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Independent solution to enable local operators to improve cashflow from their interconnect businesses

Azure Solutions, the revenue-assurance company, today announced that it has secured a contract to implement an Interconnect Clearing House solution for telecoms operators in Nigeria. In conjunction with its partner NiConnX Communications Ltd, a Nigerian registered company licensed and empowered by the Nigerian Communications Commission to operate interconnect-exchange services in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Azure will be providing a complete end-to-end interconnect-billing service for all the Nigerian operators who join the Interconnect Clearing House.

The liberalisation of Nigeria’s telecoms industry has introduced many new operators to the market and increased the number of interconnect agreements that need to be reconciled. Due to their relatively recent introduction and the consequent lack of technology and skills in this area, millions of dollars are being tied up in disputes while discrepancies are being identified, putting considerable pressure on cash flow.

The Interconnect Clearing House will handle multi-operator interconnect billing, ensuring that all traffic is collected, rated and invoiced, enabling operators to settle accurately and quickly with interconnect partners in an independent and secure environment. Additionally, as the service is run by a third-party, operators will be able to make considerable operational savings and reduce capital expenditure and at the same time have access to world-class interconnect solutions.

The clearing house is based on the proven carrier-grade functionality of Azure’s Interconnect version 9.0 platform. The Interconnect Clearing House will collect and rate both incoming and outgoing interconnect CDRs (call detail records) for each operator; maintain daily summaries; produce settlement reports; perform the reconciliation and produce invoices.

Paul Creevy, CEO of NiConnX Communications Ltd, said: "Azure’s proven experience and expertise in interconnect solutions made it an obvious choice to support the clearing house. The clearing house will now enable operators to improve cash flow and meet regulatory requirements, as they will be able to reconcile interconnect agreements in a much more accurate and timely manner."

John Cronin, president and CEO of Azure Solutions, said: "If operators do not manage their interconnect businesses effectively they can end up losing significant amounts of due revenue, and this is particularly so in developing telecoms markets. The Interconnect Clearing House will provide Nigerian operators with a cost-effective and accurate means to manage interconnect settlements. The contract is great news for Azure and is further recognition of our proven revenue-assurance solutions."

-ENDS-

About Azure Solutions (www.azuresolutions.com)
Azure Solutions is the world’s largest revenue-assurance company. It is headquartered in London, with people in Westminster (Colorado), Ipswich, Paris, Frankfurt, Madrid, Barcelona, Islamabad, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Singapore, Sydney and Melbourne. Azure’s end-to-end revenue-assurance product portfolio for current-generation networks includes Data Integrity, Wholesale and Interconnect Billing, International Settlements, Fraud Management, Mediation, Management, Translation and Rating, Event Integrity and Route Optimisation. Azure has launched Azure Inter-Party Management as the first product in its next-generation portfolio. Azure provides individual products or complete revenue-assurance solutions using a common platform and any combination of products that a customer might need. Customers can choose a system that they own and operate themselves or a bureau that Azure manages on their behalf. Azure has over 60 customers across the world comprising PTTs, mobile operators, national operators, carrier’s carrier and cable TV companies. Azure has significant carrier experience and understands the problems faced by all these operators.
The company’s heritage can be traced back to BT in the early 1990s. Azure was spun out of BT in April 2003 and is backed by New Venture Partners, Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures and Intel Capital.

Recently Azure won the ‘Best Revenue-Assurance Project’ award at the World Billing Awards 2005 in London, and ‘Most Promising Company’ at the TeleStrategies Billing & OSS World Excellence Awards 2005 in Philadelphia.

Further information
In Europe or Asia please contact David Pincott/Alex Crawshaw, Pirate Communications
tel: +44 (0)20 7297 3350
david@piratecomms.com/alex@piratecomms.com

In the U.S. please contact Guy Murrel at Catapult PR-IR
tel +1 303-581-7760
gmurrel@catapultpr-ir.com


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