People in the highly saturated Greek market can choose from a bewildering selection of mobile tariffs and offerings. Competition is fierce, especially in the prepaid sector. Two years ago, the third-biggest operator WIND Hellas, identified two market trends that required immediate action: saturation in its customer base and ARPU reduction. It had introduced new brands on different platforms to serve various groups of users, for example its Q brand for low spenders, but needed to further modernize and synchronize its systems.
The company had a vision to consolidate its prepaid sector into one common system and to update its Business Support System to a convergent-ready one with a proven roadmap. It had two goals: firstly to streamline its expenditure – both its capex and opex; and secondly, to give customers enhanced offers they had not seen before, for example community charging, loyalty schemes and converged services.
WIND Hellas turned to Ericsson because of its expertise in delivering complex integration projects and convergent-ready architecture. This was not simply a prepaid swap proposition but a complete reorganization and modernization of WIND Hellas' accounting network at every level – core, mediation, provisioning and charging. The billing system had already been migrated to BSCS and was convergence ready. But other systems needed linking to enable common charging of all users, including VAS and hybrid subscribers. The upgrade would incorporate 76 prepaid tariffs and 78 promotions and allow streamlining of resources and administration. WIND Hellas was determined the work should not inconvenience its customers at all.
Ericsson supplied a network proposition and provided the systems, software, consultancy services and system integration. It was the prime integrator, managing 14 different companies and vendors, directing more than 200 other engineers and systems integrators, and coordinating the whole project over two years. In all, 4 million prepaid and hybrid customers and 1 million postpaid users were migrated, achieving seamless integration between Charging System 4 and BSCS 9. WIND Hellas was impressed that despite the complex upgrade, its customers were unaffected and its revenues protected. Nicolas Costaras, Chief Information Officer, WIND Hellas says: "It was very successful, the company didn't feel a thing, it just happened. That is the ultimate target of any migration project: do not lose a cent and do not intrude on one minute of your customers’ usage time. We succeeded on both."
Since going live with the system, WIND Hellas has already launched a number of new services, including the WIND card. Prepaid users can access options they did not have before, such as real-time information of their usage costs, and postpaid subscribers are benefiting through real-time charging. Nicolas Costaras says: "We have lived with the system for several months now and I’m very, very happy with it. It is very reliable and the functionality is rich." Now WIND Hellas is in the process of utilizing the features of the new system as much as possible, such as managing e-voucher promotion schemes. It has already seen a reduction in the churn rate of prepaid customers and its market position is stabilizing. George Antzoulatos, Sales Manager, Broader Portfolio, Ericsson adds: "The prepaid sector is the most dynamic in the business. It is the heart and core of each operator. To be able to provide a seamless migration and fulfill the operator's objectives is a great success."
Customer: WIND Hellas, Greece
- Lower opex
- Provide latest offers
- Prepare for convergence
- Single subscription system
- Reference architecture with proven roadmap, convergence-ready system
- End-to-end support on charging methods
- Seamless migration
- Increased cost efficiency
- New prepaid offerings