Finally it seems as if the growth of new services is pushing operators to invest in convergent charging systems. A report just published by research house Infonetics puts the figure for 2012 at $1.7 billion. This figure includes services as well as software but at 42 percent growth over the previous year and with further growth expected we can reasonably state that things are looking up.
Looking at the chart, the figure for 2017 stands at around $4 billion. So our piece of the telecoms landscape looks healthy for the next few years. Looking in more detail, it is not surprising (but oddly refreshing) that operators seem finally to be acknowledging that their legacy infrastructure – which must now include the then next generation of table driven system that were installed in the late 90s – cannot support new services.
As Shira Levine of Infonetics says, “New service and payment models such as hybrid accounts, shared data plans, content packages, and location-based pricing all represent ways for operators to differentiate themselves,” but the legacy systems get in the way.
This certainly backs up other research that suggests that operators acknowledge that billing is in the way of innovation. A recent survey sponsored by Openet revealed that while 80 percent of operators understand that they need to implement real time charging for their post paid customers only 10 percent actually have the capability to do it.
What is encouraging about the figures in the Infonetics report is that we may be at the end of ‘talking the talk’ and the beginning of the ‘walking the walk.’ Let us hope so, if operators do not join the party and play in the real time world, there will be casualties.