The Market formerly known as Billing is Healthy

The ‘Revenue Management’ market produced revenue of over $6.5 billion in 2011. This was up by over 5 percent on 2010, which was better than research house Analysys Mason expected. This was driven predominantly by spending in emerging markets, where the need to keep up with subscriber numbers and support mobile data services were the key factors. This is according to Analysys Mason’s latest report on worldwide Revenue Management market share.

The firm, who have changed the name from ‘billing’ to ‘revenue management’, in the market share report, have added ‘convergent’ billing to the postpaid and prepaid categories. This reflects the “growing number of charging, rating and pricing systems that are used to support both real-time and postpaid services.”

The overall picture of encouraging growth requires a closer look, before any bonuses are awarded. Competition continues to drive costs down and, while spending is on the increase across the Asia Pacific region, it has slowed. This is balanced by increased spending in the CALA region.

The biggest growth area is in the business optimisation category, which enjoyed over 11 percent growth in 2011. This is driven, not surprisingly by the growing realisation that data and the ability to analyse it is a business imperative in today’s world of competition and customer focus.

Mediation remains a strong market, as service providers face the prospects of the huge increase in mobile data and the ever constant presence of legacy systems. In developed markets, this surge in data, ahead of the ‘long term’ solution of LTE is stimulating investment in policy management solutions, as well as the rationalisation of billing systems and cost-reduction projects.

Interestingly, systems that are supporting M2M projects made little impact on the figures, reflecting perhaps that service providers are not yet seeing any real business cases for investment. It could also, of course, be that they have a lot on their minds at the moment, with the new landscape appearing in the payments world, OTT players apparently threatening their livelihoods and all of these pushing them towards disintermediation. M2M must seem a long way away, but it leaves a lot to do if we are going to be supporting 50 billion connected devices by 2020.

That said, the market looks healthy and will get another boost as the larger investments in support infrastructure for LTE replace the fixes being implemented now.

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Alex Leslie
About Alex Leslie 400 Articles
Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet.

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