Policy + charging

Syniverse Gets Personal

With its €550 million (US$717 million) acquisition of MACH now complete, mobile interconnect vendor Syniverse is focused on helping operators make roaming more personalized and less painful. (See Syniverse Completes Acquisition of MACH.)

The acquisition closed on Monday, exactly a year after the vendors announced their intention to combine. The deal took so long to lock up in part because of scrutiny from the European Commission over concerns that the combo of the two interconnect market giants would adversely affect competition. Together, they reach more than 1,500 mobile service providers, enterprises, ISPs and app providers spanning 200 countries. (See Syniverse to Acquire MACH for $693M.)

The companies gained approval by agreeing to divest MACH's European data clearing and near real time roaming data exchange (NRTRDE) business. In May, Switzerland-based Starhome acquired the assets, which Mike O'Brien, Syniverse's SVP of strategic market initiatives, says was just one small part of MACH's overall business.

While it would now seem the merged company has a fairly tight grip on the mobile interconnect market, O'Brien says it's not how Syniverse and MACH overlap that matters so much as how they can combine services: Where roaming meets billing is a prime example.

Both have real-time intelligence initiatives. While MACH brings analytics and direct carrier billing capabilities to the table, Syniverse provides the connection and policy management. Combined, the two companies plan to help operators personalize the offers they push to traveling consumers based on their customer data and historical usage.

For example, if an operator spots that a customer who has historically relied heavily on Wi-Fi has turned off their data services when abroad, it can suggest connecting to a Wi-Fi partner in the area. Or, to get them back on the mobile data network, the operator can offer a better deal, push out the ability to buy a data day pass or suggest the customer views ads in exchange for megabytes.

O'Brien doesn't necessarily foresee roaming prices getting any cheaper, but he does see them becoming more creative with options such as those mentioned above. This is one area in which Syniverse and MACH plan to focus as operators and move quickly on forming roaming agreements for LTE. (See LTE Inches Closer to Roaming the Globe.)

"The value driven back to individual customers is to be able to say, 'you are a market of one -- we are going to deliver what you need to enable you to roam'," O'Brien says.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

Sarah Thomas 7/2/2013 | 7:13:42 PM
re: Syniverse Gets Personal Nice. I've heard that talked about a lot, but not implemented on the mobile data front. I know a lot of stores are trialing it with Wi-Fi, ie. 'like' us on Facebook and get free access. Devicescape is piloting that.
MordyK 7/2/2013 | 6:39:43 PM
re: Syniverse Gets Personal Creative pricing models based on contextual activities are a phenomenal opportunity. An interesting example is Vodafone Greece's deployment of free in-store service subsidized by the merchant.
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