Industry Thought Leadership

5G and IoT Use Cases are to Disrupt Wholesale Roaming Billing

June, 2023
Elke Reis
Senior Emerging Product Specialist


Today’s next generations of technologies are revolutionizing not just the mobile industry itself, but also how the mobile industry enables others to grow as well, at an equally rapid pace. Wholesale billing and settlement is clearly no exception. The explosion in use cases and business models dictates the need for evolution in wholesale roaming monetization. Designed with the future in mind, GSMA’s new Billing & Charging Evolution standard (BCE) introduces a new level of flexibility to wholesale charging and settlement models. BCE also enables usage to be reconciled, leading to more accuracy in invoicing, reduction in billing disputes and hence faster settlement.

The GSMA’s BCE standard is a more flexible model capable of efficiently supporting the large amounts of billing and charging activities that 5G and IoT introduce into the mobile ecosystem.

Prior to GSMA’s development of BCE, clearing and settlement with Transferred Account Procedure (TAP) had proved itself as a successful standard, specifically for wholesale and retail billing of roaming, largely thanks to its widespread adoption. For years, TAP—Transferred Account Procedures—had been the only standard for wholesale roaming and billing settlement. TAP was originally designed to support Voice and SMS and was well-suited for handling simple billing scenarios for mobile data usage. However, with the emergence of 5G standalone and IoT, combined with the increased importance of mobile data and usage of online charging methods, the TAP standard no longer accommodates the emerging billing requirements and evolving use cases, leading to operational overhead in wholesale and finance departments from manual and fault sensitive processes.

Addressing the arrival of emerging networks such as 5G and IoT, along with their use cases and new business models, Syniverse has leveraged its heritage and expertise in clearing and settlement to ensure any Mobile Network Operator (MNO) can implement the commercial models that drive profitable growth.

BCE will eventually replace TAP as the industry’s standard for wholesale roaming billing and charging and by embracing the BCE standard, operators position themselves to leverage the full potential of IoT, 5G standalone, and the revenue-generating services they provide.

With Universal Commerce for BCE Syniverse helps operators redefine their wholesale roaming approach in terms of how they invoice partners, clear and settle data, and facilitate financial transactions more efficiently and without friction. To that end, we’re assisting MNO's and businesses in their paths to digitalize their current manual or labor-intensive processes by offering automation, security, immutability in the workflow through a new, future proof, modular solution.

A few questions Mobile Network Operators should ask themselves to determine the urgency of their wholesale billing transition:

  1. Are you offering IoT solutions in your home market and/or abroad?
  2. Will you be shutting down legacy 2G and 3G networks and start offering VoLTE and 5G roaming services?
  3. Do you struggle to automate the commercial wholesale models needed to support your enterprise and wholesale business commercial needs?

A single “Yes” answer to any of these three questions is a good indicator that a wholesale billing transformation is inevitable.

At Syniverse, we know changes to industry standards can be disruptive to daily operations at MNOs, but the good news is that the gain will eventually be bigger than the pain. The BCE standard is a significant development, and its adoption by MNOs will help improve interoperability, transparency, and innovation. While the process of becoming compliant with the BCE standard may be challenging for some, its implementation is essential to unlock growth from new services, remain competitive and monetize adequately.

Understanding new formats and processes can be overwhelming. That’s why we provide dedicated BCE solution design sessions to help MNO’s get a clear view on implementing BCE.

Reach out to Syniverse and request an assessment and we’ll help you shape a solution that best fits your preferences and capabilities. Your readiness to adopt BCE is vital to the future of your roaming business and readiness is made easy with Syniverse.

About the author
Elke Reis (Senior Emerging Product Specialist)
Elke Reis is a senior emerging product specialist at Syniverse, the global leader of telecommunication and information technology solutions. She has over 18 years of experience in leading innovative clearing and settlement solutions in the wholesale roaming industry, with vast expertise in customer success and product portfolios comprising wholesale financial clearing and settlement software solutions.
She currently serves as senior emerging product specialist in Syniverse’s new business development group, where she focuses on the company’s emerging product areas, such as Carrier Messaging Hub, Universal Commerce, and IoT Clearing and Settlement. She is based in Luxembourg and has a passion for leading customer solutions. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and fine arts