The 15th June 2017 saw new legislation come into effect requiring mobile operators to give end users the ability to use their phones in Europe without incurring additional roaming charges. This is a big thumbs up for end-users, but what does it mean for UC resellers and their bottom line?
The new Roam Like at Home regulations are great news for end users. We’ll now be able to use our allocated call, text and data bundles whilst away on holiday in Europe, and keep in touch with family and friends as if we were at home in the UK. And even if we do go over our monthly allowance, we’ll be charged at standard UK rates and not astronomical roaming rates.
But for the big mobile operators, the news isn’t so good. The legislation represents a substantial drop in revenue and a big hike in operational costs. The operators will still have to pay the inter- connect charges incurred from the foreign networks, but they will no longer be able to pass these charges onto end-users which will make a huge dent in their profits.
In fact, analyst firm Juniper Research has estimated that revenue for mobile operators across the globe will drop from £19.4bn in 2016 to £12.4bn in 2017 – that’s a staggering £7bn of potential lost revenue. And for UK mobile operators, it’s estimated that roaming revenues accounted for £2.7bn out of total sales of £18.4bn in 2015 – almost 15% of their total income, which is now in jeopardy. So it’s highly likely that operators will find a way to offset this loss and the most obvious way for operators to do this is to increase their tariffs.
The full picture will become clearer over the next 12 months but there will inevitably be a vast change in behaviour from end users. There’ll be a certain increase in usage abroad and for those who were previously ‘Silent Roamers’ – only using free WiFi to avoid incurring costs – there’s likely to be a substantial behavioural change now that they have their whole UK bundle at their disposal.
Unfortunately, this new legislation could mean a loss of revenue for resellers too and the start of changes to tariffs and charges, but whatever happens, it’s vital that resellers keep their end-user customers up-to-date with what’s going on. Mobile operators have already raised charges for rest-of-world roaming so resellers should communicate this to customers immediately to avoid the occurrence of bill shock.
It’s also crucial for resellers to make sure that customers are aware of which countries are included in Roam Like At Home by network, as not all European countries are and high roaming charges are still applicable within those destinations.
The team at Zest4 will be watching developments closely over the coming months and will keep partners up-to-date with any changes from the networks. Our team are also here to support resellers with communications and education for end-users, so give us a call.
For more information and advice on mobile solutions from Zest4, call 0161 956 3355 or visit http://www.zest4.com/mobile.php.
By Anton Le Saux – 06/06/2017
One of the most popular topics I get asked about when discussing M2M solutions with Zest4 partners is IP addressing. Whilst most resellers understand what an IP address is, many resellers are not 100% clear on the difference between Fixed, Dynamic, Private and Public IP addresses and which should be used for different M2M devices.
Let me explain…
What is an IP Address?
First of all, let’s go back to basics and look at what an IP address actually is.
IP stands for ‘Internet Protocol’ and an IP address is basically a unique identity number for a piece of connected hardware. It allows a device to communicate with other devices (which will also have their own IP addresses too) over an IP-based network like the internet. But like most things in life, there are variations and these variations make a difference to how your connected device will work.
Dynamic vs Static IP Addresses
A Dynamic IP Address is the type that your network operator will usually issue with your mobile package and it’s dynamic because it changes each time a connection to the internet is made. This continuous change provides a good level of security and this type of IP address also generally costs less. The downside of a dynamic IP address, however, is that it can be more difficult to remotely access your device as there is no way of knowing what the IP address is going to be.
Completely the opposite to a dynamic IP address, a Static or Fixed IP Address is one that doesn’t change. This is a much better option for M2M and IoT applications as connected devices can communicate automatically without any human intervention and you can also remotely connect with your devices as the IP address will never change.
Public or Private IP Addresses?
Now that we’ve established that fixed IP addresses are best for M2M and IoT solutions, the next thing to understand is how the communication will take place and whether the fixed IP address needs a Private or Public profile.
A Fixed Private IP Address will always retain the same IP address but it will have a private profile that’s not hosted in the public domain. This means that the IP address is visible within your own network but it can’t be seen over the internet. This is great for devices that need to communicate with each other across an internal network, but to be able to remotely access connected devices over the web, a secure VPN would need to be in place.
The other option is a Fixed Public IP Address. As before, the IP address stays the same but it’s hosted in the public domain so it can be accessed over the Internet. This type of IP address needs to be provisioned by your supplier and, due a national shortage of available public IP addresses, they are chargeable. However, the cost is outweighed by the benefits of gaining full access to your connected devices from other devices or terminals, particularly for applications where remote access is critical, such as CCTV and digital signage.
How do I know which type of IP address is best for my customer?
The easiest way to establish which type of IP address is best for your customer is to understand what they want to achieve with their connected device. Here are a few example scenarios…
Here at Zest4, we’re all about making life simple for our reseller partners and that’s no exception when it comes to IP addresses. All our managed data connections come with a Fixed Private IP address as standard or if their application demands, we can arrange a Fixed Public IP address for a minimal additional charge. We can also set up a secure VPN for your customer via an SSL connection or IPSec and customers will have full visibility of their SIM estate via our secure managed portal.
If you’re still not sure about IP addressing and would like some more information and advice, give myself and the Zest4 team a call on 0161 956 3355 or visit www.zest4.com.
Why flexibility is key to Zest4’s success in supporting resellers?
By Rob Foster
I’m all for moving with the times and embracing new technology – portals, automated processes, simplicity and so on – and in today’s increasingly technological society, these things are all required as a foundation for every business. However, there’s one traditional thing that has remained in constant demand throughout the years in the channel business and that’s ‘Flexibility’.
As a wholesale Unified Communications provider, Zest4 has always had flexibility at the heart of our business. We give reseller partners the ability to talk to our team and enlist our help to solve a problem and come up with a solution for an end-customer.
Our ability to be incredibly flexible has been key to the success of Zest4’s business and will continue to remain so to help resellers succeed in the ever-changing communications marketplace and to maximise potential from exciting new technologies.
Why is flexibility so important for resellers?
Here at Zest4, we completely understand that no customer is the same. Different customers have very different requirements, from different billing rates, different equipment requirements, different technology solutions and integration considerations, varying contract length requirements, commercials terms, network preferences…and so on.
In order to help our reseller partners to win in this changeable marketplace, we’re committed to bending our processes, being creative and having a ‘can do’ attitude to any challenge that’s presented to us. That’s what makes channel management exciting and it’s why we enjoy coming to work at Zest4 every day. It’s also what successful relationships are built on and what makes Zest4 stand out from the crowd.
What do our partners say about Zest4’s ability to be flexible?
The feedback I get regularly from our partner channel is that we’re easy to deal with – nothing’s too much trouble and there’s always someone there to help, even in the evenings and at weekends, ensuring that our partner’s end-customers receive the very best service possible.
Our flexibility is also key in helping partners to retain business over the long-term. It’s one thing winning business but keeping hold of business is very different. By continuing to add to our product portfolio and continuing to enhance our range of support services, our partners can be assured of a continuing evolving proposition that they can use to support their own customers today and beyond.
To find out more about products and support services from Zest4 and how our flexibility can help you grow your business, call us on 0161 956 3355 or visit www.zest4.com.