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BT Mobile MVNO deploys agile NFV-based billing

BT deploys an NFV-ready customer billing platform from BSS supplier Openet to give mobile customers more control of their service

Mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) BT Mobile has installed a network functions virtualisation (NFV) ready charging platform from Ireland-based business support systems provider Openet.

BT’s MVNO – which runs over the EE network and is to be maintained despite the telco’s £12.5bn acquisition of EE – is using the virtualised charging platform to rapidly test and introduce new mobile services, adopt new business models and minimise associated costs.

BT said it would drive advances in customer experience by delivering real-time insights that could be fed back to users, giving them more control over their mobile service.

Using Openet’s platform, BT Mobile is providing immediate visibility of account balances, data use notifications and data allowance management.

The service has also enabled mid-bill cycle contract changes, letting BT Mobile customers quickly and easily make changes to their bundle plans and add-ons.

BT Consumer IT director Mark O’Flaherty said the Openet system had been instrumental in enabling BT Mobile to meet its target launch date of August 2014.

“We required flexible technology that gives us the ability to react to rapidly changing market conditions. Openet’s virtualised charging system is perfect for our needs and ensures we have a highly competitive UK market proposition that will help us quickly grow market share,” said O’Flaherty.

“BT Mobile brings a great deal of exciting momentum to the mobile space,” added Openet CEO Niall Norton.

“It therefore requires an agile and cost effective BSS infrastructure that can support its anticipated growth and continue to deliver a differentiated customer experience. Openet is the perfect partner to ensure BT Mobile achieves its ambitions.” 

A recent report from the OpenStack Foundation said that global telecoms companies were increasingly turning to NFV – where network functions are decoupled from their associated device and hosted on a virtual machine, increasing overall network agility and saving both money and datacentre rack space.

A number of BT rivals, including its American counterpart AT&T, are currently using the technology to help boost their network capacity, enabling them to offer customers higher quality services without necessarily having to spend huge sums of money on their core networks.

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