Korek Telecom and Ericsson Ink a Deal for Multimedia Offering in Iraq

Korek Telecom, one of Iraq’s three national telecom operators, has recently awarded Ericsson, the world’s leading provider of telecommunication equipment and services to operators, a contract for the deployment of a billing post-paid system, which is going to deliver billing accuracy and enriched functionality enabling various promotions and enhanced reporting capabilities. This deal comes following Korek Telecom’s expansion strategy to provide nation-wide coverage with ongoing roll-outs in the central and southern parts of the country.

While Korek’s customer base is predominantly pre-paid, there are significant numbers of high value post-paid subscribers. Korek Telecom realized that this number has potential for growth as the organization expands nationally. “This platform will allow Korek to have a rich post-paid billing platform that would improve billing accuracy and allow the necessary flexibility to provide a diverse set of packages and promotions specifically tailored to this important set of subscribers,” explains Asif Salam, Key Account Manager, Ericsson said.

According to the Deputy CEO of Korek, Dr. Abdul Hameed Akrawi, “Deploying the new billing system is the first phase of a larger project related to the upgrading of our billing infrastructure.  We are putting in place the elements required to achieve billing and charging convergence from a pre-paid and post-paid perspective, incorporating aspects such as rating & CRM. This will enable us to provide a wide range of services and features to both prepaid and postpaid subscribers.”

A key reason for the contract was Ericsson’s ability to execute and have appropriate staff and expertise on the ground.  In the last six years, Korek Telecom and Ericsson have developed a close working relationship. Ericsson has been providing Korek Telecom with network infrastructure, including the switching, radio, transmission and IN platforms, deployment and support services.

There are myriad reasons for the choice of Ericsson’s billing solution. “The platform was perceived as robust and reliable, with the ability to grow as the network, coverage and requirements expand. The flexibility of the solution from the end-user point of view was an important element,” said Ericsson’s Assif Salam North Middle East. Another factor, he said, was the consistently high competence levels and commitment of the technical staff who have been engaged with Korek Telecom, and the understanding that we will not only deliver the system, but also provide the necessary support expertise, and assist Korek Telecom in developing the required staff competence.

This new agreement will further enhance the partnership between Korek and Ericsson. According to Elie Takchi, Ericsson’s Multimedia Director North Middle East, the billing system will ensure billing accuracy and will enable more appealing promotions and packages, in addition to creating an opportunity for interconnect billing consolidation with other operators.

“Ericsson is committed to the success of its customers. With our large pool of local and regional competence, we have the relevant expertise to implement and support complex, large scale multimedia and systems integration projects,” concluded Takchi.

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About Ericsson:
Ericsson is the world’s leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators. The market leader in 2G and 3G mobile technologies, Ericsson supplies communications services and manages networks that serve more than 250 million subscribers. The company’s portfolio comprises mobile and fixed network infrastructure, and broadband and multimedia solutions for operators, enterprises and developers. The Sony Ericsson joint venture provides consumers with feature-rich personal mobile devices.

Ericsson is advancing its vision of ‘communication for all’ through innovation, technology, and sustainable business solutions. Working in 175 countries, more than 70,000 employees generated revenue of USD 27 billion (SEK 209 billion) in 2008. Founded in 1876 and headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Ericsson is listed on OMX Nordic Exchange Stockholm and NASDAQ.

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