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Finland’s Comptel bags software deals worth over Rs 111 cr from Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular

The Economic Times:  May, 2015

New Delhi: Finnish telecommunications software provider Comptel Corporation said it has secured operations support systems and business support systems deals worth over 15 million (about Rs 111.23 crore) from India's top telecom service providers, Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular.

Idea Cellular has given a multi-year contract worth 10.6 million (Rs 76.07 crore) for software licences for the Comptel Convergent Mediation and Comptel Provisioning and Activation products and support services related to them.

Airtel, on the other hand, has given a three-year extension contract worth 4.9 million (Rs 35.16 crore) for licence upgrade and service extension for the same solutions and related services.

"We are following the Indian market closely," Juhani Hintikka, CEO at Comptel, told ET. "It looks like telcos' investments have started again. We expect that the recently-concluded spectrum auctions and the ongoing technological shift would lead to a big opportunity for our company."

Operations support systems (OSS) comprise software applications that support a telecom operator's back-office activities and maintain customer services, while business support system (BSS) are software applications that support activities involving customer interface such as billing, customer relationship management and call centre automation.

"The networks are becoming software, which means that a lot of capability that used to be a part of the network boxes and in the network itself will move upwards into the software layers," Hintikka said.

Comptel is also working with Vodafone India and Tata Teleservices in the country.

Hintikka said the company is talking to Reliance Jio for its software solutions and added that India is one of the largest markets for Comptel globally and contributes around 10% towards its total turnover. "We expect our turnover to grow further this year as we talk to other telcos in the India," he said.

The company mainly provides provisioning software that helps operators activate new customers. Its other software product allows telcos to collect information from the network and forms the basis for charging the customers. "These are two very critical areas for telcos where we have historically been present and have been investing to further improve," Hintikka said.

The company will be hiring 50 people to bolster its software engineering team, taking the overall base to 150 in India. It also has a research and development centre in Noida, which customises global platforms as per telecom customer needs.

In India, the company competes with the likes of Ericsson and Amdocs, while it collaborates with IT majors such as Tech Mahindra, TCS and IBM to provide customised solutions to telecom service providers.

Last year, Comptel formed a strategic alliance with Tech Mahindra in India to set up a centre of excellence (CoE) at Tech Mahindra's Hinjewadi facility in Pune. The CoE is supporting Indian telecom service providers with their complex OSS/BSS transformation projects. Around 15 Comptel employees are working out of this centre to support the company's existing telco customers.

Indian telecom operators would be majorly investing in 'big data' and service orchestration in coming time, Hintikka said, adding that the company already has business units focusing and investing in these two areas.