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How will you cater to inbound roaming subscribers in 5G?

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We discussed in a previous blog how SMS is set to continue prospering and developing into the 5G era. In this post, we take a look at the importance of providing a fully functional SMS service for inbound roaming subscribers and why the SMSF must be an integral part of any operator’s 5G strategy.

Operators who want to offer seamless continuity of service to visiting subscribers; and maximize revenue from all use cases will need to have an SMSF Network Function in the 5G core network. The SMSF is included in the GSMA recommendations for roaming in the 5G Roaming Guidelines (GSMA NG.113) and: as Sinch; we are already in discussion with many operators choosing to maximize the 5G customer experience through SMSF implementation.

Unlike over-the-top messaging services, SMS is not dependent on mobile data connectivity for use cases in 5G (and 4G). This includes scenarios where subscribers or devices are roaming abroad. As a significant portion of roaming subscribers tend to turn off their mobile data service while abroad (even within Europe where retail roaming charges were abolished in 2017!), this is an opportunity for telecom operators to differentiate from other messaging services while ensuring full revenue recognition.

Similarly, non-IMS devices depend on the SMSF to send and receive SMS messages. These include 5G data dongles roaming on the operators’ network where functions such as SIM OTA and top-up services etc., are important for establishing data connections that generate valuable revenue for the operator.

Many of the billions of IoT devices that will roam on 5G networks will also rely on the SMSF network function for use cases where IMS is not an option. Operators need to cater to these scenarios to ensure they drive new operator revenues from the explosive growth in connected IoT devices.

In rolling out their 5G networks, operators need to consider how to fully serve inbound roaming subscribers. Whether it be on 5G handsets, non-IMS, or IoT devices, an SMSF is the recommended solution to address this need for SMS. With an SMSF as part of the 5G core network strategy, operators can offer a full service to visiting subscribers and ensure they do not miss out on any messaging related revenue opportunities in 5G.

Can you afford not to include SMSF in your 5G messaging strategy?

Read more about the Sinch SMSF and the complete Sinch operator portfolio here.