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Intec Telecom Systems, a global provider of operations support systems (OSS) for fixed, mobile and IP/next-generation networks, has announced it has signed a contract with VimpelCom, one of Russia's leading providers of wireless telecommunications services, for Intec's InterconnecT Automated Reconciliation (InterconnecT AR) solution. The deal, worth in excess of $500,000, will allow VimpelCom to automate the process of reconciling incoming invoices and outgoing bills for interconnection charges. The deal extends Intec's relationshop with VimpelCom, which is already rolling out Intec's market-leading InterconnecT billing system across its GSM properties in Russia.

VimpelCom currently has in excess of 15 million subscribers across Russia. "Vimpelcom is growing rapidly as Russian consumers sign up for GSM services in ever increasing numbers," said Vimpelcom Vice-President, Mr. Andrei Kouznetsov. "We are also growing the number of interconnection agreements we have with other operators across Russia and around the world. Accurate interconnect bill reconciliation is very important to ensure that we are not being overcharged by, or overcharging, our partners. InterconnecT AR will also allow us to substantially cut the time and cost associated with this business activity, and we expect to achieve rapid return on investment through more accurate bills and reduced operational expenses."

Interconnect bill reconciliation is a time-consuming and expensive process for operators. Such bills commonly represent tens or even hundreds of millions of Pounds of both revenue and cost to carriers, and even small delays and inaccuracies in settlement can have a substantial impact on cashflow and profitability.

"This is a key win at one of the world's fastest growing mobile carriers," said Intec CEO, Kevin Adams. "Intec is expanding the portfolio of carrier grade OSS it can offer to customers, with an emphasis on strong return on investment. InterconnecT AR will help VimpelCom to cut costs in the complex area of bill reconciliation as well as improving the accuracy and completeness of its billing processes."

InterconnecT AR enables automation of the process for comparing interconnect charge information from multiple interconnect accounting systems. It automates bill reconciliation processes through exchange, comparison and settlement of aggregated billing data. This helps avoid the overhead of manual handling of individual transactions - reducing settlement time and improving the accuracy of interconnect charges. InterconnecT AR supports both generic reconciliation and reconciliation using established standards such as CODIFI and DETRAF.

Automated reconciliation offers the opportunity not only to speed up the settlement process, but also to make better use of resources, reduce operating costs and streamline business processes. Automatic reconciliation shortens settlement cycles by automating a number of processes and reducing the risk of disputes. Cash-flow management is improved, as amounts payable and receivable can be traced and monitored closely at different stages. Automatic reconciliation need not be restricted to a simple comparison of rated information: it can also be used to identify areas of dispute and suggest potential resolutions. It can also provide automatic adjustments. Financial risk can be minimised by operators agreeing to pay an amount on the understanding that there will be a later adjustment after reconciliation.

Delivering a presentation on multi party settlement and participation in a round-table discussion on OSS & Billing Strategies

AM-BEO LTD., a global leader in rating, charging and revenue settlement software products and solutions, will be speaking at the forthcoming Next Generation Telecoms Central and Eastern Europe Conference, being held in Prague, on the 13th & 14th September. AM-BEO’s Director of Product Marketing, Simon Pepper, will present on how service providers – when introducing new data services and applications with 3rd party content providers – are creating a value chain between the content providers and the consumer which introduces a number of new and different challenges. Simon will also participate in the ‘OSS & Billing Strategy’ Roundtable to be held during the conference.

Klod Ghez steps up to the plate to help realize plans for growth and increased market share

Sheer Networks, a leading provider of award winning service management solutions for carrier networks and large enterprises, has announced the appointment of former Amdocs Executive, Klod Ghez, as CEO.  After the substantial growth of its customer base, with the additions of two large carriers in the Americas as well as world-class carriers: TelMex and KT, Sheer Networks steps up the pace. Klod Ghez’s appointment is aimed at leading and directing the company on its path towards market leadership, and towards becoming the industry's foremost service management platform solution provider.

Mr. Ghez, whose career includes senior level positions at preeminent computer and software companies, brings nearly 20 years of in-depth experience in business and technology development to Sheer Networks. Mr. Ghez most recently served as Vice President and Customer Business Executive for global accounts at Amdocs, where he was responsible for governing key customer accounts. Prior to his tenure at Amdocs, Mr. Ghez spent seven years at Computer Associates (CA) as a senior Vice President and General Manager of CA's interBiz Financials - CA's Financial Applications Business Unit.

In addition, Mr. Ghez served as General Manager, EMEA for Computer Associates interBiz financials unit. As CEO of Sheer Networks Mr. Ghez will be responsible for devising and implementing the vision and strategy for the global enterprise.

”We believe the appointment of an astute veteran like Klod Ghez will guide Sheer Networks to record growth and increasing global sales,” stated Ali Shadman, Partner - Communications, JK&B Capital. “We are experiencing increased demand for Sheer BOS service management applications from leading operators and enterprises worldwide. This is the right time for the company to carefully manage its global expansion. The addition of Klod Ghez will enhance Sheer’s positioning in gaining a market foothold and help facilitate growth in sales, marketing, executive management and field operations.”

“Sheer Networks’ rapid-fire advancement and solid technical capabilities fascinated me,” said Klod Ghez. “The company has reached the position where its vertical OSS solution approach has been favorably received and adopted by carrier class networks worldwide, who are realizing advanced operational efficiencies. I am extremely pleased by this opportunity to serve Sheer Networks, one of the fastest growing technology companies in the industry.”

Over 1000 Intec staff developing, implementing and supporting OSS family

Intec Telecom Systems has announced that it has successfully completed the $74.5 million acquisition of the 'Singl.eView' retail billing software division from ADC Telecommunications, Inc. The award-winning Singl.eView product line, widely regarded to be one of the top retail billing solutions available, is in use at over 70 Tier 1 and Tier 2 carriers in 17 countries, including Deutsche Telekom, Virgin Mobile, Hutchison 3G, SingTel Optus, and Reliance. The deal approximately doubles Intec's staff team, adding over 630 new employees worldwide, and creating a large professional services team of over 680 people.

"With the acquisition of Singl.eView, Intec now has the three key revenue generating OSS applications: retail, interconnect and content, plus three critical network facing OSS, convergent mediation, service activation, and real-time charging," said Intec Executive Chairman, Mike Frayne. "This product family, each one individually developed and proven to meet the most demanding, carrier grade requirements of Tier 1 operators, is unmatched in the OSS industry for breadth, performance, functionality and scalability. The acquisition also substantially enlarges our global presence with a total staff team of 1300 people based in 26 offices worldwide. Intec now has over 320 people in product development and over 680 in professional services, giving us a huge capability to develop and implement the most sophisticated OSS projects in the world."

The majority of the 70 active Singl.eView implementations are at larger (Tier 1 or large Tier 2) communications service providers, including Deutsche Telekom, Virgin Mobile, Reliance (India), SingTel Optus, XO Communications, Hutchison 3G, Tele2 and Inmarsat. The Singl.eView division recently won a number of awards for its products and customer installations, including the prestigious 'Best Overall Contribution to Billing', 'Best Billing Implementation - Telecoms' and 'Best Billing Implementation - Utilities' at the 2004 Global Billing Awards in London.

Intec CEO, Kevin Adams, added: "We believe this transaction makes Intec one of the leading OSS products companies in the world with over 450 customers and 600 installations, including 60% of the world's top 100 carriers. With around 1000 people developing and implementing our products we have an outstanding depth of capability to offer to customers."

Al-Pi is the First Service Provider to Deliver VoIP Hosted Communications Services to Enterprises in the Catalonian Region of Spain

NetCentrex, the leading enabler of converged voice-video-data networks and next-generation services, and Al-Pi Telecommunications, a subsidiary of Uni2 and France Telecom and one of Spain's major telecommunications service providers in the Catalonian region, have announced that Al-Pi Telecommunications has deployed NetCentrex' IPCentrex solution to launch "IPhone", a hosted VoIP communications service for Catalonian enterprises. Integration services have been carried out by Satec, NetCentrex' partner in Spain, who also provides support for the solution.

Available immediately, "IPhone" enables enterprises to access any voice and data services required for their activities over one single converged network. With "IPhone", they benefit from an efficient means of communication and increased productivity while optimising their telecommunications costs and outsourcing the management of telecommunications resources.

This innovative solution provides enterprises with a seamless migration path from regular PBX telephony ownership to centrally hosted business communications services, thus removing the need for telephony switching equipment at the enterprise premises. For example, for a company which counts between 50 and 200 extension lines, the "IPhone" solution could represent a saving of up to 40% on infrastructure and maintenance costs.

It also introduces new multimedia applications such as unified messaging, conferencing, and other PC integration applications. A self-care provisioning tool allows enterprises to manage the telephony services for each user and site themselves, including call forward, international access, access codes and directories. Additionally, line customisation can be directly carried out by the user. Delivered over a single network, communications are simplified and the company benefits from a single point of contact as well as single integrated billing.

