Safaricom’s data bundles now on CBS platform
Huawei‘ s CBS is a convergent billing solution based on an independent rating and billing engine. The platform supports various infrastructure networks and services and provides online rating, real-time control and express billing.
Safaricom is looking to end up with single customer management interface from the CBS deployment, which is now in final stages. The postpaid phase went live in mid-October 2011.
A total of four platforms were consolidated during Phase 1 and Phase 2:
By centralizing billing platform and customer relationship management through Huawei’s convergent billing system Safaricom is able to shorten the products’ time-to-market from months to days.
To date, the Huawei CBS has been deployed by more than 90 carriers in 50 countries, serving more than 400 million subscribers.
According to Huawei, some of the external benefits achieved to date include:
- Faster rollouts of new products, including five in a two-month period, post-deployment.
- Catering properly to the true hybrid customers that subscribe to services on both prepaid and postpaid platforms.
- Prepaid subscribers, which make up a large proportion of Safaricom’s subscriber base, can enjoy more services, tariff packages and discounts.
- Postpaid customers will now receive their bills in real-time, enabling them to monitor their usage more efficiently. They can also pay their bills more promptly using the M-PESA service.
According to Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom, “This migration into a converged billing ecosystem is a key plank of our continued efforts aimed at improving our overall proposition and delighting our customers, both PrePay and PostPay, more.”
- Real-time billing also improves postpaid user’s customer experience while reducing operator’s risk to bad debt.
- Innovative products that allow the customer to borrow airtime when they run out, for example. Safaricom is able to vary the borrowing denominations to target different segments.
Safaricom data bundles purchasing and renewal is now real-time. Some of the changes brought about by the migration include:
- Daily data bundles will be renewed at 0000 (midnight)
- Customers can subscribe to daily data bundles as many times as they like (buy the same or even a different bundle)
- USSD and SMS data balance enquiry will now indicate all the resources, i.e limited data, time based, daily data and bonga data resources.
- Data bundle subscription renewal can be done using funds from main credit account, Okoa Jahazi account and free airtime account. Priority will be free airtime first then Okoa Jahazi and finally the main account.
- Multiple subscription for the limited data bundles will be allowed, as long as the subscriber has enough airtime.
- Low balance notification will be set at 1 MB.
- Daily mobile bundle renewal notification will be sent at 8.00 AM (both renewal and resource awarded plus expiry).
The main benefit of the migration therefore is the ability to purchase bundles using Okoa Jahazi airtime and purchase of multiple daily data bundles (either similar daily data bundles or different ones).
Usage priority will be as follows:
Daily Bundles – 1st
Limited Data Bundles – 2nd
Bonga Bundles – 3rd
Time Based Charging – 4th
On-Demand (out of bundle charging) – 5th
Safaricom has about 5 million active data customers, and about 1 million data bundle activations daily.