Swedish vendor Ericsson on Tuesday agreed to acquire US-based MetraTech, a provider of metadata-based billing, commerce and settlement tools. Financial details were not disclosed but the acquisition is not telecom specific. Ericsson said MetraTech’s billing suite is adaptable to multiple business models and industries, extending the company’s presence into other key markets, including transport and utilities.
German carrier Deutsche Telekom has extended its billing capabilities though a partnership with mobile payments and analytics company Bango that will widen access to direct operator billing for app store purchases.
UK carrier EE this week enabled its own flavour of NFC, dubbed Cash on Tap, for London’s bus network, allowing customers to use their phone in lieu of an Oyster card or contactless debit card. Users will need an EE handset and an NFC-capable SIM.
Social network Twitter has acquired payments infrastructure firm CardSpring for an undisclosed sum. The San Francisco-based startup develops a web service API that makes it easy for payment companies and point-of-sale vendors to work with developers to create card-linked services.
Telefónica’s UK mobile operation, O2, on Tuesday said that its customers can now pay for items in the Google Play store through direct carrier billing —adding the cost of apps and content into their monthly bill or deducting it from their prepay credit.
Hutchison Whampoa’s 3 group has successfully integrated Google Play direct carrier billing into the network of its Austrian subsidiary, 3 Austria. The company has already rolled out the system in Sweden, Ireland and Hong Kong, allowing apps and other digital goods such as books, music, games as well as the music streaming service Music All Access to be paid for via the mobile bill.
‘Agility’, a word used to gauge a company’s ability to respond to the market with flexibility, has become the operator watchword of 2014. It highlights the dawn of an era when operators require not only real-time visibility of their customer’s activity but also the ability to react in real-time to succeed.
An operator’s approach to BSS (business support systems) – including billing, charging and policy – can determine how easy or challenging it is to respond to the market and maximise revenue opportunities. In a recent survey of over 100 operators by Telecoms.com Intelligence, 85 per cent acknowledged that market conditions require increasingly agile BSS systems enabling operators to provide service diversity and faster time to market.
Stavros Vougas, Regional Vice President, MEA & APAC at Tecnotree, talks to Telecoms.com at MWC2014 about convergent billing and customer relationship management.
Ilkka Aura, Chief Commercial Officer, Tecnotree, talks to Telecoms.com at MWC 2014 about changing the operator architecture from a network-centric business model to a subscriber-centric business model.
Doug Suriano, CTO of Tekelec, part of Oracle Communications, talks to Telecoms.com at MWC2014 about innovative data plans operators can offer to customers.
Chris Hoover, VP Marketing at Openet, talks to Telecoms.com at MWC2014 about service diversity among operators based on context.
The majority of operators have not yet made the call on whether to migrate their BSS environment to the cloud. More than a third have decided against the movement and less than 20 per cent have actually put initiatives in place to accomplish such a shift. The findings of the Telecoms.com Industry Survey 2014 sought to establish which elements of the BSS environment are being addressed with the most urgency along with how and where operators are looking to the cloud to enhance their performance.
Respondents to the Telecoms.com Industry Survey 2014 reaffirmed the previous year’s enthusiasm for the idea of partnership between OTT players and operators, with 92 per cent believing there is value in such collaboration. But this year the key benefits were pinpointed as improved customer retention and a competitive advantage.
Orange Slovakia this week tapped up B/OSS specialist Openet for a Policy and Charging Control (PCC) infrastructure to enable a major rollout of advanced shared data bundles. The deployment makes it possible for Orange to quickly define segmented data offers, with associated balances, notifications and policy rules for its 2.8 million subscribers.
Canadian billing and charging specialist Redknee Solutions has announced a $6m deal with Austrian incumbent Telekom Austria that will see the vendor’s real-time billing, charging and customer care solution deployed across the operator’s portfolio in Central and Eastern Europe.
NSN and Huawei have become the first vendors to cross licence their OSS interfaces as part of a multi vendor interoperability initiative announced last year.
George Fraser, VP – EMEA, at BSS provider CSG International, talks to Telecoms.com about the huge pressures of cost management in terms of service deployment.
Chinese telecoms software provider AsiaInfo Linkage has announced a supply deal with Telenor Denmark, the vendor’s first European mobile operator win since its launch in the region last year. AsiaInfo described the project as a BSS transformation, which will include the provision of its proprietary billing, CRM and real-time analytics solutions, including its Veris BSS product.
Real time self service (RTSS) is the key to encouraging consumers to spend more on mobile data consumption, with operators in Western Europe missing potential annual incremental data revenues of €4bn, according to research released by Northstream and Chinese BSS vendor AsiaInfo-Linkage.