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RealTime IT News

Tiscali Opts for Advanced Billing in Europe

[London, ENGLAND] European ISP Tiscali S.p.A. announced Monday a strategy agreement with software solutions supplier Belle Systems to deploy advanced IP billing services throughout Europe.

Headquartered in Italy, Tiscali operates via subsidiaries in Germany, Switzerland, Spain, France, Belgium and the Czech Republic. Its network, named TiscaliNet, will now be integrated with Belle Systems' Internet Management System (IMS) for management and billing of voice- and fax-over-IP services.

Tiscali's ever-growing list of services is typical of today's large-scale ISPs, but with growth has come the need for a more sophisticated approach to management and billing. Among Tiscali's services are dial-up Internet access, Web, FTP, e-mail, IPFax, VoIP, and ADSL.

Belle Systems consultant Michael Jonsson said that changeover to the new billing system took less than 30 days, even though Tiscali is one of the fastest growing ISPs in Europe -- a fact that added to the complexity of the job.

"IMS has clearly demonstrated that is has the flexibility, reliability and scalability needed to adequately meet the stringent requirements for advanced services and to meet tomorrow's strong growth," claimed Jonsson.

The new system will let Tiscali network administrators manage users via all kinds of criteria and identifiers, including IP addresses, user names, addresses, departments, payment method and service type. One key benefit is being able to construct common user groups within which users share the same rating scheme.

Founded by Renato Soru in 1998 after the liberalization of the Italian telecommunications market, Tiscali launched Italy's first free Internet access service in March 1999. It has invested over $130 million in building a fiber network linking major European cities, due for completion towards the end of 2001.

To finance its expansion, Tiscali sold 23 percent of its shares via an IPO on the Nuovo Mercato in October 1999, when it rolled out its services across Europe.