Amdocs quietly revealed it had secured a sizeable IT engagement with T-Mobile US (TMUS), via recently acquired Irish billing software vendor Brite:Bill.

While no official announcement of the deal has been made, Amdocs’ latest annual results presentation, for the twelve months to 30 September 2017 (FY16-17), saw Chief Executive Eli Gelman name TMUS as one of several “global service providers” with which it had secured work on “key transformation projects” during the year.

Citing achievement of a record order backlog of $3.25bn (EUR2.75bn) during FY16-17, Gelman went on to state that Amdocs’ “win momentum also included wireless customers. [TMUS] entered into a strategic contract with Amdocs’ Brite:Bill solution to help improve the customer billing process and deliver on its commitment for excellent customer experience”.

Brite:Bill bubbling up

  • Ireland-based Brite:Bill was founded in 2010, and by 2014 had started attracting significant attention as an emerging technology startup. It began picking up significant billing accounts in 2014-15, leading to its acquisition by Amdocs in September 2016 for an estimated EUR70m. Accounts filed for the 2015 financial year suggest the company was close to breaking even, with profits of EUR3.6m on EUR12m revenue in the year reducing cumulative losses to around EUR300, 000.
  • Brite:Bill’s billing platform is already in use at several major communications providers, principally in North America. Clients include TMUS rival Sprint and Deutsche Telekom (DT) minority investment BT Group, which contracted the vendor to provide it with a new billing system in September 2017 (BTwatch, #289). The TMUS deal is the first it has highlighted with a DT NatCo.

Complexities behind scenes

Few further details were revealed on the Brite:Bill contract, and the overall back story to TMUS’s billing systems transformation work is muddy, with strong hints of difficulties.

In 2014, signals emerged that TMUS was entering billing transformation mode as a follow-up to its 2013 MetroPCS acquisition (Deutsche Telekomwatch, #31).

In June 2014, Ericsson highlighted it had secured a “long-term” business and IT billing services contract with the NatCo, covering “all branded T-Mobile and MetroPCS customers” (Deutsche Telekomwatch, #32). Light Reading reported at the time that the Swedish vendor was supplanting Amdocs in TMUS’s back office, although this was not officially confirmed. Reports in previous months had suggested that TMUS’s broader IT architecture was in a state of disorder, with the complexities of operating several formal and shadow systems dragging on profitability and commercial initiatives (although how this fits with the agility TMUS has since demonstrated in its go-to-market strategy is unclear).

Subsequently, there have been signs things have not gone fully according to plan with the improvement programme. In TMUS’s Annual Report for the year to 31 December 2014 (FY14), the operator noted the billing system revamp as a risk factor for its business, and said it was adopting a phased approach that would see the new system’s “first release phase” enacted during FY15.

However, in the subsequent FY15 document, it stated this first release phase would take place in FY16, and focus exclusively on prepaid customers.

In TMUS’s latest FY16 Report, released in early-2017, there was no update on deployment progress or plans, and the document only echoed earlier Reports by stating it was “in the process of implementing a new billing system”. Feeding into hints of changes to the project’s scope, it merely said the new billing platform will “support a portion of our subscribers”.

Image: T-Mobile USA.

Table of Contents

EXECUTIVE BRIEF

Q3 FY17

Management update

Group remains reliant on trailblazer TMUS [p6]

  • Table: Deutsche Telekom, financial summary, Q3 FY17
  • Euro revival hits US takings
  • Table: Deutsche Telekom, US area financial summary (as reported), Q3 FY17
  • Divisional numbers
  • Table: Deutsche Telekom, Germany area financial summary (as reported), Q3 FY17
  • Table: Deutsche Telekom, Europe area financial summary (as reported), Q3 FY17
  • Table: Deutsche Telekom, Systems Solutions financial summary (adjusted), Q3 FY17
  • Table: Deutsche Telekom, Group Development financial summary (adjusted), Q3 FY17

GROUP

Deals

’50, 000km’ junket ends in Sprint merger stalemate [p13]

  • If it ain’t broke…
  • Will DT now drop pretence and embrace USA as its main engine?
  • M&A implications: offence in USA, defence in EU
  • Let them stew on it
  • Table: Customer base comparison, selected Dutch players, at 31 December 2016 unless stated

Dutch deal-making back on agenda [p17]

  • Strike while the iron’s hot
  • Table: Spectrum holdings of Dutch mobile network operators, 2017
  • Table: People movement highlights
  • TMNL and Tele2 NL on the same wavelength…
  • … but have been moving separate ways
  • European tidy-up likely to extend wider
  • Table: Partner/supplier people movement highlights

Group Development

TMNL updates synchronisation tools to aid 4G revamp [p21]

Technology & Innovation

DT, Inmarsat hail EAN progress but uncertainties swirl [p22]

  • Ofcom on board
  • Rivals step up legal threats, though
  • DT: a watching brief

GERMANY

Strategy

Tim gets tetchy (again) over vectoring-led ‘fibre’ game [p26]

  • It’s a fibre strategy, honest
  • Höttges brands Vodafone’s broadband push a “joke”
  • Broadband an increasingly touchy subject for DT, amid more calls for further privatisation
  • Full steam ahead on vectoring
  • The construction capacity bottleneck
  • TDE dominating subsidy capture
  • FTTH cooperation models
  • Technology agnostic

Legal and regulatory

TDE allowed to StreamOn, with conditions [p33]

  • Controversy continues to rage over zero rating
  • More partners, rollouts, and imitators

Products and services

TDE ties with Amazon on upcoming Smart Speaker [p35]

  • Mix and match
  • Orange tie-up remains quiet
  • Privacy again central

EUROPE

Austria

TMAT confirms wireline launch in pipeline [p39]

  • A1 partnership formed; no M&A plans yet flagged
  • Change in tack
  • Table: Deutsche Telekom participation in 5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership

Greece

OTE extends role in EU’s 5G R&D scheme [p41]

Hungary

DT to consolidate smart-city functions in Budapest hub [p42]

  • Lots of smart-city activity but evidence of payback yet to filter through
  • Table: DT smart-city projects, to November 2017

Poland

TMPL finally brings Mobile Connect to market [p46]

  • Slow build

SYSTEMS SOLUTIONS

Legal and regulatory

T-Sys defends involvement in Catalonia crisis [p48]

  • Responsibility denied

DT bemoans EU NIS Directive [p49]

  • New threats, new approaches

USA

Supply chain

Amdocs makes TMUS billing comeback [p52]

  • Brite:Bill bubbling up
  • Complexities behind scenes
  • Engine or chassis?

FURTHER READING

INDEX

Index

A

adidas 53
Adtran 31
ADVA Optical Networking 21
Africa 50
Alphabet
Google 36
Amazon.com Inc. 14, 35, 36
Kindle 35
Amdocs 52, 53, 54
Americas
Brazil 50
Canada 19
Jamaica 28
Latin America 46
North America 52
United States of America (USA) 8, 15, 16, 51, 53
States
New York 16, 53
Art Technology Group (ATG) 23
Asia-Pacific 46, 50
China 29
Japan 16
Singapore 19
Atrium TV 14
AT&T 16, 46
Axiata Group Bhd (TM International)
Cambodia (TM International (Cambodia) Co. Ltd./hello) 35

B

Bartle Bogle Hegarty 53
BT Group 18, 52, 54
EE 14

C

CenturyLink Inc. 13
Cisco Systems 43
CompuGroup Medical 19
Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)
Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 54

D

Deutsche Bahn 18, 19, 28
Deutsche Post 28
Deutsche Telekom 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 34, 35, 36, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 46, 48, 49, 50, 52, 53
Corporate
Headquarters 16, 49
Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners
Mojio (see separate) 39
Motionlogic 43
Next Generation Enterprise Network Alliance (ngena) 13
Europe 9
Austria 39, 40, 42
Croatia (Hrvatski Telekom) 34, 43, 44
Czech Republic 34, 39, 44
Greece (see OTE) 19, 34, 40
Hungary (see Magyar Telekom) 9, 19, 42
Netherlands 7, 9, 10, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 21, 40
Poland (Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa/PTC) 46
UK (EE) 14
European Aviation Network 22, 24
Executives
Arnold, Heinrich 19
Calian, John 19
Carey, David 19
Dannenfeldt, Thomas 7, 14, 30
Goldenits, Walter 29
Höttges, Timotheus 13, 17, 19, 26
Knauer, Martin 19
Nemat, Claudia 40
O’Sullivan, Gerry 19
Sievert, Mike 18, 19
Snoep, Marieke 19
Soupal, Vit 19
Tsamaz, Michael 19
Tschersich, Thomas 49
Ex-executives
Freude, Thomas 19
Obermann, Rene 18, 19
Seiler, Martin 19
Germany 9, 14, 19, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 33, 34, 35, 36, 39, 43, 44
Congstar 19
T-City 43
Investments
Magyar Telekom (see separate) 9, 19, 42
OTE (see separate) 18, 19, 41
Product and Innovation
Telekom Innovation Laboratories (T-Labs) 19
Products and services
Binge On 33
Connected Car 43
MagentaEINS 34
QIVICON 35, 43
StreamOn 15, 33, 34
Systems Solutions 7, 9, 10, 15, 47
Telekom IT 7, 9, 10
T-Systems 13, 15, 18, 19, 21, 35, 39, 42, 43, 44, 48, 49, 50
Detecon 19
Telekom Security 49, 50
USA 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 33, 34, 39, 40, 46, 52, 53, 54
Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners
Deutsche Telekom Strategic Investments 50
Digicel 19

