- By Sue Marek
- February 15, 2022
There is a new player looking to shake up the telecom business support system (BSS)/operational support system (OSS) business. Tucows, which is the parent company of Ting Fiber and Ting Mobile, has launched Wavelo, a BSS/OSS software company with a cloud-based software platform that it says can manage the provisioning, billing, and subscription tools for internet service providers (ISPs) and telecom operators.
Wavelo already has two customers: Ting Fiber and Dish Network. Dish Network acquired Ting Mobile from Tucows in August 2020 and uses Wavelo’s Mobile Network Operating System (MONOS) for both its Ting Mobile business and its Boost Mobile business that it acquired from T-Mobile in July 2020. Ting Fiber uses Wavelo’s Internet Service Operating System (ISOS).
Wavelo’s ISOS and MONOS products are based on a cloud-native architecture, which means that they are purpose-built for the cloud and use a modern cloud architecture. The MONOS product is developed specifically for mobile operators, while the ISOS product has components that are applicable to ISPs.
Wavelo CEO Justin Reilly, a former Verizon executive who headed up the company’s product and CX innovation, said that when he worked for Verizon, he learned that it was difficult to solve CX issues without redoing the entire BSS/OSS system. “You can build a better mobile app or a better website, but you are only as good as the data you have and the highway you have to send the data,” he said.
That is why Wavelo’s approach is compelling. Reilly said that Wavelo’s solution is modular and flexible, so operators do not necessarily need to replace their entire OSS/BSS stack. “Our approach isn’t ‘here’s the OSS/BSS full stack and buy all of this from us’,” he said. Instead, an operator that wants to update one piece of its OSS/BSS stack can do that and Wavelo will then incorporate that piece into the rest of the operator’s back-office system.
He added that the beauty of having a cloud-native solution is that it is flexible and can be updated easily, which is in contrast to many OSS/BSS solutions that were built for the 3G era when mobile operators’ rate plans charged customers by the minutes they used and the number of texts they sent. “We don’t bundle things that are traditionally bundled,” Reilly said. “That might have been necessary 15 years ago, but it isn’t today.”
Instead, Reilly said that Wavelo’s goal is to help operators get new services and rate plans to market quickly without being constrained by their existing back-office systems.
But Wavelo will be competing head-to-head with some of the big OSS/BSS companies like Amdocs, which has been working with telecom and cable operators for several decades. Reilly said that he has respect for all those legacy OSS/BSS providers in the telecom space. Plus, Wavelo will likely run into these competitors as it works to integrate its software solutions with existing OSS/BSS solutions.
Wavelo is already well-versed in that integration process through its partnership with Dish Network. Wavelo had to merge Ting Mobile’s OSS/BSS with Boost Mobile’s legacy systems that Dish inherited when it purchased Boost from T-Mobile. Plus, the company is also working with Dish on its greenfield 5G network that it is in the process of constructing.
Reilly sees lots of opportunities ahead, particularly as wireless operators migrate from 4G networks to 5G networks, and as many telecom companies start to offer converged services, such as broadband and mobile.
Dash Research, in its latest report on CX in the telecom industry, concurs. The firm projects that the global market for CX/customer engagement (CE) software and services in the telecom industry will reach $16.4 billion by 2026, up from $8.5 billion in 2019, reflecting a 2019 to 2026 compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.7%.
In the US, cable operators, such as Comcast and Charter Communications, are selling wireless services, in addition to their broadband and cable TV offerings, and telecom providers like Verizon and AT&T are selling wireless, fixed wireless broadband, and fiber services to customers.
Reilly said that, typically, these different services have separate billing and provisioning systems, which only adds to the complexity of the operator’s back-office systems. “Purchasing both mobile and fixed services has been difficult for customers for a long time,” he said. “It’s hard to change.”
But it also is necessary because consumers are now accustomed to really good customer service experiences in other industries. Reilly said that innovations from companies like Uber, Amazon, and others is putting pressure on telecom companies to deliver a better experience.
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