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February 22, 2013

Evolving Systems' SIM Reservation Portal Allows Greater Personalization for Prepaid Service

By Christopher Mohr, TMCnet Contributing Writer

Evolving Systems announced on Tuesday that it had released the SIM Reservation Portal, an interface into the company's Dynamic SIM Allocation (DSA) solution. The portal will provide access to a system that provides better personalization options for prepaid customers.

According to Evolving Systems (News - Alert), prepaid subscribers make up the lion's share of most mobile operators' customer bases. In spite of this majority, operators distribute prepaid phones through indirect channels like mass retailers, grocery stores and convenience stores. At these locations, store clerks have little if any expertise on these devices and the service options that accompany them.

Given those conditions, the best way for prepaid phone distribution to succeed is to keep the device and the service simple. Achieving this simplicity meant pre-provisioning of SIM chips, thus severely limiting the options of a new subscriber.

Simplicity can have long-term effects. Customers frustrated by the lack of options and features are more likely to bolt once better mobile phone options become available. It has led to a secondary market where vanity phone numbers are sold at high prices, since typical prepaid phones could not be configured with vanity phone numbers even if the provider wanted them to be.

Evolving Systems' response was the creation of DSA, which allowed greater personalization in the prepaid phone channel. The SIM Reservation Portal lets dealers setup a kiosk where customers can select a phone number and service plan and save the information as a reservation.

The customer then picks up a generic SIM, which is tied to the reservation. The options they defined at the time of the reservation are configured on the fly once the SIM connects to the network. This can be used for both prepaid and contract service.

Before Evolving Systems developed DSA and the SIM Reservation Portal, buying prepaid phones and service was very similar to the time when Henry Ford said that a customer could get a Model T painted in any color as long as it was black. When products offered in such a manner, at the very best they are utilitarian; at the worst, a form of drudgery. Customization of cars led to the concept of a “car-driving experience.” Evolving Systems has simply applied that same experience to the prepaid phone market, opening up revenue streams for itself and dealers.

Edited by Rich Steeves
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