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Policy + charging

FCC's Bill Shock Starting Pistol

8:50 AM -- Excitement levels will likely be high today in the Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) community, and the policy management and billing system vendor sectors in particular, following the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 's "bill shock" proposals. (See FCC Tackles Bill Shock.)

Following the publication of survey results earlier this year, the US regulator has announced it wants mobile operators to "provide usage alerts and related information that will assist consumers in avoiding unexpected charges on their bills." (See FCC Looks at Bill-Shock.)

If the proposal becomes a requirement, as it has done already in Europe, then, for many of the operators, that'll mean either the deployment of new Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF) capabilities and/or an upgrade of existing policy management and billing capabilities. (See Policy Control Key to Personalized Services and EC Combats Data Roaming Bill Shock.)

So expect a herd of hungry vendors -- including Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Bridgewater Systems Corp. (Toronto: BWC), BroadHop Inc. , Comptel Corp. (Nasdaq, Helsinki: CTL1V), Digital Route, Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ), Nokia Networks , Openet Telecom Ltd. , Redknee Inc. (Toronto TSX: RKN), Tekelec (which recently acquired Camiant), and Volubill -- to be stampeding toward the front doors of the US mobile carriers about NOW. (See Telfort Deploys Redknee, Network Norway Picks Volubill, DNA Deploys Comptel's Policy Tool, Bridgewater Wins Major Euro Deal, Openet Wins Mobilkom Deal, and Bridgewater Touts Smart Caps.)

And it's not just the policy vendors that'll be looking for a piece of the action. Billing system specialists such as Convergys Corp. (NYSE: CVG), which has just announced that Orange Austria is using its Real-Time Convergent Charging Solution to help it comply with the European Union's so-called “bill-shock avoidance” law, will also be salivating at the new purchase order opportunities. (See Orange Austria Picks Convergys.)

Others with a "bill shock" proposition for the operators include Matrixx Software Inc. , Orga Systems , and Subex Ltd. (See Matrixx Launches Charging Engine 1000 and Subex Tackles Bill Shock in Slovenia.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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