European Communications

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News

Keep up with all the latest news affecting European telcos from regulation and financial results to developments in network sharing, billing and innovative new content.

BeST goes live with LHS

LHS, a leading provider of telecom billing and customer care systems across the wireless, wireline, and IP telecom markets worldwide, today announced that the Belarus telecommunications provider BeST has just gone live with its billing and customer care system BSCS iX, integrated and deployed by Alcatel. BeST has introduced the fully convergent real-time based billing system BSCS iX for the rating and billing of its postpaid voice, data and content services. Additionally, BeST selected LHS’ iX Recharge system, a voucher and refill management system for pre-paid cards, which will be installed in the next phase implementing pre-postpaid convergence.

LHS’ billing system BSCS iX allows BeST the fast introduction of new and innovative services. Internet-based customer self-care options will lower the costs yet improve the quality of customer service, thus strengthening customer loyalty.
 
Crucial factors in the decision of BeST were the high availability option of the billing system, as well as the pre-integration of BSCS iX with Hewlett Packard’s OpenCall Service Access Controller (OC SAC), which will allow the real-time control of the used voice and data services.
 
The state-owned GSM (900/1800 MHz) network operator BeST was established in 2005. Alcatel, as a long term partner of LHS for system integration, implemented BSCS iX, with the support of LHS’ professional services.
 
“With BeST we have gained a further customer in one of our most important growth markets,” said Detlef Purschke, Division Officer Europe of LHS. “Our billing system allows BeST to be optimally positioned in its market and provides it with a leading edge over its competition.”

Martin Dawes Systems enters Eastern European market with ACN rollout in Poland

Martin Dawes Systems, provider of dise3G, the integrated end-to-end billing & CRM solution, has announced ACN Europe will be utilising the platform to expand into the Polish market. The contract marks the entry of Martin Dawes Systems in Eastern Europe and builds on the successful use of dise3G to launch and grow ACN as an international telecommunications services business, serving over ≤million European subscribers.

ACN provides fixed line services in 13 European countries including Germany, France and Spain, connecting to over 20 different networks.  For the Polish roll-out, Martin Dawes Systems had to customise key areas of dise3G including order entry, CDR processing, provisioning and billing. These changes were necessary to ensure compatibility with the existing telecommunications systems, compliance with local regulations and to adapt the billing systems to the local currency.  By providing a tailored solution for these challenges Martin Dawes Systems was able to provide ACN with a solid platform to launch the new Polish services on schedule on 3rd October 2006.

Project sponsor at ACN, David Nash, commented, “Our latest roll out in Poland has been carried out without a hitch.  Martin Dawes Systems really came through for us, especially in the localisation of key elements.  Provisioning for a new market can often prove to be the most complex area as this requires interaction with new network commands and operators for each country but Martin Dawes Systems had the skills and tools that made this an easy transition for us.”

Barry Dowd, customer support director at Martin Dawes Systems, said, “This latest deployment has gone well for ACN and Martin Dawes Systems. We have effectively facilitated ACN's entry into Poland and helped it meet the local market and technological requirements. The project was completed on time and marked the renewal of our active relationship with ACN. We look forward to supporting ACN as it continues to expand in the region.”

Ericsson wins next-generation network contract with Versatel

Ericsson has been selected by German operator Versatel for the nationwide deployment and integration of its all-IP next-generation access network.

The multi-million euro deal is one of Ericsson's largest EDA broadband contracts in Germany and will cover a minimum two-year period. Ericsson's high-performance broadband solution positions Versatel for future multimedia expansion by boosting capacity and quality, and enabling it to offer higher bandwidth to end users.
 
The rollout and commercial launch are scheduled to begin in December 2006. Ericsson will initially provide a full-service broadband solution beginning with all-IP access through EDA 2530, with the potential to add IMS and multimedia applications. The contract also includes turnkey program management, installation, commissioning, integration and after-sales service.
 
Versatel COO Dr Hai Cheng says: "Ericsson's solution provides the springboard for our national rollout. It ensures we have the necessary systems in place to deliver high-quality, cost-effective and innovative multimedia services to customers, both now and in the future."
 
Dr Stefan Kindt, president of Ericsson in Germany, says: "The deal represents a milestone in Ericsson's longstanding relationship with Versatel and is one of the largest bandwidth upgrades in Germany. It also confirms Ericsson's decision to structure its business around infrastructure, services and multimedia to meet the needs of customers like Versatel."

Ericsson to lead core network modernization for T-Mobile UK

T-Mobile UK has selected Ericsson as its sole partner for a dual 2G/3G core network modernization programme. As T-Mobile UK's prime integrator, Ericsson will take full turn-key responsibility for the supply of equipment, deployment, integration and live migration.

Under the scope of a new unlimited term frame agreement, Ericsson will provide a new combined 2G and 3G core network. The introduction of the new core architecture based on the Ericsson Mobile Softswitch is an important step towards an all-IP network which will ultimately allow network operating costs to be driven down.
 
The new all-IP infrastructure will also allow T-Mobile UK to deliver new multimedia services to UK customers. A new transmission network is also part of the modernization project which will further upgrade the network.
 
Emin Gurdenli, Technical Director, T-Mobile UK says: "The decision to invest with Ericsson confirms our intent to offer best in class service to our customers". The turnkey nature of this agreement is significant in that it allows us at T-Mobile UK to concentrate on our customers and their needs whilst Ericsson focuses on a complete swap out of our core switching infrastructure."
 
Jacqueline Hey, Managing Director, Ericsson UK, says: "We are delighted to have been chosen as T-Mobile's partner in transforming and expanding its network - it's especially pleasing as it creates the opportunity to renew and reinvigorate our strong long-term relationship."

WIND selects TTI Telecom's Netrac ServiceImpact solution

Italian telecommunications provider adds ServiceImpact to enhance Service Assurance capabilities and improve end-user experience

TTI Team Telecom International, a global supplier of Operations Support Systems (OSS) to communications service providers, announced today that Wind Telecomunicazioni, Italy’s first alternative fixed operator and one of the leaders of integrated fixed-mobile-Internet communications services, has decided to deploy TTI Telecom's ServiceImpact. ServiceImpact will enable WIND to take a more customer-centric and proactive approach to Service Assurance.

WIND's decision comes in the midst of an already established relationship between the two companies. TTI Telecom has been working with WIND to enhance their network management and service assurance capabilities for three years.  More recently, TTI Telecom developed ServiceImpact, a module which brings a more business-oriented and customer-centric approach to their Netrac suite, identifying and preventing impact of Operations Measurements (OM) events on end-user experience. Building on the success achieved under the relationship's current framework, WIND has decided to include ServiceImpact as well.

"With Netrac ServiceImpact, we will now be able to take a more targeted approach to ensuring service quality and focus our resources to support QoS where it will minimize impact on the customer experience," commented Gabriele Sgariglia, O&M Director of WIND.  "We are very impressed with TTI Telecom's newest solution, and look forward to sharing its benefits with our subscribers."
 
“We are very proud of our achievements in ServiceImpact, as it allows service providers to better prioritize network resources in ensuring QoS, as well as enhancing the overall user quality of experience," said Avner Amran, VP Marketing and Business Development at TTI Telecom. "WIND’s selection also attests to our ability to leverage our customer base for additional, revenue-generating opportunities, and is indicative of the growing traction our product portfolio is experiencing internationally, particularly in Europe.”

Netrac ServiceImpact immediately identifies affected services and customers by using real-time correlation between network faults and service topology. Netrac ServiceImpact better enables business-driven problem resolution that improves customer service by reducing the time needed for attending to network failures. Furthermore, the ServiceImpact correlation engine takes into account changes on both network topology and customer base by working with various data sources such as inventory systems and CRM databases. It has an intuitive, web-based GUI that allows for the creation of powerful impact rules at both global and service levels. Netrac ServiceImpact performs flawlessly under high loads, easily scaling up according to the demanding requirements of service providers.

Radvision selected by Cestel to deliver video-enhanced services and contact centers

Collaboration to advance the deployment of video-enabled contact centers and value-added services for mobile carriers

Radvision, a leading provider of voice and video network infrastructure and developer tools for unified visual communications over IP, 3G, and emerging next-generation networks, today announced that Cestel, a major Spanish system integrator for the media and call center industry, has chosen Radvision’s Interactive Video Platform to incorporate advanced video capabilities to its contact center and IVR  solutions.

Radvision’s powerful development platform offers an intuitive, smooth migration path from audio-based contact centers and IVR systems to video-enhanced solutions. The IMS-ready Interactive Video Platform enables rapid development and deployment of multiple video applications that can be run concurrently. This allows Cestel to leverage a one-time infrastructure investment and enables delivery of carrier-class solutions that enhance the consumer experience.

With the addition of a video layer on existing premium number voice services, such as traffic updates, weather, banking and more, Cestel clients can offer enhanced video-enabled services to consumers in conjunction with legacy voice services.