E

EchoStar Communications Corp.
Dish Network 16
Ericsson 44, 53
Croatia (see Ericsson Nikola Tesla) 44
Europe
Austria 39, 40
Rundfunk und Telekom Regulierungs (RTR) 40
Belgium 22
Central Europe 44
Czech Republic 44
Finland 46
France 14, 18, 22, 23, 36, 46
Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (ARCEP) 23
Germany 7, 9, 10, 13, 15, 18, 19, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 34, 35, 36, 40, 43, 44, 49, 50
Bundesnetzagentur für Elektrizitat, Gas, Telekommunikation, Post und Eisenbahnen (BNetzA, RegTP, FNA, or German Federal Network Agency) 33
Bundesnetzagentur für Elektrizität, Gas, Telekommunikation, Post und Eisenbahnen (BNetzA, RegTP, FNA, or German Federal Network Agency) 23, 33
Government 30
Greece 18, 40, 41
Hungary 19, 42, 44
Ireland 52
Italy 23, 44, 46
Montenegro 19
Netherlands 10, 13, 17, 18, 22
Agentschap Telecom 18
Norway 23
Poland 23, 46
Portugal 13
Romania 19, 30, 43, 44
Spain 22, 30, 46, 48
Sweden 53
Switzerland 21, 23, 46
United Kingdom (UK) 14, 18, 19, 23, 24, 46
Office of Communications (Ofcom) 22, 23, 24
European Space Agency 50
European Union 7, 15, 23, 33, 41, 42, 49
European Commission 17, 23, 24, 31, 42, 49
European Court of Justice 23
European Parliament 31
Eurosport 34
Eutelsat Communications 19, 24
Experian plc 52

F

France Télécom
Orange 14, 18, 36, 46
Poland (see Telekomunikacja Polska) 46
UK (see EE, DT) 14
Fraunhofer Institute 35

G

Gemalto NV 46
Giesecke & Devrient 46
GSM Association (GSMA) 46

H

Hamburg Port Authority 43
Hewlett-Packard 21
Hitachi 21
Hitachi Data Systems 21
Hrvatski Telekom (see DT, Croatia) 34, 43, 44
Huawei Technologies 21, 29, 39, 40, 46
Hutchison Whampoa 40

I

IBM 48
IDEMIA 46
Inexio 19
Infoart 43
Inmarsat 13, 22, 23, 24
International Airlines Group SA
British Airways 22

K

KfW Bankengruppe 28
Kiunsys 44
KPMG International 48
KPN 13, 17, 18, 21

L

Liberty Global Inc. 27
Unitymedia GmbH 27
UPC Broadband
Germany (Unitymedia) 27

M

Magyar Telekom (see DT) 9, 19, 42
T-Systems Hungary 43
Market segments
Mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) 18
Over-the-top (OTT) 14, 49, 50
MetroPCS Communications Inc. 53
Carter, Braxton 15
Microsoft 50
Mojio 39
Morgan Stanley 17
MTN 18

N

NetCologne 30
Netflix 8, 14
Nokia 22, 41

O

Openwave Systems 46
OTE (Hellenic Telecom. Org. SA, see DT) 18, 19, 41
Cosmote 19, 34, 40
Greece 19, 40
Tsamaz, Michael 19

P

Panasonic 24
PCCW 13
Ponikve 43
Portugal Telecom 13
PricewaterhouseCoopers 48
PTV Planung Transport Verkehr 43
Publicis Groupe 53

R

Reliance-Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group
Reliance Communications (RCom) 13

S

SAP 43
Shaw Communications 19
SK Telecom 13, 19
SOFTBANK CORP. 13, 14, 16, 17
Son, Masayoshi 16
Sony Corp. 14
Sprint Corporation 8, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 46, 52

T

Technische Werke Friedrichshafen 43
Technology
2G 18
GSM 46
3G 18, 41
4G 18, 21, 39, 40
Long Term Evolution (LTE) 18, 21, 22, 39, 40
Long Term Evolution Time Division Duplex (TD-LTE) 21
5G 21, 31, 40, 41
Blockchain 19
DSL 9, 39, 40
Fibre 9, 19, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31, 40
FM 34
FTTH 26, 30
IP 29
IPTV 14, 40
LTE Advanced 21
NGN 27
R&D 19, 41
RF 50
SDN 41
SIM 46
SMS 46
Spectrum 18
800 MHz 18
900 MHz 18
1800 MHz 18
1900 MHz 18
2100 MHz 18
2600 MHz 18, 21
3500 MHz 41
Telemedicine 43
VDSL2 26
Web Services 36
W-LAN 31, 43, 44
Tele2 10, 17, 18
Netherlands 10, 17
Telefonica Group 46
Telekom Austria 40
Austria
A1 40
Telenor ASA 19
Telstra 13
Telus 13
Thales Group 22

U

United Internet 19
1&1 Internet 30

V

Value-added services 14
Verizon Communications 46
ViaSat 22, 23, 24
Vivendi
SFR (Société Française de Radiotéléphone) 13
Vodafone 26, 27, 30, 33, 34, 40, 46
Europe Region
Czech Republic 34
Germany 27, 33, 34
Netherlands 40

W

Warburg Pincus LLC 19
Weather Investments
Orascom Telecom
Wind Telecomunicazioni 19
Wind Telecom SA (Poland)
Wind Mobile 19

Z

Zesko Holding BV (Ziggo) 17

About

About Deutsche Telekomwatch

Report: #68
Published: November 2017
Next report: December 2017/January 2018
For more information visit: Deutsche Telekomwatch