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Alcatel-Lucent Unveils Smart Plan

Light Reading
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Light Reading
2/14/2013
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PARIS -- Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) is offering service providers a way to give consumers more control over their mobile broadband data plans, while delivering a greater variety of services. The new ‘Smart Plan’ solution drastically reduces the time, cost and effort involved in developing and charging for multiple offers while a mobile app allows subscribers to pick and choose the services that meet their personal usage needs and budgets. Ownership of mobile devices is rising and access to the Internet, video and data on the move is exceeding voice calling in many parts of the world. As a result, service providers need to define competitive data-centric packages to attract and retain customers. One size does not fit all and service providers must better meet the needs of both individuals and families sharing a single data plan. But introducing and managing multiple plans can be difficult, costly and time consuming for service providers and potentially confusing for customers. Alcatel-Lucent’s Smart Plan solution removes the complexity and greatly shortens the time needed to create new offers by giving service providers much more control over the process and reducing reliance on third party expertise and billing systems. Smart Plan uses plugins to integrate easily into a service provider’s existing network and IT infrastructure. It then acts as an orchestration layer to manage the necessary interactions between various elements such as policy control and billing, enabling it to respond to subscribers’ requests to initiate or change services in real-time. Using Alcatel-Lucent’s unique Agile Rules Technology (A.R.T.) with 150 patents pending, network intelligence and customers’ opt-in approval, Smart Plan allows service providers to recommend products and offers based on information such as usage patterns, real-time location data and loyalty, for example offering a regular traveller a roaming tariff as they wait for a flight. For shared data plans, offers can be defined for each person in the plan. Smart Plan also allows service providers to partner with other companies to generate new business opportunities. For example, a retailer could purchase data allowances from an operator and offer them as part of its own customer loyalty program. Graham Finnie, Chief Analyst with Heavy Reading, commented: “Mobile data plans haven’t kept up with users, who are doing more and more with their smartphones. Instead of a ‘one size fits all’ approach, mobile service providers now have a real opportunity to improve customer loyalty and create new revenues by providing a greater variety of offers that would appeal to the different usage habits of their subscribers. The challenge is in the back-office, aligning policy, charging and other platforms to give subscribers the power to choose, and then enable the services. Any solution that can help bridge that gap is likely to be welcomed by progressively-minded operators.” Alcatel-Lucent

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