GPRS billing solution for BT Cellnet services

BT Cellnet says it has found a solution for charging its customers for GPRS mobile services, writes Antony Savvas.

BT Cellnet says it has found a solution for charging its customers for GPRS mobile services, writes Antony Savvas.

BT Cellnet has hired ICL to install Geneva Technology's billing system to enable the mobile operator to take full advantage of its forthcoming GPRS (General Packet Radio Service).

This service will eventually deliver voice and data services at up to 115 kilobits per second (kbps). Most mobiles currently cope by transporting voice and data at 9.6kbps.

While GPRS is far slower than true third generation services which seek to offer up to 2 megabits per second, including the bold promise of providing video, it is seen as the main link from current second generation GSM services to the next generation.

The billing aspect is one that has dogged the telecoms firms and which has worried some of their corporate customers over how the services will be billed.

The Geneva solution gives customers a single view of all their services and activities in the form of one bill, after allowing the telecoms firm to closely track the usage of GPRS, which is difficult because it is an always-on technology which does not have to be dialled up.

The Geneva solution will enable BT to charge different amounts for various data and voice services.

BT Cellnet IT director Chris Brown says, "The Geneva solution will allow us to offer an increasingly flexible range of service bundles which match customer needs."

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