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Live convergent billing helps Vodacom Tanzania launch tailored services rapidly

An advanced live convergent charging system is keeping Vodacom Tanzania ahead of its market rivals by allowing it to offer exceptional customer service based on flexible billing options and tailored offers much more quickly.

Despite its leading position in the Tanzanian communications market, Vodacom Tanzania found that its ability to grow as quickly as it wanted and capitalize on market opportunities was being restricted. Vodacom Tanzania faced challenges in market share, customer satisfaction and churn.

In particular, its billing system led to high costs and long development times for features the company wanted to place on the market. Vodacom Tanzania also wanted to improve its post-paid penetration, which was restricted by local banking conditions.

A priority for Vodacom Tanzania was to gain greater penetration in the small and medium size (SME) and large corporate markets, as well as drive its converged business. Achieving this would require a billing system that offered prepaid, post-paid and hybrid products across all types of traffic in the network.

Vodacom also faced the challenges of the Tanzanian market, including price sensitivity, extreme competition, massive price erosion and a huge increase in volume and transactions.

Consultancy matches solution with strategy

“I am really excited about the benefits that this project will deliver to Vodacom in giving us as Vodacom the platform for changing our business and pushing new products into the market in record time.“

Dietlof Mare,
Vodacom Tanzania
Managing Director

Vodacom Tanzania turned to Nokia Siemens Networks to implement its leading-edge convergent billing system. The first stage in the ambitious project involved consultancy to ensure that the business drivers aligned with the overall business strategy.

The solution itself is based on the Nokia Siemens Networks charge@ once unified platform, which allows real-time rating and charging and enables a flexible mixture of payment methods.

In practical terms, it means that a business customer can choose postpaid for all services used for business purposes and a prepaid account for private voice calls or SMS. With this platform, family contracts are also possible, allowing parents to pay for their own voice services via a postpaid method and use their phones to top up their children’s prepaid phones. The platform also allows Vodacom to send an alert message if the bill exceeds a limit set by the customer. Alternatively, it can stop network connectivity altogether, thus allowing customers to control their expenditure.

“The Nokia Siemens Networks unified charging and billing platform enables Vodacom to lead the market with flexible payment methods,” says Dietlof Mare, Vodacom Tanzania Managing Director.

The solution allows Vodacom to offer exceptional service by putting the customer in control of their spending. As well as online features for postpaid subscribers and its flexible payment features, charge@once unified offers instant bonus and discounts, and online access to balances. It also allows Vodacom to improve customer loyalty with bundles and discounts, while also offering price transparency that lowers entry barriers for new value-added services.

Meet market needs

Challenges

  • Intense competition for market share creating rising churn
  • Long development times for new services was putting a brake on Vodacom’s growth plans
  • Inability to tailor services efficiently to drive up customer satisfaction and win market share

The flexibility of the solution allows Vodacom Tanzania not just to meet the needs of the market, but to influence its development. The solution offers a number of ready-to-run, tested and highly customizable marketing use cases which Vodacom can configure to suit its needs. With this feature, Vodacom can simply chose from a wide variety of different modules to create schemes such as special tariffs for surfing after midnight or free SMS at a specified time of day.

New use cases can also be created, allowing Vodacom to overcome the intense competition in the Tanzanian market by differentiating itself more readily from its rivals. These features can also help create new market trends, while building targeted marketing strategies in the shortest possible time.

Solutions

  • Consulting phase to determine business requirements
  • Migration from legacy system to Nokia Siemens Networks Charge@Once unified Rating and Charging System.
  • Upgrade of the OSS layer for the solution
  • Related project integration services

The solution also contributes to more efficient subscriber management, with a single converged customer database and centralized management of product lifecycles.

Benefits

  • Vodacom Tanzania can offer tailored services with very short lead times
  • Convergent charging enables prepaid and post-paid subscribers to be addressed with the same offer to win new post-paid revenue
  • Improved customer experience with advanced features such as subscriber-managed real-time spending threshold
  • Rapid response to changing market demands through ready-made products that can be adapted quickly and cost-effectively
  • Reduced Total Cost of Ownership compared to legacy system
  • Improved customer experience will result in more loyal customers