"In our industry, time to market for a new solution such as IP Centrex services is a key factor for success. We chose NetCentrex' open, multi-protocol and proven platform, integrated by Satec, because it showed itself to be the most secure solution to meet our ambitious challenge" declared Andreu Vilamitjana, Marketing director of Al-Pi Telecommunications. "By deploying NetCentrex' platform into Al-Pi's network, we have created a very attractive and innovative VoIP solution to meet the needs of small and medium enterprises as well as large corporations, and to enable them cost savings and higher productivity. The extensive multi-level administration tools and self care capabilities of NetCentrex solutions will also enable us to reduce our operational expenses and to deliver a highly competitive price/performance value proposition."

"IP technology enables all services to be accessible anywhere. Al-Pi's new IP Centrex service will enable small and medium businesses to benefit from a wide range of services usually only available to large corporations. They will also benefit from a smooth migration path from traditional to IP telephony services," comments Theodore Martin, NetCentrex' CEO.

"Al-Pi is the first service provider to enter the Spanish VoIP business services market with a full IP Centrex solution which meets the needs of enterprises of all sizes. We feel confident about the potential growth of the VoIP services market in Spain, and Al-Pi is very well positioned to gain a leading position in it," concluded Sandra Cortez, Iberica Sales Director, at NetCentrex.

EDB Telesciences to deliver its convergent mediation solution to majorGerman operator

A leading German operator has selected EDB Telesciences to deliver a new mediation platform. Sterling Mediation will provide more efficient collection and processing of call records and usage data collected from the operator's networks. The solution will be implemented in collaboration with the European IT Service Provider Steria.

EDB Telesciences, in partnership with Steria, one of the Top 10 IT Servicecompanies in Europe, and a major German operator have agreed on the phaseddelivery of Sterling Mediation for the operator's network. The company maynot at this time disclose the identity of the operator.

Sterling Mediation is a fully convergent and highly scalable mediationproduct that will allow the operator to consolidate its mediation functionson one single platform, reducing operational costs associated withmaintaining multiple systems. By collecting and processing information fromdifferent networks and network elements and distributing it to billingsystems and other business critical systems, the mediation platform is anessential key to securing revenue streams and providing valuable informationon how to optimise network usage. Sterling Mediation will be implemented inphases, starting with the IP operations and ending with a fully convergedplatform for the operator's IP and fixed line networks.

"We are delighted to have been selected and now look forward to workingclosely with Steria and our customer to ensure a seamless integration ofSterling Mediation into the operator's back office operations," said MartinKammer, EDB Telesciences Mediation Division President. "This agreementconfirms our commitment to provide mediation for advanced telecommunicationsproviders and demonstrates the sophistication of our convergent mediationsystem."

Two-thirds of Mobile Devices Store Corporate Information Insecurely, Survey Reveals

Sloppy PDA habits are compromising customer confidentiality and putting companies' reputations on the line, according to the findings of the Mobile Vulnerability Survey 2004, commissioned by Pointsec Mobile Technologies, Infosecurity Europe and Computer Business Review (CBR). Two thirds of PDAs are used to store client details and corporate information, but without adequate protection.

PDAs are now firmly entrenched as corporate communication tools, with almost half being used to receive and view corporate emails, and a third now doubling as a phone. The storage of the names and addresses of corporate customers is now common, yet despite the value of such information stored on these PDAs, a full two thirds of users do not use any kind of encryption to protect the data.

The survey findings show that one of the fastest and easiest ways to access corporate data is through unprotected PDAs that are lost or stolen, as they contain business names and addresses, spreadsheets and other corporate documents.  The survey found that a third of users do not even use password protection on their devices, leaving the information vulnerable to opportunists, hackers or competitors. As a result, a lost PDA could have a huge impact on customer confidence and do untold damage to a company's reputation, the survey revealed.

As well as using their PDAs to store company information, many users store valuable personal information such as PIN numbers, bank account details, social security numbers, credit card information and even lists of passwords, many of which can be accessed - ironically - without a password.

Although more companies than ever have introduced a specific mobile security policy - over 50% have a policy compared with 27% last year - very little has changed when it comes to enforcing the protection of data on mobile devices.  For three years in a row, the number of people who are encrypting their data or using passwords to secure their PDAs has remained roughly static, in spite of the efforts of companies introducing mobile security policies.

