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Telenet Success Story

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FTS’ Leap™ Policy Control Solution Interacts with Telenet’s Subscribers Increasing Satisfaction

About Telenet AG
Incorporated in 1996, Telenet is Belgium’s largest provider of broadband cable services. After completing the construction of its fiber backbone in Flanders in 1997, the company now offers cable television, telephony & high-speed Internet services to residential markets.

In addition, Telenet offers services to business customers all across Belgium and Luxembourg under its brand Telenet Solutions. Telenet offers residential services through a combination of its own cable network, which passes some 1.7 million homes in Flanders, and through long-term usage rights on cable networks that pass a further 0.7 million homes in Flanders. Telenet offers voice, data and internet services to business customers through its fiber backbone covering all Belgium and Luxembourg.

Business Needs
Telenet prides itself on being an advanced provider of content and services. Their portfolio includes the entire spectrum of multiplay services, from internet to cable TV and from alternative telephony to broadband access. In particular, broadband access opened up many new content and service options for their subscribers and, of course, sources of revenue. To increase their power of differentiation, Telenet deployed Cisco's SCE Deep-Packet-Inspection solution and made plans for rolling out exciting new services.

Telenet used a recurring flat-rate pricing model but wanted the ability to improve on the model in order to increase customer satisfaction and generate additional revenues. For that reason, they decided to take their services where no other provider had ever gone before: provide their subscribers with the ability to dynamically customize their services and adapt them to their needs in real-time. In particular, they wanted to communicate with their users – to constantly monitor how they interact with their services and to dynamically adapt them making them more attractive.

Telenet went shopping. Their requirements were not conceptually difficult but were groundbreaking. They wanted a rating and provisioning engine capable of:

  • Charging subscribers for next-generation services in real-time, both by service type (such as VoIP, surfing, eMule) and by volume.
  • Enabling online provisioning of service plan changes resulting from reaching subscriber or service provider-defined thresholds or from subscriber requests.
  • Enabling subscribers to view their usage patterns online and in real time.
  • Enabling creative charging packages for next-generation content and services.
  • Introducing and modifying service plans, promotions and discounts simply so that Telenet could do it themselves without vendor help.
  • Giving subscribers control by letting them self-manage their own plans.
  • Integrating the solution seamlessly with Telenet's installed Cisco network elements and legacy mediation, billing, and customer-care components.

A market scan conducted by Telenet revealed no operator or service provider was doing anything comparable to what they wanted. Telenet's RFP process included 15 vendors. “We met with each one of them, receiving a presentation and examining a demo”, said Remy Knecht, Telenet Senior Project Manager. “As it turned out, finding the solution was harder than we thought. Some vendors had good rating but no provisioning capabilities, and others had provisioning but their rating was poor.

Eventually, Telenet narrowed the field to three vendors who were invited to demonstrate their solutions through a proof of concept. The challenge was to demonstrate flawless integration with Telenet's Cisco network elements and implement a series of creative product scenarios, for example: limit of 100 MB of traffic/day after which the subscriber’s bandwidth is throttled to 128 kbps for the remainder of the day, with very high performance and scalability.

 Five months after issuing their requirements, it was a done deal. FTS' revolutionary Leap Policy Control was everything Telenet had dreamed of.

The FTS’ Solution
“Throughout the PoC testing, FTS showed the most compelling solution and addressed our key requirements. Moreover, FTS always maintained a ‘can-do’ attitude and was willing to comply with our stringent time requirements for launching the services.” Benny Jens, Telenet IS development Manager, Customer Service and Revenue Assurance.

Leap Policy Control (formerly called Leap Business Control Engine or Leap BCE). is a real-time policy management solution capable of capturing, analyzing and responding to events and transactions in real time. Based on FTS’ Leap™ Business Control and Charging Function (Leap BCCF), which incorporates the company’s patented Decision Operations "DO Tree™" modeling technique, the solution integrates with any environment to analyze real-time events and dynamically provision changes to the network or execute actions based on these events. As long as an interface is defined, Leap Policy Control can provision it. Leap Policy Control also enables the provider’s personnel to rapidly define, deploy, and manage new services through a web-based UI, without the need for new code.

The Telenet broadband access offering includes several services, all characterized by:

  • Access speed
  • Traffic quota (separated for upload and download)
  • Price quota
  • Price per additional MB above the quota

Once a quota limit is reached, subscribers are redirected to a web page offering them several options):

  • Buy additional quota
  • Move to a ‘charge by the MB’ service plan
  • Have the access speed reduced from broadband to narrowband until the end of the month

An added and exciting new feature of the Telenet service is a portal named ‘Telemeter’, which enables subscribers to view and configure their personal usage and to:

  • View ‘meters’ showing their current upstream and downstream volumes
  • Set email alerts to let them know when they reach a self-defined threshold, for example, 90% of downstream volume
  • View real-time analysis of volume usage of different services by protocol (email, P2P, etc.), eliminating the element of surprise when they reach a volume quota (for example, because their children are downloading lots of music and movies)

“Everyone is happy now: the customer because he has better control of this internet spending, our customer service because they get less complaints and have more accurate tools, and our IT department because the introduction of new services will be much easier.  Dirk van Dessel, Telenet Senior Vice President IS.

Benefits and Results
The success of the new service became evident almost immediately:

  • Following an adjustment period, customer support calls relating to the service have been reduced by 40% 
  • About 15% of subscribers reaching their quota limit are electing every month to move to a ‘charge by the MB’ plan, increasing Telenet revenues
  • Telenet are seeing substantial use of the Telemeter portal
  • Telenet are tracking an increase in subscriber satisfaction with their services.

“This self-personalization has been a huge competitive advantage for us. Plus, after less than 3 months of using Leap Policy Control, we are already seeing ROI from increased revenues and a reduced number of customer service calls reducing our OPEX … We are currently looking at Phase Two of our plans enabling additional content and services in new and creative ways”.   Paul Van Cotthem, Telenet Senior Vice President, Residential Marketing & Sales.

The unique combination of business sense coupled with multinetwork interaction opens endless opportunities for Telenet and enables them to actively plan for the introduction of more services – such as premium and digital CATV, VoIP and WiMAX – which can now be supported profitably.

Telenet's possibilities to interact with customers are now virtually limitless.

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FTS (Formula Telecom Solutions) provides convergent billing, charging, customer care, policy control and payment software solutions that have greater flexibility and provide greater independence for communications, content and payment service providers, resulting in a dramatically lower total cost of ownership (TCO).  FTS deploys its full range of end-to-end and add-on policy management, telecom billing systems, payment solutions and professional services in mobile, wireline, cable, wireless, content, M2M and the Internet of Things, cloud, broadband, e-commerce and m-commerce companies worldwide, including multiple converged, cross-network billing platform installations.