Convergent charging and billing has been gaining momentum in the telecom world lately because it enables common management of all users and all services for operators. It is being driven partly by consolidation within the communications industry, as well as the launch of new multimedia services and the increasing emergence of multiplay service offerings on mobile networks. While creating new revenue growth, convergent charging and billing is also increasing marketing flexibility for operators.
Market research firm Infonetics Research has been gathering data on the charging software built to handle multiple dimensions of convergence, including convergence across payment methods, service types and access networks, along with related consulting, integration and managed services. As a result, the research firm has generated a new report titled “Convergent Charging and Services.” Recent excerpts released from this report indicate that the global convergent charging market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24 percent from 2011 to 2016.
As per the report, the primary drivers for convergent charging revenue growth are an increasing number of subscriber licenses, especially in emerging markets, and intensified operator investment in developed markets, where license costs are less pressured. Also, real-time convergent charging capabilities are critical to shared data plans, as they enable operators to ensure that subscriber credit balances are not exceeded and to place limits on individual plan members, as Verizon Wireless is doing with its Usage Controls service, says the Infonetics report.
In a statement, Shira Levine, directing analyst for service enablement and subscriber intelligence at Infonetics Research, said, “The convergent charging market continues to mature, with tier 1 operators now more aggressively deploying solutions to support new services and pricing models, particularly those embarking on LTE upgrades.”
He further added, “As this occurs and suppliers look to solidify their charging capabilities. We expect to see additional consolidation in the vendor community, such as Redknee’s recent acquisition of Nokia Siemens Networks’ BSS business, as well as ongoing traction for integrated policy/charging solutions that enable operators to introduce consumption-based offerings.”
The study expects Ericsson to take a much larger share of the convergent charging market, given the size of its own and Telcordia’s combined subscriber bases. In addition, the analyst also anticipates Amdocs gaining share as well.
While the primary opportunity for convergent charging lies in mobile networks, there is some activity among wireline operators, mainly in multiservice convergence, says the Infonetics’ study.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey