The mobile operations support systems (OSS) market grew 8.6% in 2011 to reach $9.079 billion, according to ABI Research. Operations support systems are computer systems, software, procedures, and tools used by telecommunications service providers to ensure the smooth running of their networks. ABI also expects 3.3% growth in 2012 to reach $9.376 billion as mobile operators seek efficiency gains and better oversight with their networks.

“As mobile operators strive to simplify their legacy OSS architectures and procedures, 2011, 2012, and likely through 2015 should see the benefits of 4G deployments and upgrades,” said Jake Saunders, vice president of forecasting atABI Research. He also noted that ABI expects the 2017 total to surpass $10.271 billion, which is likely to be down from the market’s peak in 2015 of $10.768 billion.

The complex mobile OSS marketplace includes a rich ecosystem of IT software, telecom infrastructure vendors, and system integrators. Infrastructure independent OSS providers such as Amdocs, Oracle, and IBM have been able to secure significant value from the OSS market by harnessing many of the standardization efforts of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the TM Forum, and the ITIL.

Mobile operators have been realizing that while one can have a smoothly running mobile network, have no network outages, and competitive pricing of services, customers still can churn in significant numbers. Upon investigation, operators discovered that a large proportion of the customer base left the network not because of any specific complaint but because of a general lack of satisfaction with the network.

“The focus is now on customer experience management. To that effect, a number of mobile operators are putting in place OSS tools that help the operators assess the customer experience at a particular moment in time or even in real time,” said Aditya Kaul, practice director, mobile networks.

ABI Research