Alternative Roaming Provider (ARP)

Compliance with European Roaming Directive III to provide support for Alternative Roaming Providers for voice, messaging and data.

  • Status
  • Deployed
  • End-users the application is for
  • Consumers
  • Enterprise
  • Two-Sided Model
  • Network Internal

European Mobile Network Operators (MNO) must comply with European Union Roaming Directive III and provide support for Alternative Roaming Partners (ARP) when their retail subscribers roam within the EU. 

The directive allows retail subscribers to elect to have their voice, messaging and data services provided by an ARP while they are roaming instead of their home network provider.  The main requirements are:

  • Subscribers can choose different ARPs for each of their voice, messaging and data services.
  • The selection of ARPs can be made on a permanent basis or on a “per use” basis (for some limited period).
  • The right to select ARPs is available to pre- and post-paid subscribers.
  • Subscribers may use an ARP using a standard, single IMSI mobile device and will retain their normal mobile phone number whilst roaming.

When chosen, the ARP becomes responsible for delivering the selected services to the roaming subscriber.  For mobile voice service, for example, the provision of the supplementary services that make up the entire voice user experience including voicemail and personal preferences and so on, become the responsibility of the ARP.

The regulation also allows roaming subscribers to elect to take their data services directly from the visited network they have roamed to, rather than from their home network or any other ARP (via their home network).  This is known as Local Break-Out (LBO).

Provision of some or all of the services via an ARP rather than by the visited network in cooperation with the home network is achieved by real-time adaptation of the telecom signalling using Rhino. 

Full support for and compliance with the EU directive is achieved without a costly upgrade of the core network elements (MSCs, SCPs, HLRs, GGSNs etc.) and without changing the service behaviour when an ARP is not active.