Despite the large amount of valuable and sensitive customer and corporate information stored on mobile devices, 50% of companies do not inform the police of the loss of their devices, as they believe there is nothing they can do. Similarly, almost half fail to inform their insurance company about the loss of a device.  This is because few companies insure their mobile devices, let alone the data that resides on them, the survey found. Magnus Ahlberg, Managing Director of Pointsec Mobile Technologies, said: "Clearly companies are under-estimating, or are totally unaware of the amount of valuable information which is being stored on personal and business mobile devices.  Our advice is that companies should ensure that they have a mobile security policy and that all data is protected by centrally managed encryption and password protection.  To do this you have to take the responsibility away from the users and make it the companies' sole responsibility.  Mobile security need not be complicated; it is simply a matter of having a blanket approach by centrally administering all devices with encryption and password protection which users cannot get around - this provides the company with the insurance they need which is inexpensive to administer." 

Other findings of the survey show that:• 13% of respondents have had the misfortune of losing their mobile device, with the most likely places to lose a mobile device being in a taxi (30%), car (20%), the home (20%), an airport (10%) or a restaurant (10%).• It takes a user an average of 2 days to recover, reconfigure and re-enter data onto a new PDA if their previous device has been lost or stolen. • Forty percent of users would not be issued with a new company mobile device in the event of the loss or theft of their PDA; while just 18% said that they would be reprimanded for losing their device.  Only 10% believe that they should worry about the potential loss of their mobile device because it could result in the company inadvertently breaching the Data Protection Act. 

The survey found that the top 10 functions PDAs are most commonly used for are:1. To store personal names and addresses - 85% 2. To store business names and addresses - 76%3. As a personal diary - 72% 4. As a business diary - 71%5. To receive and view emails - 46% 6. As a telephone - 29% 7. To store corporate information - 29% 8. To create documents/spreadsheets - 28% 9. For entertainment - games/music etc - 28% 10. To store personal images and photographs - 24%

The Mobile Vulnerability Survey was conducted among 68 IT managers, with 38% coming from companies employing over 1,000 employees.

Strength and Leadership in Fibre Networks Assists Council In the Promotion of Broadband Services

ADC has announced today that it has joined the Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) Council Europe. The FTTH Council Europe was established in March this year to promote the extension of fibre access in Europe.  According to the Yankee Group, the number of Western European homes subscribing to FTTH services will grow by around 60 percent a year until at least 2008.

ADC is the latest company to join the council, which comprises 34 of the technology industry's leading communications companies.  All members are committed to the development of fibre-based broadband access networks that allow for new forms of e-entertainment, e-business and e-education.

"Fibre access is a critical element in European competitiveness and FTTH deployment is being driven by a need for service providers and communities to offer advanced media-rich services," said Axel Kahsnitz, vice president and regional director of Europe/Middle East/Africa for ADC. "By joining the FTTH Council Europe, we demonstrate our commitment to the development of fibre-based broadband access networks in the region. We are pleased to participate in the programme and look forward to collaborating with some of the industry's eminent experts in the field."

"We are delighted that ADC, as one of the global leaders in network infrastructure, can join our group and we are confident that they will make a valuable contribution to the goals of the FTTH Council Europe," said Paul Naastepad, president of the FTTH Council's Board. About the ADC FTTP Portfolio

ADC offers a wide range of passive FTTP products for the global marketplace and continues to invest in developing solutions for customers' worldwide. The ADC OmniReach portfolio of FTTP infrastructure solutions offers service providers flexibility in managing their FTTP equipment, including the expensive central office-based electronics, used to transmit the signals to individual homes.

Service providers can leverage their investment and generate revenue through the delivery of triple play services with OmniReach Fiber Distribution Terminals, Fiber Access Terminals, Passive Optical Splitter Modules, and Wavelength Division Multiplexer Modules.

Expands Access Choice for Businesses in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK

MCI has announced three managed Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) access solutions designed to meet the Internet and IP VPN connectivity requirements of business customers in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK. This broad range of managed DSL services offers businesses a variety of broadband access line speeds, performance levels and multi-user options.

The addition of DSL services enables MCI to offer its customers achoice of wide area network (WAN) connectivity methods - fromhigh-capacity leased lines to dial and now, DSL - to ensure that everyemployee at each of their offices has the ability to collaborate andaccess business information easily, efficiently and securely, on acost-effective basis.

"By adding DSL to our network access portfolio, MCI is fortifyingits ability to provide complete single-source WAN solutions, tailoredto the specific service demands of each customer location - from itsheadquarters to home-based workers and all points in between," saidAndrew McGrath, vice president of marketing for MCI in Europe, theMiddle East and Africa (EMEA). "This flexibility, combined with MCI'smanagement of these DSL solutions, allows MCI customers to betterallocate their network service budgets and to maximize their company'sreturn on its telecom investment."

