The BroadForward Multi-IMSI Roaming (MIR) solution enables operators to provide sponsored roaming services for voice/SMS and data to their partners. The core network signaling solution enables a wide range of flexible signaling capabilities such as dynamic IMSI translation between the Sponsor IMSI and the Home Mobile Network IMSI for both eSIM and SIM based Multi-IMSI scenarios. The BroadForward Multi-IMSI Roaming solution is in use at operators worldwide, including Europe’s largest mobile operator group.
Sponsored roaming services
For operators around the world, it is attractive to provide so-called sponsored roaming services. This way they can steer inbound roamers from business partners to their network as well as leverage the (regional) coverage and roaming agreements from its roaming partners. It means these partners can provide cheaper direct – and (local) roaming access for their subscribers and also don’t need to build their own worldwide network of roaming partners and agreements. That would take years. With the sponsored roaming service, operators can offer their partner’s subscribers better international coverage against lower costs, while keeping their own home telephone number.
Example service scenario in which the sponsored roamer can keep using the Home MSISDN for in bound calls:
- Multi-IMSI SIM-card which contains 2 IMSI’s. IMSI 1 is the home IMSI and IMSI 2 is the sponsored IMSI.
- Mappings between IMSI 1 and IMSI 2 are maintained in a database on the MIR.
- The home PLMN does not need to know IMSI 2 for each subscriber. Instead the subscriber remains provisioned with the existing IMSI 1.
BroadForward Multi-IMSI Roaming (MIR): enabling Sponsored Roaming with Roam-Like-Home service capabilities
The BroadForward Multi-IMSI Roaming solution is a highly flexible, software based signaling solution. It enables operators to setup advanced signaling scenarios without the need for complex scripting or coding. This includes dynamic mapping and conversion between Sponsor IMSIs and the Home Mobile Network IMSI which enhances full eSIM sponsored roaming services. The intelligent routing solution removes the typical drawbacks of legacy solutions such as the need to acquire specific HLR/HSS functionality and the need to use a separate SIM for roaming. This much improves the user experience as Sponsored Roaming providers using BroadForward MIR will be able to offer their roaming customers the use of their own (home) phone number on local tariffs for voice, SMS and data. The Multi-IMSI Roaming solution is part of a suite of BroadForward next generation products for routing, interworking, security and number portability. The BroadForward Multi-IMSI Roaming solution is in use with MVNOs, Intermediary providers and MNOs, including one of the world’s largest operator groups.
Enabling enhanced eSIM service support
For eSIM subscription services, operators can provide instant network access via embedded SIM card in certain device types. When combining this subscription service with the BroadForward Multi-IMSI-Roaming solution, operators can provide direct sponsored roaming services from their sponsored roaming partners to their eSIM subscribers. The IMSIs of the sponsored roaming partners can be sold as temporary roaming subscriptions to subscribers that are looking for a sponsored roaming profile for a particular country/region.
Purchase of the sponsored roaming subscription is similar to the purchase of a local eSIM subscription from the operator by using the QR-code scan function of the eSIM enabled device. The subscription purchased will be recognized by the device as an additional subscription profile and the user can select when to use this subscription profile. For example when roaming in the associated country/region. Due to the MIR solution, all home telephone number services like voice, SMS and Supplementary Services and data services will be available while roaming with the sponsored IMSI eSIM roaming profile. In the sponsored network the sponsored IMSI is seen as a local subscriber or as an outbound roamer of that network when roaming in any of the sponsored network (local) roaming partners.
Upon return in the home network, the subscriber can simply terminate the temporary sponsored roaming subscription again which makes the sponsored roaming IMSI free for any other subscriber that need (temporary) roaming services for the associated country/region. This allows for extremely efficient use of sponsored roaming IMSIs and creating a whole new perspective on roaming services in general. Operators are no longer obliged to offer (expensive) roaming services with this full service supporting alternative based on sponsored roaming.
Software based Multi-IMSI solution
BroadForward Multi-IMSI Roaming offers a complete and powerful core network solution to enable sponsored roaming services for voice and data for both Multi-IMSI SIM and eSIM:
- Core network signaling solution enabling smart IMSI translation between the Sponsor IMSI and the Home Mobile Network IMSI
- Enables the use of the home MSISDN with the roaming IMSI (for inbound- and outbound services)
- Supports GSM (SS7) as well as LTE (Diameter) networks
- Supports Multi-IMSI provisioning and dynamic mapping
- Supports SS7 Global title and Diameter realm and host name conversion
- Central logging point (EDR-registration) and tracing capabilities
- 100% software based, runs on standard hardware or virtualized / hosted platforms
- GUI based management and configuration, no need for scripting or development
- Carrier grade, highly scalable, high available, geo-redundant solution
Hardware-agnostic solution, supporting virtualized deployments
The BroadForward MIR runs on any off-the-shelf hardware or in a virtualized environment. It is a 100% software based solution, supporting virtualization and cloud deployment (VMware, KVM, OpenStack, Amazon etc.) as well as containerized application deployment (Docker, Kubernetes). The Multi-IMSI Roaming solution does not rely on specialist hardware or proprietary operating systems. The ability to deploy the BroadForward MIR on a common (shared) platform supports operators and vendors in migrating away from proprietary based appliance systems to a standards based, hardware agnostic, software only, infrastructure.