Redwood focuses on pre-paid

Redwood Technologies is looking to tap into growing adoption of pre-paid billing systems by fixed service providers in Africa.

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By  Richard Agnew Published  April 4, 2004

Redwood Technologies is looking to tap into growing adoption of pre-paid billing systems by fixed service providers in Africa. With operators across the continent facing bad debt, fraud and collection issues, the UK-based equipment vendor is exhibiting at Telecom Africa 2004 to promote its DNX-1100 multi-service platform as the basis for credit-based charging and other value added network services. Having implemented what is thought to be the largest prepaid billing system in Africa for Nitel, the incumbent operator in Nigeria, last year, Redwood is currently implementing the solution for two of the country’s fixed wireless access (FWA) providers, Startech and Rainbownet. Voice and internet service provider, Nexus, is also using the system as the central intelligent switch for its wireless network in Luanda, Angola. “[The FWA] operators have typically looked at the roll out of radio network and maybe put the billing side of the business to one side,” says Martin Taylor, director, Redwood. Startech and Rainbownet are among the first companies to have taken advantage of FWA licences purchased at auction from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in 2002. Redwood is currently installing the DNX-1100 switch at the latter’s headquarters in Enugu to provide exchange facilities, voice over IP (VoIP) capability, real-time billing and settlement with the country’s PSTN and GSM networks. On top of it, Redwood’s prepaid communications solution, RedRouter, is being used to enable prepaid billing of subscribers, reducing the operator’s administrative costs as it currently bills users manually. Further applications such as voicemail, prepaid calling cards and payphone services will also be offered. “We’re adding various services such as virtual telephony. If you want to become a Rainbownet customer but can’t afford a phone line, you can have a number allocated which goes straight to voicemail. You can then access messages from a payphone or we can email it to you as an attachment,” Taylor adds.

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