The managed DSL access solutions include: MCI Internet & IP VPNDSL Office, MCI Internet & IP VPN DSL Solo, and MCI Internet DSLRemote. A variety of symmetric DSL (SDSL) and asymmetric DSL (ADSL)bandwidth options are available with these products.

ADC has announced that Telekomunikacja Polska (TPSA), the leading telecommunications operator in Poland, has selected KRONE copper connectivity solutions to complete the digitalisation of the operator's high-speed network.  Under the terms of the agreement, ADC will provide KRONE main distribution frames, digital distribution frames, cable heads, associated LSA PLUS modules and accessories to optimise the Polish network infrastructure and enhance delivery of new and advanced telecommunications services. KRONE will work with its local partner, C&C Partners Telecom in the city of Leszno, to deploy the equipment throughout Poland.

"We have worked with KRONE since 1991 and have always been extremely satisfied with both their products and their high level of service," said Mr Krzysztof Peret, expert of the network maintenance department for TPSA. "As we enter a new era of telecommunications, we are confident that ADC and KRONE can support us further as we roll-out new high-speed services to our customers in the future."

"We are proud of our long-standing relationship with TPSA and delighted that they consider us their supplier of choice," said Axel Kahsnitz, regional director, EMEA for ADC. "This is an exciting time for TPSA and presents us with a fresh challenge.  By providing TPSA with the best solutions available in the industry, we can support their business now and provide the flexibility necessary to adapt to future requirements simply and cost-effectively."

Lifetree Convergence has announced that leading African network MTC Namibia has selected Lifetree's customer care and billing solution @Billity 3.0 for its GSM and GPRS services. The Lifetree solution will include @Billity - Lifetree's comprehensive convergent billing solution, ZipBill, the enhanced bill generation and EBPP solution and ZipCare, the web enabled self-care solution.

@Billity 3.0 will replace the current BSCS 6.0 system at MTC and Lifetree will carry out a migration of customers to the new system. The Lifetree solution, which will be scaled to support 50,000 post paid subscribers initially, will also include mediation and provisioning solution for GSM and GPRS services.

Lifetree's integrated billing suite will enable MTC to significantly improve operational efficiencies and lower costs, while reducing time-to-market for introduction of new, innovative services. The end-to-end solution will include comprehensive OSS functionality to support CRM, multiple and remote Point of Sales, Credit Control, Fraud Management and Churn Management. These, in conjunction with the core Billing and Rating Modules, will enable MTC to manage their subscriber base effectively while also creating and implementing new services for their customers.

In addition, value added systems such as ZipCare and ZipBill will enable MTC subscribers to use self-care tools to activate/de-activate services, view bills on-line, select tariff plans as well as post and track complaints.

Patrick Mushimba General Manager IT from MTC says "Lifetree's @Bility was selected as the preferred CCBS, because the product is an end-to-end solution which is feature rich and supports key requirements like on-line provisioning, GPRS Charging, POS, Self Care, User friendliness, and Ease of Use, and Electronic Bill Presentation either via e-mail or over the web through portals.  In addition we believe the product will support our business into the future as we roll out new VAS to meet market demand."

Orange Romania, leading mobile communications provider with excellent customer service is expanding its market leadership with the help of innovative solutions by ORGA Systems. Customer Care Services for all Orange customers are now operating on the wIQ platform, an award-winning ORGA Systems product.  Additional valueadded services will be offered as a result of functional improvements and faster communication using USSD.

Orange Romania’s Self Care, implemented using an ORGA Systems solution, was launched last month. Orange Romania now offers additional services, accessible only by SMS or IVR for example, choosing the tariff plan, managing the favourite numbers, roaming service, international service, credit, recharge, bonus information, PUK code, mobile data service, voice mail, invoice information and the loyalty program Orange Thank You. The user can access all services by entering a USSD code (*100#) as single point of access.

The special feature of Self-Care is that Orange Romania can provide this service to both prepay and postpay customers. The service entails far more than the standard Prepaid  Account Query. USSD allows all customers at all times convenient access to tariffs and account summaries, roaming configurations and participation in loyalty programmes. The advantages: easy, user-friendly and quick. Statement by Yves Gauthier, Chief Commercial Officer, Orange Romania: “Implementation of the wIQ platform by ORGA Systems has optimised our Customer Care Service and  made it quicker and more efficient. We expect customer satisfaction to increase further in all customer segments as a result of this service provided by ORGA Systems.”

    

 

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