“Several leading customers are enthusiastic about the performance of the platform based on initial deployment results,” said Mr. Fernando Ortiz Cestel, CEO. “Our customers not only expect to receive the same high quality when video is added, they also expect to leverage existing legacy equipment and transition smoothly to the world of video. Radvision’s flexible APIs and robust development platform allow them to do that.”

"Our collaboration with Cestel further proves that interactive video services for the mobile and contact center markets offer real revenue-generating opportunities,” said Alon Barnea, General Manager of Radvision’s Mobility & Service Provider Business Unit. “Cestel’s video-enhanced IVRs deployed throughout Spain are an important milestone towards widely-deployed interactive multimedia services – further validating the transformation from visionary ideas to real business solutions using interactive video.”

Cellcom Israel renews agreement with BSG Clearing Solutions for Data Clearing Services

BSG Clearing Solutions (BSG), a subsidiary of Billing Services Group Limited (AIM:BILL), the telecom industry’s clearing and settlement provider today announced that Cellcom Israel has renewed its agreement with BSG for GSM wireless data clearing services. The multi-year contract demonstrates the ongoing strength of the Cellcom and BSG relationship.

Under the agreement, BSG Clearing Solutions will continue to provide GSM wireless data clearing services for international roaming traffic.
 
“BSG has always supported Cellcom’s business growth objectives. We assisted them by providing Roaming Agreement Management and more recently SMS Interworking” stated Atul Devani, CEO of BSG’s Wireless Services. “We’re excited that we can continue to work collaboratively with Cellcom to bring forward new phase technologies that include Near Real Time Roaming Data Exchange (NRTRDE) for fraud prevention.”
 
Yuval Shani, Roaming Manager, Cellcom Israel commented, “Our customers are our priority. We are happy with the high quality of service, operational expertise and the experience BSG has in the clearing market place. Their continued commitment and seamless effort means our data clearing needs are best positioned with our existing supplier. We look forward to developing the relationship further with BSG, together taking a strategic approach to best serve our customers with new generation technologies.”

EastWind solution to be implemented in three branch offices of Uralsvyazinform JSC

EastWind and Uralsvyazinform JSC have signed a contract for delivery and implementation of EastWind Device Controller for three branch offices of Uralsvyazinform JSC.

EastWind, a part of SITRONICS Telecommunications Solutions business line, and Uralsvyazinform JSC have signed a contract for delivery and implementation of EastWind Device Controller for three branch offices of Khanty-Mansysk, Chelyabinsk and Tyumen.

EastWind Device Controller, the system enabling automatic receipt and transfer of control commands to operator’s MSC, is well-known to the Uralsvyazinform specialists. Since 2004 the system smoothly operates in Ekaterinburg branch office of the company. Implementation of EastWind Device Controller in networks of other branch offices allows efficient processing of requests from billing systems in real-time mode and distribution of load. Implementation of the system enables optimization of MSC’s operation and fast customer care which especially important in terms of subscriber base dynamic growth.

EastWind possesses rich experience in integration of the system with MSCs of different manufacturers. The system proved its reliability in emergency situations by informing operator’s staff of errors and failures in MSC’ operation.

VoIP usage in the UK remains low, says Juniper

New report claims Internet Service Providers’ VoIP will be more significant than Skype in the future

JupiterResearch, a leading authority on the impact of the Internet and emerging consumer technologies on business, has revealed today that few UK consumers currently make telephone calls with Skype’s voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) service but that usage of Skype is strong in younger age groups.

JupiterResearch assesses the market opportunity for VoIP services in a new report entitled, 'Skype and VoIP – Quantifying the Hype in the UK'. The reports highlight that just four percent of consumers regularly use Skype, although VoIP services of all types are used by 12 percent of online consumers. Unlike the situation in many countries, Skype faces tough market conditions in the UK as almost all leading broadband ISPs have an existing telephony service to defend or are launching new VoIP telephony services.
 
“While Skype usage is low today across the whole population, in specific groups such as youthful consumers, there is tremendous acceptance of Skype’s VoIP service,” said Ian Fogg, lead author on the report and senior analyst at JupiterResearch. “This mirrors usage of other instant messaging applications that offer VoIP”. He predicts that Skype’s consumer up-take will accelerate with the introduction of new telephone handsets that do not require a PC. Fogg added: “Skype’s VoIP telephony is attractive to consumers because services are digital, free or very cheap, and are flexible.”