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Rationale for Subscriber Data Management

Infonetics Research predicts that mobile and wireline operators around the world will invest in subscriber data management (SDM) software and integration services to help them roll out new services to customers, reduce the cost of rolling out these new services, and deploy revenue-generating "mash-up" services.

According to their market study, service providers spent $106 million worldwide in 2007 on SDM software and integration services, led by mobile operators in the EMEA and Asia Pacific regions.

SDM software facilitates the collection and aggregation of subscriber data (identity information, service profiles, preferences, and device information) across a range of networks, applications, and databases, and serves as a centralized repository for aggregated subscriber data.

SDM integration services combine SDM software and services into a service provider's network and business process infrastructure.

A consolidated view of the subscriber's service profile and personal preferences via SDM can eliminate data duplication and inconsistencies and ensure the right customers receive the service they have requested.

Service providers are investing in subscriber data management solutions for a variety of reasons. Besides enabling service bundling and up-sell opportunities, SDM also helps operators reduce SIM card fraud and manage subscribers with multiple SIM cards.

SDM is quickly becoming an integral part of the overall network virtualization trend, which began in the enterprise world and is migrating to service providers who are interested in decoupling applications, service components, and subscriber data from the physical and logical databases and servers on which they reside.

For service providers, this is a Capex and Opex reduction play.

Highlights from the Infonetics report include:

- The SDM market is growing enough to warrant some early consolidation, with Nokia Siemens having acquired Apertio in January 2008 for 140M euros.

- Companies like Bridgewater Systems, Xeround, and Blueslice Networks offer compelling SDM solutions that are being trialed and deployed as part of mobile operators' larger plans for upgrading their existing HLR infrastructure.

- The main components of SDM software include: The subscriber and device data aggregation engine, which collects and aggregates subscriber and device data across a range of network databases; Data federation software, which creates a standard user profile across multiple services and policies; Identity management software, which manages identity and access to resources.

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