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Roaming Hubbing The GSMA Open Connectivity programme offers valuable technology solutions in the areas of Roaming Hubbing,

SMS Hubbing, Global Roaming Quality and Online Training.

Established in 2005, the Open Connectivity programme has facilitated easier and quicker interworking and roaming, bringing benefits for consumers, operators and vendors.

About Open Connectivity

The Open Connectivity team has established a framework for hub-based solutions, where one or more hubs provide access to multiple partners via a single commercial agreement. This multilateral approach is documented in a suite of GSMA permanent reference documents that define the requirements for Open Connectivity compliant solutions. Hub based solutions will co-exist with bilateral agreements for the foreseeable future. As such, the Open Connectivity project has also delivered a range of efficiency gains for bilateral agreements, including the launch of an online training programme covering roaming.

The traditional bilateral approach, where operators establish one agreement with each partner, has proved successful to date. However with more than 750 operators, and increasingly diverse services, a new solution was required to support next generation roaming and interworking.

The trial proved the effective working and interoperability of the approved roaming hubbing architectures and validated the key processes. Since then, vendors have rolled out roaming hubbing solutions in line with the Open Connectivity requirements and are providing mobile operator customers with valuable benefits in the areas of coverage expansion, operational efficiency, quality of service, and service expansion.

The roaming hubbing solution was first successfully trialed in 2008. 28 mobile operators and 10 vendors supported the trial. The trial covered all continents across the globe, with over 830 tests being conducted.

Roaming Hubbing enables operators to more easily extend the reach of roaming services by establishing roaming agreements with other operators through one or more hubs. This is a significant improvement on the current approach where operators have to establish one-to-one bilateral connections with every roaming partner. Many operators today have to maintain hundreds of separate bilateral agreements to meet their customers need for roaming coverage.

What is Roaming Hubbing?

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The above diagram depicts the move from bilateral to hub-based roaming. Both SMS and Roaming Hubbing are based on the same Open Connectivity Principles such as transparency, efficiency and quality of service.

Operators participating in Roaming Hubbing will be able to offer a wider range of services and more extensive roaming coverage to their customers. Customers will be able to enjoy the benefits of seamless service whilst roaming on more networks than is currently possible. Operators will be able to offer a more consistent user experience including quality of service and customer support. Established operators are likely to use Roaming Hubbing to replace existing bilateral agreements, gaining operational efficiencies and achieving financial savings. Newer entrants will use the service to increase geographical coverage. Can Roaming Hubs and bilateral interworking co-exist?

What are the benefits to an operator?

Roaming hubbing co-exists perfectly with existing bilateral agreements by giving operators a choice to maintain them as bilateral agreements, or migrate them to a multilateral agreement via a hub. Existing bilateral agreements can be retained whilst roaming service coverage is extended to new areas via hubs. PMN
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Associate members of GSMA that offer Open Connectivity compliant roaming hubbing solutions are listed on both the GSMA website www.gsmworld.com and on the GSMA Infocentre. These companies can advertise their support for Open Connectivity by using the logo below.

The GSMA has developed the technical architectures, agreement templates and implementation guidelines for roaming hubs.To assist operators to identify Open Connectivity-compliant roaming hub providers, the GSMA has also introduced a specific associate membership category for such vendors. This makes it easier for operators to determine which vendors are adhering to the Open Connectivity requirements defined in GSMA permanent reference documents.

Who are the Open Connectivity compliant Roaming Hub providers?

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The GSMA has worked with operators and vendors to develop a roaming hubbing solution that meets the High Level requirements defined at the outset of the Open Connectivity programme. These requirements ensure that operators and their customers benefit from improved end-to-end service quality, as well as simplified billing and payment processes. The High Level Requirements include: I Openness Ensuring global interoperability and interconnection between hub providers. I Transparency Ensuring service consistency and preventing fraud. I Efficiency Ensuring efficient use of network resources. I Quality End to end service quality from originating operator to terminating operator.

What are the Open Connectivity High Level Requirements?

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I Simplified Billing Simplified billing, removing the need for bilateral settlement. I Testing Reducing time and effort for testing

For more information or to contact us about Open Connectivity, please visit www.gsmworld.com/oc or email openconnectivity@gsm.org