Get the latest announcements from MEF Members across the mobile ecosystem globally in this weekly review of member news…

Boku launches direct carrier billing payment service for Korean game developer

American mobile payments company Boku has launched multi-country direct carrier billing (DCB) and eWallet payment services for Pearl Abyss, a South Korea-based game developer.

The service has been rolled out in countries such as Russia, Turkey, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Carrier billing will also include local eWallet payment services such as RabbitLinePay, GrabPay, GCash, GoPay and OVO, the payments start-up said.

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Coronavirus is prompting companies to adopt AI call center solutions

As the continued spread of COVID-19 disrupts workplaces and travel plans around the globe, customer service centers are experiencing an unprecedented uptick in overall call volume. This week, travelers looking to modify their itineraries with Canadian airline WestJet experienced waits in excess of 10 hours. Banks and credit card companies, including Capital One, are seeing longer-than-average hold times, with some customers reporting disconnections. And Google warned Google Store customers to expect “longer than usual” wait times as a result of precautionary health measures that have the company operating with a limited team.

LivePerson, a global tech company that develops conversational commerce and AI software, says it has observed “significant” increases in volume on its conversational platform, which is used by over 18,000 brands, including Sky, IBM, Vodafone, Virgin Atlantic, and RBS. Overall conversation volume has jumped by about 20% since mid-February, with verticals like airlines and hotels experiencing 96% and 130% climbs, respectively.

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Vilicom and Mavenir Introduce Connectivity as a Service

Wireless telecommunications provider in the UK, Vilicom, recently announced a new partnership with the end-to-end cloud-native software company, Mavenir. The partnership will deliver a brand-new offering to the market in the form of “Connectivity as a Service.” This solution aims to combine the expertise of both Vilicom and Mavenir in the delivery of connectivity and cloud-based solutions to streamline the delivery of high-capability 4G and 5G connections.

The Mavenir Virtualized RAN platform enables Vilicom to host various networks on the same IT infrastructure, therefore enhancing and streamlining operations. What’s more, Vilicom’s unique solution also means that it can reduce the cost of inbuilding connectivity for new customers in 4G and 5G. Mavenir’s vRAN platform will also bring increased business agility into the works, with flexibility, elasticity, and dynamic optimisation.

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TEOCO partners with Swisscom to connect drones to mobile phone network

Mobile phone network operator Swisscom has teamed up with analytics specialist TEOCO to allow UAVs to connect to its network.

The move is intended to increase safety and security in the low-level airspace occupied by drones using a mobile phone network. TEOCO’s AirborneRF technology has already been employed in several locations globally, providing risk analysis and flight management services for commercial drones.

“Swisscom’s reliable and secure mobile network is ready to support UAVs,” said Dr. Rico Schwendener, head of innovation at Swisscom. “Our joint development cooperation will further help us providing the required levels of mobile broadband connectivity to support safe and reliable flights for UAVs, servicing a wide range of different use cases.”

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Telefónica will launch 5G Open RAN trials this year

Telefónica has grouped together a consortium of companies including Altiostar, Gigatera Communications, Intel, Supermicro and Xilinx to assist the development and deployment of Open RAN in both 4G and 5G.

The new collective effort will enable Telefónica to launch 5G Open RAN trials in the UK, Germany, Spain and Brazil this year.

Open RAN essentially reduces the cost of providing 5G networks by standardising the design and functionality of the hardware and software in the RAN. This, therefore, increases the number of companies supplying the components.

“Once again, Telefónica is leading the transformation towards having the best-in-class networks in our operations with our customers as key pillars,” said Enrique Blanco, Telefónica CTIO. “Open RAN is a fundamental piece for that purpose while widening the ecosystem.”

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