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Celcom seeks help from Logica    
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By GOH THEAN EU

CELCOM (M) Bhd has sought the support of European-based information technology services and wireless telecommunications provider LogicaCMG to beef up its existing short messaging services (SMS) network and platforms whose capacity is challenged by escalating demands.

A contract worth more than RM60 million was signed in Kuala Lumpur yesterday by both firms whereby Logica will set up a major mobile messaging and mobile payment upgrade for Celcom. The agreement will involve the deployment of Logica’s Next Generation Short Messaging Service Centre (SMSC), Intelligent Network Platform, Pre-Delivery Service Agent and Business Tools solution. The deployment is expected to be completed by end of next year.

Celcom chief operation officer Datuk Zubir A. Rasid said deployment of the SMSC will increase messaging capacity for up to 1,000 messages per second (from 500 messages per second previously), to accommodate peaks in SMS traffic. Celcom senior vice-president head of group network, Noor Kamarul Anuar Nuruddin said close to 40 million SMS were sent at one of the days during the festive period last month. “With SMS being a key component of Celcom’s wireless data revenue, and new services such as SMS voting fast gaining momentum, it is imperative that we upgrade our messaging systems,” Zubir added.

Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission had said that about 6.05 billion messages by SMS were sent during the third-quarter ended September 2005, which were as many as 2003’s SMS volume of 6.16 billion. For the nine-month period, SMS volume rose 104.1 per cent at 13.45 billion against 6.59 billion during the same period last year.

Logica’s Asia global telecommunications managing director Boudewijn Pesch said Celcom will be able to get a better insight into customer behaviour and service usage once the Business Tools solutions are integrated with Celcom’s Next Generation Messaging system. Zubir said, the deployment of Business Tools, in turn, will allow Celcom to enhance its service and raise revenue.

Zubir also added that Celcom will be making third-generation (3G) services available to its prepaid users by year-end “We will announce it very soon.” The decision is expected to boost 3G users take-up rate, which currently stands at about 20,000. In recent reports, chief executive officer Datuk Shazalli Ramly said Celcom expects the number to reach 150,000 by 2006.

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