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    No mobile operator is confident of great billing for its 5G service – Oracle study


    Study finds customer experience not a priority

    A new Oracle Communications survey has revealed that nearly all (94 per cent) mobile operators admit to ‘challenges’ with their charging systems.

    Despite this three quarters (73 per cent) of communications service providers (CSPs) plan to proceed with the launch of their 5G networks by 2022.

    In the study 303 decision makers from mobile operators in ten countries were asked if charging challenges could hinder innovation and customer experience. Surprisingly few seemed to think that inaccurate billing would upset the customers. 

    What about the customer experience?

    CSPs are making significant investments in their 5G networks and must quickly monetise new services to get a return, explained Jason Rutherford, general manager of applications at Oracle Communications. “The survey shows they need to rethink current charging systems,” said Rutherford.

    According to the study, the typical CSP plans to launch three new 5G-enabled services, ranging from better mobile broadband to smart home, mobile gaming, retail and live entertainment offers. The survey indicates that they expect to monetise 5G differently, using an average of three pricing levers, namely data security, latency, and energy efficiency. To support these new business requirements, 86 per cent of CSPs plan to upgrade charging systems over the next 18 months.

    Monetise first

    The top charging challenges that CSPs are prioritising are the cost of managing their existing systems (38 per cent) and the lengthy time-to-market for new offers (34 per cent). Accuracy of customer billing was not a priority for the monetisers. Indeed, the survey says that staff worry about being ill-equipped to meet the performance and ‘monetisation needs’ of 5G.

    ‘Some’ are concerned about the effect that their dated technology will have on customer experience, the survey said.

    A much clearer picture emerges over what the CSP executives want, however. The surveyors were told that staff want cross-network convergence (55 per cent), flexible rating and charging schemas (37 per cent), and cloud-native capabilities (32 per cent). 

    Will 5G suffer from bad billing?

    “CSPs realise the need for scalable, converged charging systems that will enable them to monetise any business model,” said Rutherford. “This survey highlights the innovative service types and pricing methods that CSPs want to pursue in the 5G.”

    Did they ask customers how they will feel about bill shock?

    The survey was conducted in the US, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Spain, France, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Australia.