As a leading multinational telecom operator, France Telecom (FT) offers a wide range of services including fixed voice and data, mobile, Internet, cable TV broadcast, and new TV content. As a testimony to the rapid growth of FT's mobile and data services, the GSM network of Orange (a FT trademark), now provides services in 38 countries (and even more with Orange Business Services) and covers about 177 million users in total.
FT/Orange launched a project named Matrix in January 2005. The project set a new blueprint for the existing traditional SCP Intelligent Networks (INs) and BSS billing systems and would implement it in FT's subsidiaries within the next 3 to 5 years.
Rapid Evolution Brings Sustainable Value
The traditional INs had a low performance: the integration of prepaid and postpaid functionality was difficult, and services were not flexible. To solve these problems, ZTE provided its next generation IN systems, which enabled a uniform view of user and prepaid and postpaid integration, greatly enhancing customer satisfaction and user experience.
The Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) sector is growing fast in Europe; TP (Polish incumbent and a subsidiary of FT) and Orange Spain has launched IN platforms with diverse interfaces, which allowed flexible and rapid customization of services. In a short time, MVNOs had leased considerable network capacity, making the capacity expansion urgent. The next generation IN systems helped FT greatly boost user satisfaction, rapidly expand its Value-Added Services (VAS) market, and add value to services.
Effectively Cutting O&M Cost
Effectively lowering Operation & Maintenance (O&M) cost is a concern of all operators. The next generation INs of FT passed the high-performance and high-reliability tests, and the failure rates were cut to the lowest thanks to an optimized system design. In addition, the systems offer multi-level, well-rounded maintenance functions as well as powerful self-diagnostic and alarm functions, which significantly reduce the need of manual intervention and effectively save human resources.
Focusing on Enterprise Customers
In saturated European mobile market and emerging markets, major operators are paying exceptional attention to the enterprise customers, considering them a gold mine of VAS to be exploited. For this segment, FT quickly provided a wide array of applications, such as VPBX services, mobile IM, and LBS. Through cooperation with ZTE, FT won praises from enterprise customers for its excellent service customization and quick market response, which laid a solid foundation for its further entry into the enterprise customer market.
Forging an Strategic Alliance
ZTE and FT have maintained a long-term close cooperation in VAS development and marketing. ZTE had set up a large Skill Center in Poitiers, France to conduct front-end testing of FT's services, train technical personnel for FT, and develop and demonstrate new services. With regards to service promotion and R&D, ZTE and FT have carried out regular exchanges, and reached a consensus on strategic alliance and long-term cooperation.
Prominent milestones in the cooperation between FT/Orange and ZTE in the VAS field include:
- In January 2005, FT initiated the Matrix project.
- In April 2005, ZTE entered the SCP testing shortlist of FT.
- In the benchmark testing conducted from June to October 2005, ZTE delivered excellent performance.
- In April 2006, ZTE entered FT's SCP shortlist and signed a Corporate Sourcing Contract (CSC) with the operator.
- In December 2006, ZTE provided a set of SCP equipment for FT's Skill Center.
- In May 2007, ZTE won the bid for Orange Spain's SCP project.
- In August 2007, ZTE won the bid for Wholesale Line Rental (WLR) IN project of TP.
- In March 2008, Orange Spain's SCP was launched for commercial use.
- In April 2008, TP's WLR IN was launched for commercial use.
- In June 2008, ZTE entered the Emerging Country (EC) IN shortlist of FT.
- In September 2008, ZTE obtained a PO for Orange Britain's SCP project.
- In October 2008, ZTE won the bid for LBS project of PTK Centertel, operator of Orange network in Poland.
- In December 2008, ZTE won the bid for Orange Kenya's VPBX and OCS projects.
- In February 2009, ZTE got the LOI for Orange Cote d'Ivoire's OCS project.