Kcell Shifts to Nexign Unified Billing Platform to Unlock New Digital Opportunities
Kcell, a leading provider of telecommunications services in Kazakhstan, replaced the Amdocs and Orga solutions with Nexign’s unified, convergent billing platform. The large-scale migration included over 140 current rate plans and approximately 1,000 products being transferred for more than 8 million B2C and B2B subscribers of Kcell and activ. The comprehensive modernization and consolidation of the operator’s business processes will cut expenses and enhance customer service. Additionally, Nexign BSS lays the foundation for Kcell’s digital growth by bringing capabilities to launch innovative services and expand its footprint in the 5G non-standalone and M2M markets.
Kcell is one of the largest mobile operators in Kazakhstan, serving half of the country's population. Kcell provides mobile voice telecommunications services, messaging services, value-added services such as multimedia and mobile content services, as well as data transmission services, including internet access. It has two brands: the Kcell brand, which is targeted primarily at corporate subscribers (including government subscribers), and the activ brand, which is targeted primarily at mass market subscribers.
Kcell was seeking to replace existing billing solutions to cut expenses and drive further business development. One of the key goals was to modernize business processes and consolidate all subscriber segments and payment models on a single digital platform. With such an approach, the operator would reduce the total cost of ownership, tap into new revenue streams, and provide customers with a rich experience. The requirements for the solution included automated migration based on customer demand, support for existing functionality, and the expansion of capabilities to launch new rate plans and innovative products.
Nexign Converged BSS automates Kcell’s key business processes that cover converged billing, online charging, customer self-service, partner management, collection management, and others.
Nexign enabled Kcell to consolidate prepaid and postpaid services for B2B and B2C subscribers on a single digital platform. Over 140 current rate plans and approximately 1,000 products were migrated to Nexign’s platform. Leveraging the unified product development model, the operator will upgrade rate plans and bring compelling new products and bundles to market faster. For example, Kcell offers contract phones – the latest mobile devices sold as part of a long-term deal. New offerings also include a family rate plan and a rate plan builder.
Nexign’s solution was integrated with Kcell’s enterprise service bus and 50 solutions in the landscape. Although there were a considerable number of integration points, Nexign managed to minimize costs thanks to its adherence to the 3GPP and TM Forum Open API standards.
The Nexign team carried out migration in several stages while the previous billing solutions delivered by Amdocs and Orga were still in operation. First, basic system configuration was executed, and select rate plans were implemented. The second stage focused on the automated on-demand migration without help from Nexign’s and Kcell’s professionals. The customers could move to the new solution by changing their rate plans or using another trigger. Next, the Nexign team executed a phased migration of B2C and B2B customers. Notably, the migration process was smooth and seamless thanks to the possibility of dividing migration groups by specific criteria, such as a rate plan or a segment type. This approach minimized risks for sensitive customer groups and made migration planning and execution more flexible.
Moreover, moving to the new platform and performing significant configuration changes were successfully combined with the production use of the system thanks to CI/CD. These practices ensured a high-efficiency level and fast deliveries to the test, preproduction, and production environments. Additionally, the open architecture of Nexign’s solution, coupled with DevOps, will enable Kcell to develop the capabilities needed to launch new 5G non-standalone and M2M projects easily
Customer-Centric Delivery Team
The Nexign team delivered a large-scale billing project on time despite force majeure circumstances: travel restrictions related to COVID-19, internal and external political disruptions, and constraints in the usage of the software that was approved by the customer.
Comprehensive change management was used during the project delivery. All members of the team, from the project manager and architect to the developers, used an in-depth analysis of the customer’s requirements to propose the best possible options, simultaneously considering the budget, scope, correct operation, and the customer’s goals. For example, in response to external circumstances, the customer decided to support subscribers and create emergency bonuses. As a result, a completely new group of products was developed so that the operator’s subscribers could stay in contact even if they went over their spending limit.
Kcell won the 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, providing a competitive advantage for the company.
Considering the scale and timing of migration, our project with Kcell is one of the largest digital projects in the telecom market of Kazakhstan. It was delivered by a joint team of Kcell and Nexign. 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 per rate plan or product. It made the entire transition to a new platform smooth to subscribers. We are confident that the BSS consolidation will help Kcell significantly improve the efficiency of many business processes, increase subscriber loyalty, and boost return on investment in new areas of development.
Reduce the system total cost of ownership
Enhance customer service
Accelerate time to market for new products
Decrease workload on contact centers and points of sales
Improve service continuity
Drive monetization opportunities, including 5G and eSIM