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  1. 1. MOBILE ROAMING IMPERATIVES (BUSINESS CASE) By Nnamdi Nwokike Executive Secretary West Africa Telecommunications Regulators Assembly (WATRA) 12 TH July 2007
  2. 2. OUTLINE <ul><li>Introductions - WATRA </li></ul><ul><li>Roaming Definitions </li></ul><ul><li>Types of Roaming </li></ul><ul><li>Rationale for Roaming </li></ul><ul><li>Pricing and Billing </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges Of Roaming </li></ul><ul><li>Vital Statistics </li></ul>
  3. 3. WATRA …. WHO WE ARE? <ul><li>The West Africa Telecommunications Regulators Assembly (WATRA) was established in November 2004.Its current membership is fourteen(14) countries with headquarters located in Abuja,Nigeria.WATRA consist of independent National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) and departments for regulation of Telecommunications services established by government of member states in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sub-region and Mauritania. </li></ul><ul><li>Our Membership comprises of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone. </li></ul><ul><li>WATRA was born out of the need to address present realities in the telecommunications industry in the sub-region while focusing on the need for West Africa to evolve a harmonised regulatory identity to boost investment and investors-confidence and to more effectively regulate and monitor telecommunications services </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>OUR ROLE </li></ul><ul><li>WATRA’s primary aim is to foster liberalisation and competition through the establishment of modern legal and regulatory structures for telecommunication delivery in West Africa towards a common, verile common Telecommunications market. </li></ul><ul><li>OUR MISSION </li></ul><ul><li>To promote rapid and even development of Telecommunications in West Africa towards attaining globally competitive standards while facilitating accelerated development of Telecommunications infrastructure and provision of services at affordable rates in the sub-region and encourage standardisation and harmonisation of policy, legal and regulatory framework. </li></ul><ul><li>OUR VISION </li></ul><ul><li>An ICT enabled sub-region with Telecommunications service delivery of international standards available to all at affordable prices. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>PARTNERSHIP </li></ul><ul><li>WATRA partners are International development organizations, Private telecoms operators, Governments, ICT equipment manufacturers, ICT equipment vendors and Industry stakeholders. </li></ul><ul><li>SERVICES TO MEMBERS </li></ul><ul><li>Organize and Coordinate Telecommunications Exhibitions and Forums. </li></ul><ul><li>Organize and Coordinate Telecommunications Strategy and Policy development workshops and Forums. </li></ul><ul><li>Organize and coordinate Capacity Building Intervention Programs for Telecommunication Agencies. </li></ul><ul><li>Research and Publish key industry index while benchmarking data from matured markets </li></ul>
  6. 6. What is Roaming? Roaming is a general term in wireless telecommunications that refers to the extending of connectivity service in a location that is different from the home location where the service was registered. The term ‘’roaming ‘’ originates from GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications Association) Roaming is also a GSM option that allows subscribers to use networks other than their own, effectively enlarging the service zone, from the use’s point of view. it allows the customer ( the ‘’Roamer’’) in the ‘’visited ‘’ network to seamlessly continue making and receiving calls, transmitting or receiving data, and using other premium services (text messages, GPRS services, etc.) while keeping the same number. Roaming is the ability for a mobile customer to use their own handset to make or receive voice calls, send and receive data, or access other services when traveling outside the geographical coverage area of their home network. Source: WIKIPEDIA
  7. 7. Types of Roaming <ul><li>International roaming </li></ul><ul><li>National roaming </li></ul><ul><li>Regional roaming </li></ul><ul><li>Inter-Standards roaming </li></ul>
  8. 8. International Roaming: This type of roaming refers to the ability to move to a Foreign Service provider’s network. It is, more interesting to international tourists and business travelers. International roaming is easiest using the GSM standard, as it is by over 80% of the world’s mobile operators. However, there may be problems, since countries have allocated different frequency band for GSM communications (there are two groups of countries: most GSM countries use 900/1800 MHz): but the United States and some other countries in the Americas have allocated 850/1900 MHz): for a phone to work in a country with a different frequency allocation, it must support one or both of that country’s frequencies, and thus be tri or quad band. National Roaming This type of roaming refers to the ability to move from one mobile operator to another in the same country. For example, a subscriber of MTN is allowed to roam on Celtel’s service. For commercial and license reasons, this type of roaming is not allowed unless under very specific circumstances and under regulatory scrutiny. This has often taken place when a new company is assigned a mobile telephony license, to create a more competitive market by allowing the new entrant to offer coverage comparable to that of established operators (by requiring the existing operators to allow roaming while the new entrant has time to build up its own network). In a country like India, where the number of regional operators is high and the country is divided into circles , this type of roaming is altogether too common
  9. 9. Regional Roaming This type of roaming refers to the ability of a subscriber to move from one region to another inside regional coverage of the mobile operator. Initially, operators may have provided commercial offers restricted to a region (sometimes to a town). Due to the success of GSM and the decrease in cost, regional roaming is highly desirable in for example the WATRA region, southern Africa, East Africa, Internet Roaming This is made possible by ISPs who have co-operative agreements to grant each other customer's local access to the internet using special software. The software allows cooperating ISPs to keep track of and calculate pre arranged payments for usage differences. Inter-Standards This type of roaming refers to the ability to move seamlessly between mobile Networks of different technologies. For example, from GSM to CDMA under a 3G Platform.
  10. 10. Rationale For Roaming <ul><li>Convenience </li></ul><ul><li>Customer Service </li></ul><ul><li>Revenue generation </li></ul><ul><li>Wider Coverage </li></ul>
  11. 11. Pricing <ul><li>Roaming prices depend on 3 things: home </li></ul><ul><li>network, visited network and call destination </li></ul><ul><li>Pricing issues still complex but improving </li></ul><ul><li>Single rate zone based roaming tariffs </li></ul><ul><li>Fixed per minute fees for all calls </li></ul><ul><li>Flat tariffs with unlimited incoming calls </li></ul>
  12. 12. Challenges… <ul><li>Billing </li></ul><ul><li>Network Capacity </li></ul><ul><li>Unbundling of Network elements </li></ul><ul><li>Creating different tiers and opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Unified Regulation </li></ul><ul><li>Gateway Issues </li></ul>
  13. 13. Vital Statistics –EU case study <ul><li>Population 467 million </li></ul><ul><li># of mobile subscribers 439 million </li></ul><ul><li># of subscribers who roam 147 million </li></ul><ul><li>Percentage of business roamers 25% </li></ul><ul><li>Percentage of leisure roamers 8% </li></ul><ul><li>Amount spent on roaming calls (2005) 5 billion Euros </li></ul><ul><li>Wholesale payments exchanged by operators(2005) 3.5 billion Euros </li></ul><ul><li>Others: </li></ul><ul><li>There are over 2.5 billion GSM and 3G subscribers globally </li></ul><ul><li>50,000 new GSM connections are made globally every hour </li></ul>source: GSMA
  14. 14. MUST KNOW… <ul><li>SAT-3 workshop 10 th -11 th Sept. 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>1 st WATRA/ECOWAS Mobile Roaming Conference & Exhibitions 12 th – 14 th Sept. 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Venue: ECOWAS Commission Abuja </li></ul><ul><li>WATCH OUT FOR DETAILS </li></ul>
  15. 15. Thank You For Listening

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