For the telecom industry, service reliability, customer support, service interaction quality, and network availability are primary determinants of customer satisfaction. Roaming testing enables telcos to objectively assess the performance of the data traffic across the telecom networks involved in the exchange process.
Telecom service engineers execute a series of standardized tests, mimicking real-world user journeys for validating network experience and billing scenarios across all the supported roaming zones. Today, telecom companies increasingly focus on delivering the optimal experience to their roaming customers. Ensuring this helps them expand their customer base and add new value to their subscriber relationships.
Why has roaming testing increased in importance today?
The key reasons why roaming quality tests have become more popular include the following—
1. Customer expectations
Post the pandemic, consumers have returned to their travel mode again. be it for work, vacations, celebrations, or others, people are traveling across global locations and wish to stay connected. This has rapidly driven the demand for high-quality roaming voice and data among users. Telcos are increasingly investing in effective telecom testing solutions for testing user experience across inbound and outbound roaming and home networks today to offer wide access to good quality networks and ensure complete customer satisfaction.
2. Operator's necessity
With time, the telco industry has moved beyond its legacy technology. The operators look forward to utilizing the 5G spectrum optimally. With massive competition in the market, it is imperative that each company ensures to offer flawless network qualities to its customers and helps them stay connected.
3. Telecom revenue
Roaming rate reductions hinder telecom revenues as well. Failures to comply with current rates or roll-outs of rate changes often lead to revenue loss due to customers backing out, federal fines, and costly billing refunds. Additionally, real or perceived issues in upstreaming, downstreaming, billing at home or abroad, or QoS often impact customer retention. Roaming testing has enabled telcos to manage their roaming quality and ensure customer loyalty efficiently.
4. Offering the right context
Real-time visibility helps operators empower subscribers by offering them control over their roaming usage. For instance, subscribers can seamlessly set usage thresholds for their data, receive alerts against usage limits, and much more. Additionally, operators can reduce the threat of shock and drive incremental revenue from subscribers who purchase additional top-up data packages, ensuring a good customer experience.
Moreover, contextual subscriber data provides new revenue opportunities for operators through partnerships with several third-party and over-the-top service providers.
How has the approach of roaming testing transformed?
As mobile subscribers continue to travel across the globe, their reliance on roaming partners for reliable network services increases. In order to ensure superior international coverage, mobile operators require in-depth visibility into the customer experience across their entire roaming partners' networks. Thus, mobile network operators need effective roaming testing solutions to obtain crucial recommendations for improving customer experience.
Several prominent MNOs have depended on static testing to evaluate roaming functionalities for many years. These static solutions often validate connectivity, but testing with a box that is not a real mobile device doesn't help to truly emulate the real-world roaming behavior. Hence, multiple MNOs have focused on shifting towards real-world roaming performance testing to efficiently replicate a customer's true roaming experience and optimize telco’s user experience.
How roaming testing is allowing telcos to improve their workflows while achieving cost-efficiency?
In most scenarios, roaming testing helps telecoms achieve the following —
● Ensuring high service availability
Signaling interworking enables multiple networks to interoperate and communicate among themselves, allowing users to make calls seamlessly and transmit data between networks with minimal or no disruption. The heightening amount of signaling load and complexity owing to the high traffic and service types can often impact the overall Quality of Service (QoS).
Roaming testing aims to guarantee that every roaming participant adheres to the industry service availability standards across each connectivity channel, including voice, SMS, and data roaming.
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● Preparing a roaming service for commercial launch
Every brand that is entering a new roaming agreement or is launching an innovative product like an eSIM for traveling needs to ensure that the product is ready for the market. This indicates that the company must meet both local and roaming requirements and regulations, international standards, industry-wide interconnect standards and customer requirements. Simultaneously, telcos need to ensure that data transmissions are secure and protect themselves from multiple SMS, voice, and other frauds.
● Supporting services compatibility
Roaming testing is often complex as it expands across domestic and visited networks. This consequently increases the number of nodes that are involved in the interconnect process and thereby multiplies the number of potential points of failures. Often, roaming issues crop up due to different standards that are applied to voice, SMS, and data transmissions. Similarly, there might be an incompatibility in supported functionalities. Holistic roaming testing enables organizations to locate these issues and ensure proper standard implementation across partners.
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● Ensuring right billing
Suitable compensation is ensured by accurate exchanges of call details records in TAP files and usage data reports in the Billing and Charging Evolution (BCE) flow for IoT traffic with roaming partners.
Before services launch, telcos need to verify billing systems interconnections that involve validating TAP flow or/and BCE flow. This helps to ensure that the revenue collection and application of the agreed roaming discounts and deals are appropriate.
How does HeadSpin help telcos to ensure delivering flawless roaming performances?
HeadSpin's data-driven Telecom App testing Solution helps leading telcos to monitor and improve 5G user experience, test data and messaging services, validate device compatibility and much more to ensure perfect customer experiences.
HeadSpin takes testing for telecom one step ahead by allowing to monitor roaming performance client experience efficiently—both inbound and outbound. Telcos can seamlessly execute field and drive testing by enabling companies to evaluate local and international roaming experiences, testing cellular handoffs, and obtaining insights into base station quality and performance.
The advanced data-driven capabilities of HeadSpin allow telcos to:
- Test network for real-world scenarios
- Test core services, including calling, P2P, 911, Skype, and messaging
- Remotely test 5G network sites for quick scaling
- Evaluate open RAN
- Evaluate 5G edge with MEC partners
- Test private RAN for automotive partners
The key AI testing capabilities of HeadSpin help telcos ensure perfect user experiences and drive brand value and revenue, helping to ace the industry.
Roaming is a key revenue stream for telecoms. Nonetheless, this can be challenging as maintaining and monitoring roaming scenarios are complex and require advanced testing processes and the proliferation of advanced telecom technologies (5G and IoT). Additionally, there are multiple quality standards, and there is a diversity in their implementation between Telco players. Adopting effective testing solutions helps address the complexities of assessing roaming quality, resolve the testing issues with standardization, interoperability, or billing, and find alternative recommendations for remediating the identified problems to perfect user experiences for telcos.
Q1. What are the types of testing performed on telecom software?
Ans: The primary testing types performed on telecom products are:
- Interconnection testing
- IVR testing
- Conformance testing
- Protocol testing
- Performance testing
- Security testing
Q2. What is telecom testing?
Ans: Telecom testing involves testing across telecommunication software to ensure optimal functioning and performance of different services like routing and switching, VoIP broadband access, and others.
Q3. What are the different protocols utilized in the telecom industry?
Ans: The most popular protocols leveraged across the telecom industry include:
- VoIP technologies like VoIP, IMS, ISDN, MPLS
- Wireless technologies, including GPRS, GSM, CDMA, UMTS
- Signaling and Protocols like SIP, Codecs, ISDN, H.323
- Infrastructure/Security like ATM, LAN/VLAN, TCP/IP, SSH