Nokia Siemens Networks bridges the gap between prepaid and postpaid

Published February 12th, 2009 - 05:57 GMT

The leading mobile prepaid and charging supplier, Nokia Siemens Networks, has today launched ‘charge@once unified’ and ‘charge@once business’ as part of its convergent Unified Charging and Billing solution that offers service providers the flexible and personalized service approach essential to driving revenues in a competitive market place.
One vital way for service providers to improve customer experience and generate more revenue is to make sure money related issues are carefree and customer care is fast and efficient. The Nokia Siemens Networks Unified Charging and Billing offers one modular solution for prepaid charging and postpaid billing as well as customer care. It enables service providers to offer their customers service and price plans based on personal preferences. Improved customer service allows for customers to have easy access to accurate information about their service usage and costs via an online account view – irrespective of their payment method. The solution also provides the flexibility and cost transparency that customers need to take up new services.
“This is the next generation of convergent charging and billing. For the first time, the two domains come together as one productized solution that makes the service providers’ processes and daily operations faster, easier to manage and more cost-efficient,” said Juhani Hintikka, Head of Operations and Business Software, Nokia Siemens Networks. “We have calculated together with a customer that a medium size operator in a growth market could grow an additional 4-5 percent annually in EBITDA over a five year period thanks to Unified Charging and Billing alone. It is a solution founded on our strong track record of prepaid systems and deep understanding of customer needs.”
The modular Unified Charging and Billing solution allows service providers to gradually upgrade their existing charging and billing systems as it clearly separates the telecommunications specific charging and billing functions and the enterprise and financial processes into two layers, thus simplifying today’s scattered billing and charging architecture. 
The core of the solution is the charging and billing software, ‘charge@once unified’, which is based on the market-leading Nokia Siemens Networks charging and rating engine and converged data model. It is complemented by ‘charge@once business', which provides pre-integrated, converged customer care, financials and reporting functionality.
Nokia Siemens Networks has embedded Oracle’s market leading customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications in the charge@once business for flexible integration into the service providers’ operational environment.
Nokia Siemens Networks also provides the consulting and systems integration capabilities to implement the Unified Charging and Billing solution. With the cumulated experience of over 500 systems integration projects delivered globally, Nokia Siemens Networks' Services business has a proven track record in bringing together increasingly complex combinations of business models, processes, technologies, systems and software. In fact, Nokia Siemens Networks supports service provider business applications during their complete life cycle, including maintenance and outsourcing services.
About Nokia Siemens Networks
Nokia Siemens Networks is a leading global enabler of telecommunications services. With its focus on innovation and sustainability, the company provides a complete portfolio of mobile, fixed and converged network technology, as well as professional services including consultancy and systems integration, deployment, maintenance and managed services. It is one of the largest telecommunications hardware, software and professional services companies in the world. Operating in 150 countries, its headquarters are in Espoo, Finland.
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Four examples on how Unified Charging and Billing enriches the customer experience
The social community experience
The Marner family uses a wide range of services and wants a mixture of postpaid and prepaid tariffs with monthly spend limits that they can set for the children. Should there be any reason to contact the customer care, the agent will be able to see all Marner family related information at once. He could then, for example, suggest topping up the children’s accounts if they are low on credit. With Unified Charging and Billing, the communications service provider (CSP) can offer all these features and gain a full view of the behavior of the family and other communities. The CSP can create family and other group tariffs to match the different activities of community members.
The business user’s experience
Anthony would like to use his mobile for personal as well as work use, avoiding the inconvenience of carrying two handsets. Unified Charging and Billing allows the CSP to set up two accounts on his device, with postpaid voice calls during the day being charged to his employer and a mixture of postpaid and prepaid tariffs for a range of services billed to Anthony’s personal account.
The experience of discovering new services
Jane is a personal user with a postpaid contract. She has just upgraded her handset to access the Internet and mobile email. Jane is unsure how much she will use the services, so wants to use prepaid for them to control her spending. When she is sure about the value of a service and wants to continue using it, she can switch to a more cost-effective postpaid tariff.
The new subscriber experience
Ben is a new customer. He wants a postpaid tariff, but it can take up to five weeks for all the necessary credit checks to be completed. With Unified Charging and Billing, his CSP can temporarily set Ben’s account as prepaid, allowing him to use services immediately, and switch him to postpaid when his credit rating is approved. Any unused prepaid funds are carried over into his postpaid account.

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