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Huawei and AIS raise the bar on buyer-vendor relationship with proven cooperation strategy

At a time of increasing competition in the telecommunications space, Chinese vendors would have a hard time winning over European vendors in clinching significant telco deals. Yet Huawei, Chinas leading telecom gearmaker, won the nod of Thailands leading mobile telecom operator, Advance Info Service Public Company Limited (AIS), in its recent deployment of an Intelligent Network (IN) for its pre-paid mobile service. Besides offering good quality products at competitive pricing, Huawei clinched the long-term IN contract with its unique cooperation strategy aimed at helping service providers generate more revenue and lower CAPEX while reducing OPEX. become unstable the closer we get to reaching the subscriber capacity. Although AIS had been working with several European vendors on some switch deployment, it eventually chose Huawei's TELLIN to supply its new IN configuration. It was an unpopular choice, but AISs objectives were clear for Mr. Wichian. "System capacity and reliability were not only our main consideration, the timing of the deployment was also important as we were already operating, and we needed a system to go live in three months time. The first phase of Huaweis IN system deployment was completed in 60 days and service cut over the previous system was done one month later. Since 2000, the system has been progressively upgraded until the completion of Phase 7 in June 2003, which boosted the systems capacity to 12 million subscribers. As of Dec. 2003, the AIS s prepaid business, 1-2Team) and TDT (Technology Development Team). While different PDTs cover different product areas, they are all integrated into a quick response platform for key customers. There is a dedicated team in PDT for each key customer. It guarantees quick customization by closely coordinating with the customers. On the other hand, TDT develops common components and platforms for PDT. It focuses on reliability, capacity and reusability. Every upgrade is geared toward creating new capabilities. TDT perform upgrades for high quality and cost effective PDT platforms. Because of its ongoing R&D effort, Huawei managed to provide three to five new features/services to AIS every month. Huawei guarantees product quality by implementing a set of quality assurance and management systems. In 2000, Huawei imported the IPD (Integrated Product Development) flow from IBM and applied it to all TDT platform products. IPD divides a product development process into various phases, including requirement analysis, charter, concept phase, plan phase, develop phase, verification phase, beta phase and product release. Multiple checkpoints are set up in each phase to assure quality output. Subsequently, an IPD service flow is also applied to PDT products. It ensures the fast service development capability and high product quality at the same time. Using an IPD flow enables AIS to perform thorough requirement analysis, concept phase, plan phase, beta phase. They can express requirement more clearly and discuss solution closely with Huawei R&D team. These highly involved and efficient process flow enables both companies to perform efficient customization for key customers.

AIS prepaid boom

As a leader in the mobile telecommunications market in Thailand, AIS constantly reviews and regulates its marketing strategy to keep up with customers' demands as well as the advancements in mobile technology.

"Our relationship with Huawei is moving from a buyer-seller model to a partnership. We are keen to implement this deployment model as we explore future service development endeavors,"-- Mr. Wichian
For example, it has appointed Future Lab Team to conduct a research on service expansion to meet the demands of different customer segments and provide greater comfort and convenience to its users. AIS was looking for a wireless service enhancement that doesnt just meet the customers demand, but also generates incremental revenue in the long run. AISs responsiveness to market demand was proven with the launching of mobileLIFE, a WAP-based mobile Internet portal. Carrying over 60 different types of services today, mobileLIFE fulfills the varying needs of a widest variety of users. One press on the mobile phone keys and customers can enter world of boundless possibilities from building business contacts to quickly fulfilling personal arrangements using the mobileLIFE portal. With all these efforts, AIS is more ready than ever before to offer subscribers with unrivalled convenience and flexibility, anytime and anywhere. In 2000, AIS decided to take its mobile services to the next level by deploying an Intelligent Network (IN) service, initially small scale, using a single server solution. The systems capacity was limited to 20,000 subscribers at that time," says Wichian Mektrakarn, Executive Vice President for Network Operations, AIS. We wanted a larger capacity network to accommodate more subscribers as the server system Call!, signed up an additional 11.1 million subscribers to 2.7 million in just 23 months. The AIS prepaid customer base also dwarfs the postpaid customer base of around 2 million.

