Telecom Italia Sparkle and Bharti Telesoft Gain Traction with Pending Launch of Roaming Recharge / International Airtime Transfer HUB
Barcelona, Spain - February 18, 2009 - Further to the Memorandum of Understanding signed in November 2008, Telecom Italia Sparkle and Bharti Telesoft announced the service description and pending launch of the Borderless Recharge HUB. Launch of the service is on track for Q2 2009. Initial interest for the service has been extremely high, resulting in discussions with major mobile operators in Europe, Asia and Central / South America.
With over 70% of the world's mobile subscribers using prepaid services - and over 85% of mobile users in emerging markets preferring prepaid subscriptions - the prepaid segment is a key driver of revenues for mobile operators globally.
A major hurdle inhibiting the use of roaming services by prepaid subscribers has been the inability to top-up their accounts whilst out of the home network. Now that the concept of electronic recharge and remote payments are widely understood and used, the path is clear to introduce roaming recharge services for prepaid subscribers. The Borderless Recharge Hub builds on the expertise of Bharti Telesoft in the electronic recharge and mCommerce domains, linking islands of recharge together to provide seamless cross-border prepaid recharge and airtime transfer services. Hosted by Bharti Telesoft and Telecom Italia Sparkle, the Borderless Recharge Hub is an open platform that supports operators' third party electronic recharge and wallet platforms to enable electronic account top-up and airtime transfers for subscribers travelling outside the home network.
Arturo Danesi, Sr. VP Marketing at Telecom Italia Sparkle, said: "We are moving ahead rapidly to launch Borderless Recharge Hub. We see major potential for the roaming recharge and airtime transfer services to significantly enhance the satisfaction levels of prepaid roaming subscribers whilst at the same time helping our operator customers extend their service capabilities cost-effectively. This has been reinforced by our discussions with many leading operators in major markets globally, who are keen to launch services for the prepaid roaming community."
Mao Mohapatra, Chief Executive Officer, Bharti Telesoft, added: "We are very excited by the upcoming launch of Borderless Recharge Hub with Telecom Italia Sparkle as we see the opportunity to meet significant untapped demand for roaming services from the growing prepaid subscriber base. We are also very pleased to be providing international airtime transfer services, which will help the large migrant population around the world to support their family members at home with top-ups and transfers. Telecom Italia Sparkle's operator customers will benefit from the ability to provide these services efficiently and cost-effectively, creating a strong and sustainable new revenue stream."
About Telecom Italia Sparkle
Telecom Italia Sparkle is a global telecom player and a full service provider, offering a complete range of solutions spanning voice, mobile services, IP, bandwidth and managed data services for fixed-line and mobile operators, ISPs and multinational corporations. Telecom Italia Sparkle offers a distinctive portfolio of wholesale mobile services designed to support the operations of new entrants as well as established mobile operators. To date, Telecom Italia Sparkle has deployed solutions for over 120 mobile operators worldwide and has enabled these operators to quickly increase their international service coverage, while minimizing the cost of service set up and management.
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