New entrant heats up market for telco billing systems

Demand to top $4.1 billion by 2010

New billing systems entrant, Utilibill, which was launched in Australia this month, is already billing 75 service providers.

Programmers, developers and researchers spent two years developing the platform, which is an all-in-one Web-based billing and customer care back end system for retail resellers and wholesalers in the telecommunications market.

Utilibill managing director, Igor Green, said the overwhelming interest in the product is because most billing platforms in the past simply counted records and generated bills.

"This next generation technology not only replaces the entire back end function with a one step automated billing process it is also fully integrated with Telstra's LOLIG, the backend systems for provisioning and configuring fixed wire, GSM and CDMA mobile and data services," Green said.

"This feature removes double entry of information, reduces billing errors and pools all customer information in a central location.

"All resellers need to do is customise the look of their invoices and customers can immediately view and pay their bill online."

The platform provisions and bills for fixed wire, mobile, dial up, DSL, iBurst, Satellite, VoIP, Web hosting and e-mail.

The system also supports other carriers, including Unitel, AAPT, Soul, Optus and Virtel.

Green said demand in the reseller market is expected to reach $4.1 billion by 2010.

Billing systems have had a notorious history with the most high profile case of a system blow out in Australia taking place at Sydney Water.

In late 2004, Sydney Water started legal proceedings against PricewaterhouseCoopers after a billing system blew out by more than A$40 million (US$28 million).

Earlier this month, Fiona Balfour resigned from her position as CIO at Telstra after only 10 months in the job.

Balfour was charged with overseeing a massive consolidation project at the telco which included the implementation of a new billing system and customer service platform.

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