Telcordia Powers Sprint's Pre-Paid Biz

Telcordia Technologies Inc. 's Service Delivery and Charging platform is putting the Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) in Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s pre-paid service, a big job considering Sprint has four independent pre-paid brands under its umbrella.

Telcordia's network-managed service takes care of real-time session control, policy, charging and converged and interactive services for Sprint. It's able to apply these parameters to every individual subscriber, whether they pay by the minute, day, week or month. And, Cathy McMahon, executive director of service delivery solutions at Telcordia, says that although Sprint has four brands to manage, each with their own pricing and plans, it's not difficult for Telcordia's self-contained platform to keep up.

"It's a matter of simple configuration on our platform that Sprint was able to offer those different brands all running from the same core platform," McMahon says. Sprint's four pre-paid divisions include: Boost Mobile 's $50 unlimited monthly plan; Virgin Mobile USA Inc. (NYSE: VM)'s three no-contract Beyond Talk options; Assurance Wireless's extremely low-cost and often free plans; and a fourth pay-by-the-minute brand. (See Sprint Segments Its Prepaid Subscribers .)

Telcordia powers policy and charging for more than 250 million pre-paid customers worldwide, and it says that lessons learned in emerging markets where pre-paid is the norm helped inform management of Sprint's multi-tiered approach.

Why this matters
The need for service delivery and billing management is especially important in the growing pre-paid market, given that there may not always be consistency in subscribers' plans as there is in postpaid. But, as wireless operators move into tiered pricing and adjust their plans on the postpaid side of the business, flexible and scalable back-end support will be just as important here. This is something Sprint has learned as it makes billing and policy changes to both its pre- and postpaid services. (See Sprint Raises 3G Prices to 4G Levels and AT&T Intros Mobile Data Caps.)

For more
For more on wireless operators' approaches to pre-paid, check out the following stories:

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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