freenet AG is one of Germany’s leading internet and telecommunications providers. In March 2007, the publicly listed company emerged, revitalized from the merger between freenet.de AG and mobilcom AG, a universal internet, fixed-line and mobile network provider. By taking over the debitel Group in July 2008, freenet AG became the biggest network-independent telecommunications provider in Germany, with around 19 million mobile customers (around 20 percent of the mobile market), approx. 9 million portal customers, nearly 1.8 million subscribers to digital online services, 1.05 million DSL customers, and freenet’s more than 1.7 million telephony and narrowband customers.
Going forward, the company’s focus is squarely on the convergence of portal, internet and mobile services. The industry expects that the next few years will bring significant growth in mobile internet, in which freenet AG will participate. Having now enlarged its mobile customer pool to approximately 19 million users, freenet is in an excellent starting position to advance the mobile use of freenet’s portals, with their nearly 9 million users, and internet applications such as e-mail, communities, web-hosting and others. freenet thus offers its customers added value by providing easy-to-use and attractive use benefits.
As a growing company, freenet is constantly looking to penetrate new markets and provide more wireline services to its subscribers, including supplementary services on top of broadband, content-based offerings, and more. To support its growth and the development of new bundles, freenet AG needed a guiding, rating and billing solution for PSTN, ADSL, and ISDN services, content portal, e-commerce, and web hosting for millions of subscribers. The solution had to be seamlessly integrated with the company’s in-house CRM and other systems, including general ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable, collections, clearing house and data warehouse.
freenet AG required a system that could support its growing customer base and increased service offerings. freenet AG needed the new system to be up and running in a very aggressive timeline.
freenet AG selected FTS’ flagship FTS™ Billing solution after a careful screening process of several contenders. Significant factors in the decision were the wealth of system features, its exceptional performance, and last but not least, FTS’ ability to commit to the operator’s strict schedule.
A convergent, flexible business-rule engine that rates voice, data and online services, FTS Billing supports the dynamic functionality required by freenet AG, including cross-discounting and promotions. The solution also supports easy implementation of new services, product differentiation, and fast response to competitors’ offerings, all of which enable freenet AG to offer more and better services to its customers, be more competitive, and increase its revenues.
A recent upgrade of the solution offers freenet AG enhanced billing flexibility and in-house control. FTS Billing implements real-time billing decisions based on business rules that can be defined and updated without FTS’ involvement.
Running over the most advanced environments, freenet AG is using the latest version of FTS’ FTS Billing to support its traditional voice, carrier preselect voice, broadband, dial-up Internet and VoIP services, as well as content and e-commerce services offered via their freenet portal. New services provided by FTS Billing include business planning, customer contact, and inventory management. freenet AG enjoys enriched capabilities to independently define and update business rules for charging and billing in multiservice environments.
The FTS Billing solution guarantees that freenet AG will benefit from unparalleled operational and functional features. In terms of operation, freenet AG succeeded in consolidating two billing systems into FTS’ FTS Billing as its single billing platform, and has at its disposal tools for easily monitoring system behavior and performance. With FTS Billing, freenet AG can offer hundreds of wireline services and bundles to its customers, enhancing its service offerings and improving customer retention.
At the functional level, freenet AG can bill any type of event and service over any technology and network, including voice, data, content, VoIP, and more. Among others, this results in shorter time to market for new services, better credit control (with reduced fraud), increased customer satisfaction, and higher revenues.
In 2007, freenet launched an MVNO operation with FTS Billing in a six-week project, becoming also a mobile reseller of advanced mobile products (dual-mode 3G/WiFi handsets). The transition required an upgrade of its back office operations, including the billing system to support its MVNO billing needs. FTS Billing expansion was done in only eight weeks from project approval to launch.