Established in 2001, Lebara originally made its name supplying cut-price international phone cards for migrant workers and international students to call their families around the world.
It has since branched out to become a full MVNO in the UK – running services over the Vodafone network – and currently has sales of over £500m.
Lebara is in the process of adding a range of services covering entertainment, finance and communications, including a free voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) and messaging app called Lebara Talk.
Its Online Digital Charging System will provide a single sign-on process for new and existing Lebara services, delivered and integrated by Chinese networking supplier Huawei – which last week announced its move towards becoming a services-oriented ICT company at an event in Shenzhen.
Read more about digital wallet systems
- Amazon has stopped its mobile wallet beta only six months after it launched the app which enabled users to store and manage gift and loyalty cards.
- Visa has announced that it will expand its V.me digital wallet into eight new regions by the end of 2014.
- Mobile operator Vodafone is enabling its customers to add banking functionality to their Vodafone Wallets.
Lebara ambitions meet Huawei goals
Lebara has had a partnership with Huawei for a number of years, said chairman and CEO Yoganathan Ratheesan.
“With Huawei’s market-leading technology, we’re able to innovate and enhance our systems to provide the best possible customer experience for all our products and services,” he commented.
Huawei UK CEO Gordon Luo said: “Lebara has a reputation for providing innovative, flexible and cost-effective services to its customers and Huawei is honoured to have been selected to provide the Online Charging System upgrade.”
Besides more convenient billing options for its worldwide and highly-mobile customer base, Lebara said it hoped to reduce the time to market of new services, as well as reducing its costs and carbon emissions as it continues to expand into new markets.
This dovetails into Huawei’s services ambitions – driven, it says, by far-reaching changes in user behaviour and demand, forcing communications services providers (CSPs) to rethink aspects of their operations such as service performance and quality, and user experience.
Huawei wants to help such firms improve their return on investment (ROI) and optimise how they use existing assets; support the transformation of CSPs’ ICT estates; achieve customer experience management monetisation; and evolve to a future-proof network.
It is also building a service provider lab to research future operational models for CSPs such as Lebara.