Mobile users today consume data and take advantage of mobility, broadband and cloud services as never before. The mobile subscriber increasingly has higher expectations as to what the operator can provide, as well as anticipating their future needs. Consumers also want to decide when and where they use a particular service, and to be charged accordingly.
So what makes a consumer choose and stay with a particular operator? Or, put another way, what does an operator need to do to make itself an attractive service provider and be a business success?
This is where Operational Support Systems (OSS) and Business Support Systems (BSS) come in, and where the needs of consumers and operators meet. Ericsson notes that OSS and BSS are designed to ensure that users’ demands are met in a way that fulfils some of the operator’s most important goals.
For example, OSS and BSS enable users to make their own choices, be more in control of their spending and benefit from personalised services and subscriber plans; whilst operators have a complete, end-to-end overview and real-time control of their subscribers, networks, services and the performance of their businesses.
By offering their consumers something they want, operators can build customer and brand loyalty, and attract new subscribers. This works the other way as well. Systems designed to fulfil operator goals also benefit subscribers. For instance, systems that increase operational efficiency by optimising and automating networks support the provision of seamless, trouble-free services for users.
Looking forward to 2017, LTE (Long Term Evolution or 4G) is forecast to be the most important driver for OSS/BSS revenue growth. Smartphones and tablets are driving change in the mobile industry and research firm Informa Telecoms & Media reckons that traditional OSS/BSS will not be adequate to support these new services.
Overall it reckons that OSS/BSS market growth between 2013 and 2017 will be at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.7%; whilst BSS will grow over the same period at a CAGR of 6.9%, and OSS will grow at a CAGR of only 2.2%.
BSS will account for 57.5% of the total OSS/BSS market by 2017, up from 52% in 2013.
The major trends shaping the BSS sector are: transformation, outsourcing and the drive towards centralised BSS. OSS growth will be relatively strong in network management, data collection and presentation, particularly in terms of outsourced-management and software-management tools.
Earlier this year Mind Commerce suggested that consolidated OSS revenue would realise 1.4 times more than BSS through to 2018. It put the combined NGN OSS/BSS market (software revenue) at USD 54.36 billion globally by 2018 with a 13.72% CAGR
From a component perspective, it suggested that the share of service revenues would rise from a little above 40%, to 60% of the total market by 2018.
North America will remain the top revenue generating region with 39% market share and Asia-Pacific will follow with fastest CAGR of 16.82%.
However it believes that an OSS platform shift will be triggered by wearable devices (wearable glasses, smartwatch, etc.) and cloud service medium for BSS. There are five OSS modular markets, namely Network Planning and Engineering (NPE), Fault Management (FM), Performance Management (PM), Provisioning and Service Activation (PSA), Inventory Management (IM), Billing and Customer Care (B&CC), Mediation (MD), and Revenue Assurance (RA). Mind Commerce estimates that PSA will have the highest market share of 33%, but IM will see the fastest growth with a 22.14%.CAGR.