PragoNet awards ECT contract for complete voice infrastructure Wednesday 8 August 2001 PDF Print PragoNet, a leading Czech Alternative Carrier, awards ECT Major Contract for Complete Voice Infrastructure After a thorough bidding process that included tenders for legacy public switches and service platforms from major manufacturers, PragoNet, a member of the Deutsche Telekom Group, selected the AutoCarrier( softswitching technology of European Computer Telecoms AG (ECT) as the basis for both its public exchange interconnection and intelligent value-added services. Munich, August 8, 2001 - The European Computer Telecoms AG, a Munich-based developer and manufacturer of next-generation softswitching technology, will provide PragoNet with AutoCarrier softswitches to be used both as class 4 switches and as platforms for customised value-added services developed by ECT. In the first stage of this project, scheduled for completion by September 2001, the voice portfolio of PragoNet will include plain old telephone service (POTS), primary rate subscriber lines as well as prepaid telephone cards, free-phone and premium lines with network-based call centre functionality and network-based fax services. ECT is providing all services with customised web-based clients in Czech, allowing PragoNet business customers to access and administer their own services directly via the Internet. End customers will also be able to directly download the rated call data records and statistical data on their usage and there is an interface to SAP for the complete customer billing. In addition to being PragoNet's only source for the complete switching technology, ECT project management is supporting PragoNet with on-site consulting services on product definition and business plan development, including the elaboration of marketing strategies, customer tariffs, billing and the optimisation of the return on investment (ROI). Next-Generation Carriers Need Next-Generation Technology PragoNet was founded in 1996 by the city of Prague and has its own modern glass fibre network. Up until now, PragoNet has offered data services such as point-to-point circuits, virtual circuits and IP virtual private networks (VPN). Its customers include the city of Prague, federal bureaus, research institutes and other Internet service providers. Due to the high number of business subscribers, the Prague market is considered the main hub of the Czech telecoms market. In order to enhance its portfolio to include voice services, PragoNet required cost-effective and innovative public switching equipment. "We conducted a stringent selection process and examined switching solutions from leading international players, before deciding to purchase ECT's cutting-edge and highly-scalable technology. It is not only ideally designed for integration in our state-of-the-art Internet and data infrastructure. With the AutoCarrier softswitches, we also have one single platform both for interconnection with the public network and customised intelligent value-added services. Moreover, we are installing the switches and implementing the voice services within just six weeks. We are convinced that the strategic solution we're getting from ECT will be the basis for a long-term cooperation," says Michal Hátle, general manager of PragoNet. "We're delighted that PragoNet has chosen to go with our technology to realise innovative voice products economically and with the attention to practical details so essential for success. We at ECT are making sure that ProgoNet is positioned to differentiate itself from all other competitors by offering intelligent services available from no other carrier in the Czech Republic. And these services will also allow PragoNet to acquire and retain highly profitable business customers as well as tap new revenue sources not accessible to other carriers with legacy switches," says Dr. Johan Lönnberg, managing director of the ECT Sales and Service Centre in Vienna. Czech Interconnection Certification No Problem for Softswitch The Czech Republic requires that all switches interconnected with the public network have official conformity certification according to the worldwide-approved guidelines of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The AutoCarrier softswitch had already passed conformity tests conducted by T-Nova Deutsche Telekom Innovationsgesellschaft mbH in June 2000, laying the foundation for an interconnection certification in all other European countries. A key prerequisite for this contract was nonetheless the successful completion of interconnection testing for the Czech Republic. Within only eight days of testing by Testcom, the Czech certification authority, ECT passed with flying colours. Eastern European Telecoms Predestined for ECT Technology In the last two years, carriers in Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Italy and Austria have chosen the AutoCarrier for their switching and value-added services. With the equipping of PragoNet, ECT is now expanding into the Eastern European telecoms markets currently being de-regulated. For many major carriers, like the Deutsche Telekom AG, the expansion into the newly liberalised markets of Eastern Europe is of strategic importance, whereby many gain access by purchasing the majority share of local carriers like PragoNet. In these young markets, there is a particularly high demand for ECT's infrastructure technology and value-added services because they are highly innovative, low-maintenance and can be delivered and commissioned within only a few weeks of purchase. Due to the fact that the AutoCarrier can be utilised both as a class 4 switch and a platform for value-added services, carriers also avoid the high costs and long implementation times for the intelligent network (IN) technology used in conventional networks for value-added services. ECT is directly targeting Eastern Europe and has made its Sales and Service Centre in Vienna the gateway to these dynamic new markets. As Dr. Lönnberg sums it up: "ECT has the ideal technology for markets currently being liberalised. Our 'pay-as-you-grow' policy makes it easy for new carriers to offer highly sophisticated voice services without horrendous investments - and it underscores the ECT commitment to the success of our customers. Even while we are completing this major project in the Czech Republic, we are preparing our entrance into the Polish and Hungarian telecoms markets where we will soon be completing interconnection testing and equipping alternative carriers." David Reeks Tel: +44 (0) 20 8996 4136 Fax: +44 (0) 20 8996 1236 Email: email@example.com Mobile: +44 (0) 7974 161161 This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Text 100 London in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Personal Finance, Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit https://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.