When M2M driven connected cars directly interact with parking service providers and hospitals deliver medical reports directly to customers, such complex M2M scenario will have to be dealt with next-gen M2M Billing infrastructure.
Innovation will play a key role in terms of helping telecom operators achieve greater level of growth and creating market differentiation. And Machine to Machine communication is one segment which can allow operators to innovate and drive the next generation growth for operators.
Machine to Machine (M2M) implies; communication between both wireless and wired devices to communicate with other devices of the same type through sensors, without any human intervention by transmitting or receiving data remotely over a network.
In such a M2M scenario, individuals as well as enterprise may use a number of different devices such as smartphones, tablets, and other consumer electronics with sensors in order to experience real-time and compelling new age services and ubiquitous Internet access delivered via mobile networks. Billing these M2M services becomes quite complex as it may involve handling multiple set of applications in real-time. This forms the basic building block for M2M Billing solutions.
In a M2M scenario, a transaction is created that must be part of a structured business model that takes all related parties into consideration, and it must be billable, no matter how small it is; in domains such as health, automotive, consumer electronics through remote monitoring and control using automated exchange of data, even in real-time.
Challenges in M2M Billing
According to GSM Association; M2M market size at $1.2tn revenue with 12 billion connected mobile devices by 2020. Even though there is huge growth being predicted, still there are a number of challenges that needs to be addressed.
- How to build a flexible support for pricing of recurring & usage based fees to differentiate their services
- Do current billing systems provide the required high levels of automation across the full process spectrum
- How can service providers build scale into this fragmented market
- What is the most effective architecture to support high volume, low value communications
- How to ensure complex partner settlement & prevent revenue leakage
- How to increase ARPU – Extremely Low ARPU due to low value connections
- How to ensure that the platform supports Multi Industry Billing & multi party reseller settlements. i.e. – handle settlements & commission for global, complex value chains
The Road Ahead
As M2M gains on popularity the billing platforms will have to evolve and offer a mature support for this new breed of machine driven business model.
It is quite important for CSPs to incorporate the below components in next gen M2M Billing:
- A highly flexible and scalable Policy Control and Charging engine for flexible plans based on features such as transactions, connections, devices, time of day, location, applications, or data usage.
- Flexible product catalog with multiple product hierarchy support targeting various industry segments like Transportation, Security, Entertainment, Smart Grids and other utilities.
- Partner Settlement and Agreement Management Platform.
- Scalable and Efficient Provisioning System.
- Real-time billing for managing account balance, volume-based discounts, and time-based charging. To know more Click Here