Getting billing right for T-Mobile Austria
T-Mobile Austria urgently needed a new billing system. The Austrian market is dominated by price competition and rapid growth of data traffic. To stay competitive, T-Mobile Austria needed to offer innovative services and flexible solutions. And that required a future-proof billing system that could be extended to real time charging. "We had to lower our costs and our competitors already had state of the art billing systems," explains Andreas Fraumbaum, Senior VP BSS, T-Mobile Austria.
A perfect partnership
T-Mobile Austria’s plan was to upgrade its billing system to state of the art functionality as well as the highest level of standardization. It was one of the biggest IT projects in the company’s history – therefore it was vital to have the right partner.
"It was important to have a way forward for our existing customers without changing all the products," Fraumbaum says. "With Ericsson we saw a new possibility, a stronger partner in the market, and also one coming up with a new vision."
One of the biggest challenges of the project was that the billing system is at the heart of operations: it had to work. Rüdiger Köster, CTIO, T-Mobile Austria, explains: "If the billing system is down we won’t have any new customers, we cannot serve old customers and we cannot bill customers. In effect it would mean that the company was dead."
T-Mobile and Ericsson did a joint pre-migration study and when the time came everything went smoothly. "It was a big success that the customers didn’t recognize that we had changed the billing system," Fraumbaum says.
Benefits to both customer and operator
With the new billing systems in place, T-Mobile Austria can enjoy both a more reliable system and lower costs. But, more importantly, it can offer new services, for example family plans, and target offerings to customers through better segmentation.