15 Replies Latest reply: Mar 31, 2010 2:51 PM by Jonathan Greenwood RSS

Permanent roaming?

Newbie

Good morning,

 

I heard that some wireless carriers in the world could shut down foreign devices in the field if they always remain on their network.

 

Those carriers would "blacklist" these SIM cards coming from foreign wireless carriers so that these devices could simply not attach to the network: it is supposed to prevent "permanent roaming".

 

Is it a real threat? Did you experience it?

 

Concrete examples:

  • can a EU SIM card (ex: from Norway) be blacklisted on another EU network (ex: in Italy)?
  • what about a EU SIM card that permanently stays registered on a US network?

 

Thanks,

Fred

  • Re: Permanent roaming?
    Newbie

    Hi Fred,

     

    Here are some indication but they are no general roaming rules since it remains a bilateral agreement between carriers.

     

    Generally speaking, US carriers ban permanent roaming on their network and will likely enforce it if some of their roaming partners are misusing. I would not recommend breaching here and would rather go with local US carrier for my deployment. (same apply is many other countries such as Canada).

     

    Within the EU (Norway is not part of the EU), they are some initiative from the commission to create a single market for Telcos. Roaming prices between carriers are regulated and it is unlikely that permanent roaming will be banned between 2 EU countries, as it would go against the Commission principles. This is why LuxGSM (based out of Luxembourg) can serve PSA for the entire EU market for eCall.

     

    Hope that helps you

     

    BR

     

    Ludovic

    • Re: Permanent roaming?
      Newbie

      Fred,

       

      What you are mentioning is a real threat and Jasper Wireless Partner Operator AT&T has evidence of actions that they took to stop permanent roaming on their network.

       

      To play it safe, I would definitely recommend to move away from the "one-operator-fits-all" approach for your worldwide roll-outs.

       

      Jasper Wireless has a very unique, simple and competitive approach: OEMs integrate (via API) with ONE single platform to manage the connectivity of their devices, they source the connectivity itself (i.e. the MBs, the SMS) from MULTIPLE local operators depending on their coverage and price requirements.

       

      Ex: an OEM ships their devices for US market with AT&T SIM cards whereas they fit KPN SIM cards in the devices for the European market. The OEM benefits from local data rates for both markets. No risk of permanent EU/US roaming. And the OEM enjoys the same level of service, visibility and control over ALL their devices because both AT&T and KPN deliver the same Jasper Wireless platform to manage device connectivity.

       

      Please feel free to contact me directly if you want to become specific about your projects.

       

      Best regards,

       

      Luc Perard

      Jasper Wireless

      Director, Connected Services

      luc.perard@jasperwireless.com

      • Re: Permanent roaming?
        Newbie

        Why would an operator block roaming ? They get good revenues from roaming , why would they block it. Can someone explain ?

        • Re: Permanent roaming?
          Newbie

          May be because some operators don't find all these revenues opportunity from roaming so good, and would prefer to own directly the customer ARPU / relationship.

           

          Typically a case many thousand meter devices deployed in permanent roaming in a given country, attaching to the network, costing SS7 but passing no data. Not only it costs $$$ to the operator, but it monopolizes its capacity for other lucrative devices, a real issue ! When you have a couple of thousand like that it is a no brainer, imaging situation of large deployment ?

          • Re: Permanent roaming?
            Newbie

            Ludovic

             

              Are you saying that it depends on an application. If my application is high usage the this will be ok ?

             

            Liz

            • Re: Permanent roaming?
              Newbie

              Hi Liz,

              It really comes down to the policies of the visited/serving network

              The standard roaming agreements between operators were crafted by the GSMA, and written from the perspective of true roaming - i.e. people/devices that turn up for a while, then leave. Of course, we do find some devices that are permanently roaming, and those tend to contravene the spirit of a typical roaming agreement, if not the letter of the agreement. If the numbers are small, it may not be a big deal, but when the numbers get significant, people take notice.

              When you think about it, permanent roaming allows Operator A in country A to sell in country B and compete against Operator B in country B. Therefore, some operators are now putting clauses in their roaming agreements to prevent permanent roaming, or at least have some special terms regarding permanent roamers. Check with your operator to make sure there will be no gotchas if you do permanent roaming with the operator's SIMs.

              Good luck.

            • Re: Permanent roaming?
              Newbie

              Hi Liz,

               

              Sorry for late reply but I believe @donieme has replied to your question.

               

              if your application is high usage, you will quickly realize roaming is not economically viable.

               

              Best Regards

               

              Ludovic

  • Re: Permanent roaming?
    Newbie

    Fred,
      I think this depends on which goegraphical area you are operating in. There are no controls so operators can do what they feel is best for their business.

    In Europe this is unlikely to happen as the smaller coverage areas and multiple operators in each area tend to create competition for roaming business. If an operator rejected a registration, the device would simply use another network. It is worth speaking to the SIM provider to ensure that they control the roaming partner agreements so this does not happen.

    We currently have over 150,000 devices permenantly roaming throught europe and have not experience any problems of this type.

     

    We have however had problems caused by changes in preferred operator lists changing steering parameters which the older modems did not handle correctly. This caused them to retry registration to the same network many times and eventually they gave up. They worked normally after either being forced to select a network with a telephone or switched on in a different country where the orginal network was not avaiable.

    • Re: Permanent roaming?
      Newbie

      Hi Fred and Rosbif

      The issue that is raised by Rosbif is a very valid one. There are roaming situations that can cause an operator to be added to the FPLMN list on the SIM card. The FPLMN list is basically a local blacklist on the sim card. If an operator is on the blacklist then the device will not even try to register on it and registration will fail. When this happens on our mobile phones we generally end up doing a manual network selection which clears the operator from the blacklist and then it works again the next time we try to register on the network.

       

      If an operator is taking M2M seriously in Europe and are offering roaming packages then you should expect to find that they have an applet on the SIM card that automatically clears out the FPLMN periodically to ensure this situation does not occur.

       

      Cheers

      Jonathan

      • Re: Permanent roaming?
        Newbie

        Thanks Jonathan,
           I assume the operator that is blacklisted is still on the Preferred Operator list but marked as ot to be used?

         

        I have a Chip Drive reader with SmartCard Commander software. Would you know if I be able to tell from this?
        Sorry to ask but I come from a network design and rollout background and I'm finding these SIMs in M2M a real pain ...


        I will speak to our supplier about an applet for future SIMs but we already have over 100,00 out there and not easy to get at. For the moment we have moved our SIMs to a private HLR profile so we are not affacted by the operator changes or by the steering server. I hope this will also allow us to configure parameters to suit M2M rather than the standard customer SMS requirements.

         

        Regards


        Rosbif

        • Re: Permanent roaming?
          Newbie

          Rosbif

          Agreed on managing these sims, it is a pain... how the hell do the Operators manage it, may explain the issues I have with my cell ;-)

          Cheers

          Fred

        • Re: Permanent roaming?
          Newbie

          Hi Rosbif

          If you look at the contents of the FPLMN list - you should see this in the SIM info structure - you will see any blacklisted operators there.

          I believe that all the major SIM providers can provide a SIM with a FPLMN clearing applet.

          Good luck

          Jonathan