Intec Wants to Help with Revenue Collection

By Eric Griffith

March 14, 2003

The operations support systems (OSS) vendor is using next week's CTIA show to see if vendors are interested in the company's tools for helping public WLAN operators collect the data they need to get paid.

Intec Telecom Systems of London is ready to help WLAN operators get their money.

The company announced this week that, using authentication technology from Southlake, Texas-based Transat Technologies, it is offering solutions for hotspot providers requiring a single billing facility for users that roam onto other networks.

Intec's solutions -- Inter-mediatE, the partner-to-partner billing system for rating, revenue allocation, and billing -- works with Transat's Wireless Access Internet Node (WAIN), which can use a variety of ways to authenticate users -- everything from credit card purchase to cell phone SIM card to telecom calling card to regular monthly subscription and more. Says Jason Andrews at Intec, "the interesting thing about wireless LANs is that there's a variety of billing methods for the end subscriber."

The application sorts and distributes the records based on the connection criteria. In a second version of the product to come, Intec will provide a wholesale billing platform.

"It takes that info and bundles it and can send it to the home operator," says Intec vice president Alan Healey, "and then generates once a month a wholesale bill for the operator that collects the retail prices from the end-users."

The product can pull usage information from 1000s of sites at a time -- it's been benchmarked at handling 12 billion transactions in a 10 hour period. Healey says the key for the Intec product is its ability to "store and recognize all those relationships. The agreements the two parties have enable users to access all these services, and do it in a controlled way." All the data is transferred over the Internet.

Andrews continues: "We can leverage all the retail billing systems out there. The retail billing systems don't have to buy the product -- they see the data in the format they're used to."

Of course, they admit, the industry is still deciding the best way to deal with these issues. Healey says, "If the world goes to [having] all hotspots for free, they won't need our services." Chances are that's not going to be an issue.


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