We enable a standard prepaid and postpaid service as well a ‘hybrid’ prepaid service with a monthly commitment. Other innovative services include an ‘incoming call bonus’ (where free credit is topped up at reload for incoming calls received between top-ups); ‘credit, please’ (where extra call credit is provided on zero balance by SMS request); and ‘call me, please’ (where 5 SMS can be sent on zero balance).

We can offer virtually unlimited options including ‘Peak/Off-peak’ tariffs; a flat tariff to all networks regardless of peak time; postpaid plans with monthly fee, minimum commitment, or zero monthly fee; rate plans that combine a monthly fee and tariff; special direction tariffs (e.g. China, USA, Canada); discounted on-net tariffs; dynamic tariffs (higher top-ups rewarded with lower tariffs); international call tariff zoning; roaming tariff zoning; and Eurotariffs that automatically comply with EU roaming regulations.

Our platform can provide sophisticated bundles including ‘friends & family’ packages by top-up, monthly fee, or by default; and other options such as on-net only, all-time/all-networks, international traffic and SMS bundles.

We provide multiple ‘wallets’ (or subaccounts) so a prepaid subscriber has a main wallet where their credit is, plus secondary wallets with promotional give-aways, such as free on-net minutes. The customer just sends a balance request by SMS and receives an answer (e.g. ‘You have 14.60 euros of credit with 34 on-net minutes and 24 free SMS left’).

The options for topping up are numerous, from electronic voucher or scratchcard to IVR, SMS or USSD top-up, or by banking methods such as ATM, direct debit or credit card auto-transfer. And of course online via the self-care website.

Running an MVNO is all about marketing differentiation. You want to have the freedom to offer promotions and change them frequently. Our platform gives you many options such as extra call credit as standard (‘Buy 10 euro top-up and get 2 euro extra’) or dynamic (‘Top up with more and get even more minutes’); or for first ‘x’ top-ups (‘First 3 top-ups give 50% extra call credit’). Then there’s automatic top-up amount increase promotion (‘Buy bigger top up next time and get free credit’) and bonus call credit spread over ‘x’ months (‘Get 30 euro call credit—10 euro every month when topping up’).

It’s also possible to have free credit included with starter-kit, as well as for each top-up, or for bringing a friend to the MVNO. Plus we have lots of options for retailers, such as free minutes for shopping (voucher codes printed on receipt based on amount spent), free call credit for shopping (1 euro call credit codes printed on the back of ticket roll every 20 cm) and other options including, of course, a connection to your existing loyalty scheme.

The platform contains a powerful and versatile rater, which can create many Classes of Service (CoS), each with its own tariff plan, including workday/hours, weekend and holiday tariff structures. You can also define which CoS can use which service (e.g. a discount).

The rater uses the tariff engine to apply Voice and SMS tariffs based on a call zone of origination, time of placement and destination. It also includes fraud parameters (maximum balance, maximum call duration) and discounted numbers parameters (which numbers and the discount). Real-time billing is performed based on the tariff and discount plans. The rated CDRs are kept in a file and available on an FTP server.

By default, the following CoS are available, all with ‘peak/off-peak’ dimension:

• Voice: national (flat fee)
• SMS: national (flat fee)
• Voice: international (flat fee)
• SMS: international (flat fee)
• Roaming: voice
• Roaming: SMS

At the other end of the spectrum, we have a reconciliation tool that compares the number of minutes we billed our subscribers with the number of minutes our MNO billed to us.

Credit control combines real‐time billing with defined credit limits on a per‐‘class of service’ (CoS) basis. Subscribers make calls throughout the billing period up to their CoS credit limit. The tool provides monthly reports of each subscriber. Our balance manager tool allows you to specify when credit expires based on class of service, or to allow credit to continue. We also have a range of fraud detection and prevention mechanisms that include setting credit limits for subscribers (pre‐ and postpaid), which significantly limits the potential for fraud.

We keep libraries of pre-set IVR and Voicemail trees in our database and provide them to MVNOs to adjust as needed. This saves our clients a lot of time and effort by not having to invent things from scratch. In practice, these trees are not that different from operator to operator. This is actually the case for most processes and tools, which is why we can launch new MVNOs quickly and efficiently.

Through a service creation environment we provide a powerful tool that lets Effortel engineers design and deploy new services without ever asking for vendor support. It works with an innovative drag-and-drop interface that greatly improves time-to-market for those services. While it can take months for an MNO to deploy a new service, we can do it in days.

The network layer consists of elements such as PDSN, STP, and switches. The flexibility of this layer—along with the design of protocol-specific Service Independent Building blocks (SIBs)—allows the platform’s Service Logic Execution Environment (SLEE) to run multi-protocol scripts (e.g. handling a card top-up via IVR with a text message sent as a confirmation).