IVR Systems: Mobile Operators Gain Edge with Joined Account Rating for Multiple Mobile Devices
June 15, 2011
By Linda Dobel
, TMCnet Contributor
It has become almost the norm today for consumers to rely on multiple mobile data-usage devices, such as smartphones, tablets and USBs. Having these devices and the “anywhere Internet access” they provide has proven to be so beneficial to users that some claim they don’t know how they would exist without them. Still, like anything else, there is a drawback, one that owners of multiple mobile devices are not too shy to complain about: “bill shock” resulting from not managing data usage on the separate devices and the charges that ensue.
Savvy mobile service operators are discovering there is a way to eliminate bill shock for their customers and in doing so, position themselves “one-up” on the competition. The concept is known as data sharing. A well-known software company that is dedicated to developing high-performance communications solutions for enterprises and operators worldwide named Interact Incorporated (News - Alert) has devised a data sharing plan called Invigorate Real-Time Rating and Billing Platform Joined Accounts Rating that allows mobile operators to offer subscribers a service plan for all of their data-using devices that joins the devices under one account.
Using Interact Incorporated’s real-time billing and rating platform, mobile operators can rate voice, data and content in real-time in a prepaid, post-paid or convergent network.
Mobile operators that offer their subscribers the Joined Accounts Rating data-sharing plan are actually giving subscribers control over the management of their data usage, while not requiring them to do the work necessary to perform that management. To boot, it also provides them a simplified bill-payment system.
To understand how it works, mobile operators should take a look at a group of hypothetical customers. Assume that those customers typically purchase a data plan for their smartphone devices, say 5GB of data for $60 per month. Now, say those customers also have tablets and USB broadband devices for which they will also be receiving separate bills for data usage. If those customers’ mobile operator allows them to have device sharing, those customers can add their tablets and USB mobile devices for an additional $8 per device and have the ability to share the 5GB of data usage they purchased for their smartphone among all three devices. In addition, they will receive only one consolidated bill for data usage on all three of the mobile devices.
As the users consume data on the devices, their usage is checked by the mobile operator. So, say hypothetical Customer A has consumed 2GB on his smartphone, 1GB on his tablet and 1.5GB on his mobile broadband device so far this month, the mobile operator will send him a message telling him that he has only 10 percent of data usage left on his plan for the month and show him the balance. If he continues to consume data, the mobile operator will send him a notice to inform him that he has expended his data-usage and tell that he will begin incurring additional charges unless he ups his account.
Voila! The mobile operator has become a valued partner with the customer because it has taken away the nastiness of data-usage bill shock and by consolidating the three data-usage bills also made the customer’s bill-paying chore easier and more efficient. It’s a win-win: the customer is happy and the mobile operator has gained a more loyal customer.
In other news, TMCnet reported, “Security threats to mobile devices increase but only 4 percent of smartphones and tablets are protected with security software, according to a study by Juniper Research (News - Alert) (News - Alert).”Linda Dobel is a TMCnet Contributor. She has been an editor in the contact center space for more than 25 years, and has the distinction of being the founding editor of Customer Inter@ction Solutions (CIS) magazine. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Juliana Kenny