Startech Connections is a Private Telecommunications Operator (PTO) based in Abuja, Nigeria, that provides fixed broadband telecommunications services. The company sought a leading edge VoIP solution to replace its aging wireless and voice infrastructure. Specifically, Startech needed a cost effective, redundant and scalable solution that could deliver prepaid voice and data services over a WiMAX-based wireless network. This initiative was imperative in order to provide broadband data and high quality voice services to this fast growing market.
In order to provide high quality service, Startech selected to combine two market leading platforms: Alvarion’s BreezeMAX as its WiMAX Radio Access Network and Verso’s Clarent® VoIP solution to create an advanced WiMAX network providing cost effective broadband internet, voice and data services for residential, enterprise, ISPs, and other commercial operations. This suite of services and the ability to customize solutions creates a “one-stop shop” for potential clients.
The RAN is based on Alvarion’s BreezeMAX. Operating in, the 3.5GHz licensed frequency band. BreezeMAX addresses the parameters for the operators wish list for carrier-grade, cost effective, next generation broadband wireless access (BWA) systems. This platform is ideal for operators deploying high-bandwidth, IP-based voice, data and multimedia services, and who are planning to move to provide personal broadband services in the future.
BreezeMAX is a future-proof solution that offers operators reliability, flexibility and compelling economics, while migrating their networks to a standard WiMAX 802.16e architecture. Powered by Intel’s® WiMAX chipset, BreezeMAX meets the requirements of various service environments, from sparsely populated rural areas to high-density urban areas with fast access at net data rates of up to 25mbps over a 10MHz channel. BreezeMAX delivers broadband access services to a wide range of customers, including residential, multi-tenant, SOHO, SME, and large enterprise customers.
Verso combined this with the MetroNet VoIP overlay solution, including the I-Master prepaid platform running over a WiMAX-based radio system, enabling services to both enterprise and residential markets.
For Startech, the MetroNet VoIP overlay solution proved to be a generation ahead of its legacy and IP-based competitors, and quickly demonstrated improvement over the well known incumbent’s services. The MetroNet VoIP overlay solution packages a standard set of features and capabilities, including Class-4 and Class-5 switching technologies as well as other core capabilities and services including back office administration and reporting.
By combining the two solutions, Startech managed to provide its customers with the highest level of service while ensuring smooth operations and rapid customer base expansion. Nigeria is also a major market for prepaid services. Through the combined solution, Startech managed to provide not only a robust infrastructure but also the right solution for its market needs. This solution also allowed the customer to add, modify or upgrade services quickly and efficiently, and offer prepaid services at a competitive price in order to secure profitability, supporting the long-term goal of expansion through additional services.
Startech now has a reliable voice platform over a WiMAX network to handle a customer base that is nearly 100% prepaid, with converged prepaid and postpaid voice and data services.
“The differentiating factor for the VoIP platform was the fact that this is an end-to-end solution that contains all technical aspects for installation, deployment and support,” said Kim Fraser, CEO of Startech Communications. “A complete offering allows us to streamline deployment and achieve significant cost savings, not to mention the advantages of a simple pricing and billing model that allows us to generate new revenues and to quickly grow subscriber base.”
Overall, Alvarion and Verso delivered a reliable solution that resulted in greater customer satisfaction, and growth in customer base, allowing the operator to further invest in network growth. Currently, plans include deploying the solution in five additional regions.
“We are excited to bring WiMAX services to the Nigerian people,” Fraser added. “To compete in our fast growing market, we must offer the highest quality broadband data and voice services to subscribers. Therefore, we selected the field proven BreezeMAX system, as demonstrated in dozens of countries, and look forward to expanding our relationship with Alvarion as we move into additional Nigerian cities.”
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