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Company vows to save telecoms billions

PUBLISHED: 14:01 13 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:20 03 March 2010

A NEW Brightstar company has been launched which is set to save telecoms companies across the world billions of pounds.

A NEW Brightstar company has been launched which is set to save telecoms companies across the world billions of pounds.

Azure, one of BT's Brightstar companies based at Adastral Park, Martlesham Heath, is using its cutting-edge technology to combat the problem of revenue loss through the sharing of network facilities by different operators.

Keeping track of now much money the various operators are entitled to is highly complex and can result in substantial losses, either through poor internal procedures (known as "leakage") or as a result of deliberate fraud from outside the company.

An international survey of 50 telecommunications companies (telcos), commissioned by Azure, found that more than one-third of operators expect an increase in losses over the next 12 months.

And alough some operators predict losses of up to 12 per cent of total revenue, Azure says that many lack a full understanding of either the seriousness of the problem or how to solve it – which, across Europe, could mean up to £17 billion in lost revenues.

BT's long experience of operating in the competitive UK telecoms market has made it one of the world's most efficient companies in terms of revenue assurance, having developed a range of products including; mediation management, interconnect accounting, route optimisation and fraud prevention.

Through Azure, it is now making this "knowledge pool" available to other operators. Azure already has 22 installations in 14 countries, mainly across Europe but also including the United States and Argentina, and the potential for growth is huge.

Azure chief executive John Bicknell said: "It is crazy to allow hard-earned revenue to leak away, particularly when it seems to many that the only alternative to safeguard short-term profit may be to cancel vital investment programmes or indulge in potentially destructive cost-cutting.

"Revenue loss, either from unintentional leakage or fraud, is a growing issue for telcos and it's one that won't simply disappear; they must take notice and react accordingly.

"Our tools to combat leakage and fraud are extensive and these will not only serve to safeguard revenues across the world but their deployment outside of BT is expected to create significant growth opportunities for Azure."

Although operating as a stand-alone business with the freedom to sell to other companies, Azure will initially remain wholly owned by BT.

Brightstar was created to help promote the launch of new companies to exploit more of the hundreds of patented technologies developed by BT's research and development teams at the Martlesham site.

Four businesses have hatched from this incubator already and have been spun out as independent companies, creating 250 new jobs so far.

Azure currently has a workforce of around 200, including 50 at its computer centre in Bibb Way, Ipswich, with the rest at sites in Croydon and Belfast.

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