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EDITOR’S BLOG 10-12-15 See you in 2016… when things will better, right?

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Skeldon2014BWsmallHello and Happy Thursday! And Happy Christmas! This is the last missive from Telemedia Towers until January, so thought it best to get that salutation in there. Many of you will be wiling the time away having Christmas drinks and other celebrations, libations and jubilations and it gives pause for thought.

We started 2015 with high hopes: the dawn of a new era of carrier billing propelled by the consumer desire for instant digital gratification. We close the year with those self same consumers poised to adopt other forms of mobile payments to scratch that itch.

We also started 2015 hungry for a new approach from regulators. The news on this, as we hurtle towards 2016, is more positive. No, it hasn’t come to pass just yet, but senior changes at PPP are likely to usher in a new way of doing things.

While there maybe someway still to go with getting MNOs to stop worrying and to actually make carrier billing something people can use, there is likely to be a thawing in how things go with the regulator.

That court case has had a far reaching effect and the upshot is likely to be a regulator that, while protecting the public, also helps encourage innovation.

If that does come to pass then it’s a good first step. The next move is for that regulator to show its industry support and start to lobby MNOs to make it easier for services to be set up and run.

One area where effort needs to be made is in looking at how to take the burden of PRS complaint handling – at least the cost thereof – off the shoulders of the networks. Of course the poor dears can afford it, it just looks bad when the board find that its not swimming in quite as much lucre as they hoped come accounts day.

Joking aside, taking the financial pain away from networks – and by that I mean the cost of handling complaints and all that – could go a long way to making PRS and carrier billing something networks get behind.

They think that they will remain outside the curse of being dumb pipes forever, but eventually the penny will drop that they are going to be screwed by Apple, Facebook and OTT messaging and calls. The day that happens is the day they will back carrier billing with seriousness.

Will that day come in 2016? No, put lets hope that with industry lobbying – through AIME and others – as well as, perhaps, a bit of backing for once from PPP the idea may start to gain some ground. I will be paying for my carparking with Payforit before 2017, surely?

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