Huaweis Secret of Success

The reliability of Huaweis TELLIN IN solution was proven over the past three years of solid cooperation between Huawei and AIS. Mr. Wichian attributes this to Huaweis delivery of good quality solutions and competitive pricing, which surpass its European counterparts. Long-term and fast customization service is also key to Huaweis attractiveness as an IN solutions vendor. HUAWEI is willing to improve everything according to customers requirements and is able to respond to new requirements very quickly, says Mr. Chaiwat Suttenon, Network Planning Manager of AIS. For example, even during peak traffic, Huawei can still ensure a high performance network and whenever there are bugs in the system, they are fixed quickly by staff from local MA center. These success factors complement Huaweis unique cooperation strategy. To ensure a quick response to AISs growing services requirements; Huawei created an R&D platform divided into two levels, PDT (Product Development

Moving beyond buyer-seller model

The cooperation between Huawei and AIS is ongoing. AIS is currently looking to migrate all its 2 million post paid customers to the IN network offering them the same features as the prepaid community along with a range of payment methods. Through Huaweis help, AIS pioneered the commercial launching in Thailand of a new killer app - color ring back tone service. The service has already drawn over 2 million subscribers by the end of April this year. Incidentally, the two companies are looking for opportunities to further cooperate in the CRM) and MDS arena. Mr. Wichian sees AISs relationship with Huawei evolving. "Our relationship with Huawei is moving from a buyer-seller model to a partnership. We are keen to implement this deployment model as we explore future service development endeavors," he concludes.

Color Ring-Back Tone Service

Ringing in New Revenue Opportunities for Operators
Mobile phone users used to customize their phones to suit their personality by colors, ring tones, logos, screensavers and special animations. A new opportunity in personalization has recently emerged for operators Color Ring-Back Tone (CBRT) service. It has become part of phone personalization. It is important to understand the larger context as ring-back tone services is part of a migration of mobile services. Now, even the ring-back tone can be made personal with music, sound clips or voices. Instead of hearing a familiar ring tone when calling someone, a particular tune, sound, voice clip or message is heard. This feature can also be customized for different callers, giving the service a real personal touch. Mobile operators can take advantage of this innovative technology to attract new customers, minimize churn, increase ARPU and increase market share. Telecom analyst firm Ovum foresees the new Color Ring-back tone service to be a $352 million industry by the end of 2005. In the Asia-Pacific region, CRBT technology is fast gaining ground, especially in mature wireless markets such as South Korea, where the service attracted over 6 million subscribers nine months since its launch in April 2002. Mobile operators grappling for ways to generate new revenues may consider pioneering a CRBT service in their respective countries. With an attractive pricing model, users are likely to take on this service which could, in turn, enhance usage of WAP, Mobile Internet, SMS and even voice services. country's leading telecom operator, AIS, which serves over 6 million subscribers. Rapid CRBT solutions deployment is made possible by Huawei's unique signaling interception architecture that uses a standalone SI platform for quick service deployment. Aside from helping operators realize high level of service availability, scalability and with minimum operating costs, Huawei's CRBT solution supports VCXML standard, which makes possible the deployment of the service with other mobile applications such as voice SMS, chat room, voice Internet and VAD.

Smooth Evolution
Telecom operators worldwide are moving toward next-generation networks characterized by standard protocols and open architecture, which allow for the integration of services from various types of networks, services and service partners. Huawei's CRBT solution is designed to support mobile operators as they transition from legacy to next generation network. "The migration must be smooth and cost effective because businesses cannot afford disruption to network operation or marketing plans. Scalability and upgrade potential will allow operators to migrate as demand and networks grow," Huawei said in a statement. To meet the future demand for more sophisticated and personalized mobile services, Huawei's CRBT will support customized multimedia ring-back tones and the provisioning of diversified video information during a call. These features can further enhance the stickiness of mobile service offerings and guarantees revenue for operators.

Huawei's CRBT solution

Huawei, China's leading telecommunications equipment maker, is offering a CRBT solution that meets the service generation requirements of operators worldwide, promising speed of deployment, scalability and flexibility in systems upgrade with no major modifications in existing network. Up to May 2004, Huawei RBT system has been applied for GSM, CDMA and Wireline network with the total capacity of over 10 million subscribers. With over 1,800 R&D staff, Huawei is committed to develop products and solutions suited to the demands of the telecommunication markets around the world. Its key advantage is the ability to rapidly deploy solution enabling operators to quickly rollout new services. Its standing record to date is deployment of the CRBT services to half-a-million subscribers in 60 days. Huawei was behind the deployment of Thailand's largest CRBT service network operated by the

Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd Tel: +86-755-2878 0808 Fax: +86-755-2878 7125 Email: information@huawei.com www.huawei.com

Huawei Asia Pacific Tel: +603-2055-0808 Fax: +603-2055-0818 Email: malaysia@huawei.com

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