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MWC: Bill shock for WC 2014

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At the Mobile Word Congress, Sandvine a provider of broadband solutions, has predicted that the World Cup 2014 will be the most streamed event in history and, without proper roaming plans in place, it may also lead to the most widespread case of bill shock to date.

The company also announced that audio and video streaming account for 28-percent of roaming data as observed on a tier-1 European mobile network. Given the growing popularity of streamed sporting events such as the 2012 Olympics, Sandvine predicts World Cup 2014 in Brazil will be the most streamed event in history and, without necessary roaming plans or notifications in place, it may also lead to the most widespread case of bill shock to date. Bill shock is a negative reaction to unexpected charges on mobile phone bills and can be mitigated by Communications Service Provider (CSP) efforts to educate and inform customers. Typical roaming charges are accrued based on data usage and can quickly add up. For example, a 3-minute YouTube video uses approximately 10MB of data which would cost a subscriber on average 7‚Ǩ to watch while roaming in Europe. ‚”Controlling the risk for bill shock by tightening the connection between CSPs and subscribers is a win-win for everyone,‚” said Dave Caputo, CEO, Sandvine. ‚”Mobile operators gain the loyalty of their subscribers and new revenue opportunities through tiered services, and subscribers gain personalized tiers and roaming capabilities without the risk of unknown charges.‚” As demonstrated at O2 UK (April 2011), a Telefonica subsidiary,Sandvine’s Usage Management product monitors subscriber roaming usage in real-time and proactively keeps subscribers informed of their usage through automated messages that notify subscribers when they are nearing and surpassing their data limit. The European Union was among the first regions to introduce bill shock notification regulations, back in 2007 and implementation occurred over several years. Regulations aimed at mitigating bill shock have surfaced in Latin American, as the GSMA recently launched a roaming transparency initiative. The initiative is supported by operator groups including Am√©rica M√≥vil, Antel, Entel Chile, Millicom, Oi, Orange, Telecom Italia and Telef√≥nica. Just in time for World Cup 2014.

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