The customer wanted to pilot an innovation that addressed the problem lack of access to telephony services in Africa for the low end of the bottom of the pyramid in which mobile phone costs and access to electricity for charging represent an obstacle to market entry. The customer proposed that their voicemail platform could be leveraged to address this shortcoming and that it could also be used as a means to implement a prepaid platform for community payphone access which people could access from any phone and then make outbound calls using their own prepaid balance. The customer required a prepaid billing platform to be closely integrated with their platform. The requirement was for a platform with onboard subscriber management, balance management, rating and charging capabilities for voice billing as well as revenue assurance functions.
The objective of the project was to build a solution that enabled a specific mailbox type on the customer’s platform to contain a prepaid account. Users would be able to register for a prepaid account on the platform, top-up their balances and then make outbound calls once dialled into the platform. This project, therefore, allowed their clients without access to mobile phones to own a prepaid account and use a friend on family member’s phone to dial in (free of charge) to the voice mail platform and to then be able to make calls. The solution also enabled users of the solution to register their virtual number presence with a USSD command sequence on another user’s phone which enables calls to the virtual number to the routed to the subscriber. The solution, therefore, provides a virtual telephony platform and can also be thought of as a replacement for payphone units.
Globetom supplied the customer with an embedded billing solution. The customer used the Revenue Weaver Java API to embed Revenue Weaver integration with their voice mail platform functionality which was developed in Java. Upon user registration for virtual telephony, subscribers were provisioned on Revenue Weaver with an assigned virtual number issued to these subscribers in starter packs. Subscribers could now top-up their virtual prepaid accounts and make outbound phone calls over traditional GSM networks or over VoIP. The Revenue Weaver rating engine was set up for session-based voice calling with full international rate plans configured. When outbound calls were made, session-based charging was implemented from the voicemail platform using the Revenue Weaver Java API.
The solution was successfully developed and factory tested for delivery of a virtual telephony solution. The solution was successfully deployed and piloted with an African GSM operator and proved the use case to use the platform as a mechanism for replacement of community payphone rollouts and to allow people at the Bottom of the Pyramid without access to telephones or access to electricity for phone charging to use a friend’s phone free of charge to access the platform for calling.
Embedded Billing, Revenue Weaver