ZTE Shows Off Its Soft Side
NICE, France -- TM Forum Live! -- ZTE may not be a name that springs to mind in the world of OSS and BSS, but the Chinese vendor has a sizeable client list for its service provider IT (SPIT) tools and, the vendor says, it's not just a business that rides on the coattails of its network infrastructure contracts.
Unveiling the latest version of its ZSmart system here in Nice, executives from the vendor's ZTEsoft unit said that it generated revenues of $537 million from its OSS and BSS software in 2013, and that it has more than 120 customers in over 70 countries. The vendor claims it has 3,500 R&D staff dedicated to OSS/BSS and has eight R&D centers to support customers, including international facilities in India, Pakistan, and France. (See ZTEsoft Launches ZSmart 8.0 BSS/OSS.)
When asked if any of ZTEsoft's business comes independently of network hardware contracts, ZTEsoft Chief Architect Xiao Zhengcang said there were many customers that did not have ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) hardware in their networks, including Orange (NYSE: FTE) and Singapore's StarHub , both of which have deployed ZTE's converged policy and charging system. "ZTE is a sales channel for us," he added.
ZTE also has another SPIT deployment in Singapore, which caused some upset at the time it was announced in 2011. (See ZTE Dumps AlcaLu From SPIT Deal.)
So what's new about the latest ZTE software? Xiao said that the system can now be taken in modular chunks, rather than as an all-in-one package, enables "highly targeted marketing," and that ZTE has built in APIs (based on the OneAPI specifications from the GSM Association (GSMA) ) to enable operators to expose their assets to third parties such as MVNOs, M2M services specialists, and OTT players.
Previously, ZTEsoft had been pitching a separate SDP (service delivery platform) to enable such collaboration, but that is now integrated.
— Ray Le Maistre, , Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading