Kcell Completes the Transition to Unified Billing With the Help of Nexign

Kcell replaced previous billing solutions with a unified digital platform Nexign Converged BSS. Data of more than 8 million Kcell and activ subscribers were transferred to the new platform. Consolidating billing on a single converged platform will let Kcell reduce TCO.

Kcell Joint Stock Company (“Kcell” or the "Company") (LSE, KASE: KCEL; AIX: KCEL, KCEL.Y), a leading provider of mobile telecommunications services in Kazakhstan, and Nexign, a leading provider of BSS and digitalization solutions, have completed project of unifying billing systems on a single Nexign Converged BSS digital platform. During the transition, data of more than 8 million subscribers of two brands, Kcell and activ, were migrated to the new environment. Transferring to a single converged billing platform will help Kcell reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO), accelerate new product launches, and increase monetization opportunities for various types of services, including 5G and eSIM. Modernization and consolidation of systems will also allow the operator to ensure the continuity of services and improve the customer service quality.

With Nexign Converged BSS, Kcell will support the key processes of online charging, converged billing, product and partner service management on a single platform. As part of the implementation, a unified product model was also designed to streamline the development of new services and reduce the time to market (TTM). At the same time, Nexign Converged BSS compliance with 3GPP and TM Forum's Open APIs specifications helped minimize the cost of integrating more than 50 operator subsystems onto the platform. 

Kcell won 5G frequency auctions held on December 22 and 23. In the next five years, the operator will build more than 3,500 base stations and cover 75% of major cities and 60% of regional centers with 5G technology. The development of the fifth-generation network in Kazakhstan will also lead to new technological products and services requiring 5G speeds, especially in the segment of smart IoT devices. At the same time, the scalable architecture of the converged billing system will ensure business growth while reducing capital costs. The new billing will also reduce the time to market (TTM) and implement flexible marketing strategies by providing a competitive advantage for the company.

The project started in April 2021. The transition to the new platform was carried out in several stages while the operation of the previous billing solutions continued. Migration of B2C and B2B segments took place simultaneously – more than 140 active rate plans and about 1000 Kcell product offers were transferred to the new platform with prepaid and postpaid customers on a single stack. The project implementation approach allowed the operator to seamlessly transition to new tools and processes for sales and service management.

Considering the scale and timing of migration, our project with Kcell is one of the largest digital projects in the telecom market of Kazakhstan. A joint team of Kcell and Nexign worked on its implementation. Thanks to their efforts, it was possible to complete a comprehensive technical transformation of the operator's systems with a phased migration of subscribers on time. One of the key features of the project was the ability to select a migration segment up to a tariff or even a product offer. It made the entire transition to a new platform smooth to subscribers. We are confident that the consolidation of BSS will help Kcell significantly improve the efficiency of many business processes, increase subscriber loyalty, and boost return on investment in new areas of development.

During the implementation, technologies for development and testing processes automation, along with the Configuration-as-Code approach, were used. The CI/CD practices also helped successfully combine the process of commercial operation with system configuration and migration of the entire subscriber base to a new platform. At the same time, in the future, the open architecture and the DevOps approach will allow Kcell to continue leveraging all modern automated processes required for system operation with minimal vendor involvement.