Batelco tests convergent billing platform

Batelco is close to launching an improved mobile billing system that will allow it to manage its prepaid and contracted users on one platform.

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By  Richard Agnew Published  July 29, 2004

Batelco is close to launching an improved mobile billing system that will allow it to manage its prepaid and contracted users on one platform. The operator has been working with Ericsson since the end of 2003 to implement the solution following its launch of services based on GPRS and MMS. It recently extended GPRS and MMS to its prepaid subscriber base, having previously limited access to postpaid subscribers. “The majority of our customers are on prepaid accounts,” says Hamza Ali, the operator’s senior manager of mobile products and services. “We have developed a flexible charging system which is fully convergent and capable of charging for post as well as prepaid services. The capability is there and we are waiting for regulatory approval,” he adds. The move will make Batelco’s billing platform better suited to dealing with mobile services based on data, rather than just voice. The solutions’s other capabilities include premium rate SMS and mobile terminated billing. “The challenge is to charge for the newer services, as opposed to plain telephony,” says Ali. “Now that we are focusing more on content, our old billing system is difficult to use,” he adds. The system is currently being tested and will be launched later this year, Ali says.

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