers.
Martin Morgan of Openet, a long-time supporter of ETIS, has been collecting examples of how operators are using zero rating to offer innovative services and he will present the most compelling of these at the meeting.
There are many reasons to attend ETIS meetings, not least the atmosphere of open discussion and focus on real challenges and opportunities. This meeting will not disappoint – and if you are an operator within reach of Reading, please contact me and you will be more than welcome to attend as our guest.
Read this related article for contact details.