To expand satellite coverage and ensure affordability, the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT) has taken a new approach to the delivery of satellite connectivity solutions, via Virtual Internet Service Providers (VISPs).
The mode of operation would be from the PortaBilling, a digital Business Support System (BSS), provided by PortaOne. The solution would be available to both public and private and public firms. VISPs would rent data channels from the NIGCOMSAT orbiting satellite and then rely on the PortaBilling self-care portal to manage their tariff plans and subscribers.
PortaBilling will carry out all service monetisation, such as service activation, charging, invoicing and payment collection. So a VISP does not need to purchase or implement any infrastructure, and the only action required on the VISP side is to install the customers’ equipment.
Such a low entry barrier enables nearly any local company such as system integrator, utility or even a supermarket chain to become an ISP. It will have major effects in several key markets, in particular for Small Office or Home Office (SOHO), these customers will benefit from better satellite connectivity.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NIGCOMSAT, Dr. Abimbola Alale, said the deployment of PortaBilling would address common challenges that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Nigeria face at the moment.
“It will also aid profitability, market readiness and a need for technology, which evolves with the market because PortaOne offers a license, unlimited in terms of the number of subscribers or resellers. This helps to maintain a low and predictable TCO (Total Cost of Ownership)”, Alale noted.
She expressed her gratitude to the PortaOne team, a Canada based software developer, for the integration of other elements of the solution, such as online payment through REMITA.
Also, CEO of Portaone, Andriy Zhylenko, said the flexible convergent digital BSS is a crucial tool, which would enable NIGCOMSAT succeed via monetisation of innovative service and better customer experience.
“At the heart of PortaBilling is an open architecture that will integrate seamlessly with NIGCOMSAT’s value-added services,” he added.
He stated that PortaBilling would make internet access in Nigeria more abundant and affordable, by building a vast network of VISPs in the country.
“PortaBilling would further enable prepaid satellite Internet access across Nigeria by improving revenue collection and reduction of leakage for VISPs and NIGCOMSAT”, Zhylenko said.
Executive Director, Technical Services of NIGCOMSAT, Kazeem Raji expressed satisfaction with the architecture of PortaBilling, which allows NIGCOMSAT seamlessly connect to various back-office and value-added service (VAS) system.
He stressed that the system would improve customer management, lowers the total cost of ownership (TCO) and significantly reduces time-to-market for new services, such as Voice Over Internet Protocol, data multicasting, Digital Signage, Internet Protocol television (IPTV), among others.