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

Telenor and Cellusys celebrate one year of success in centralized Steering of Roaming partnership

With the goal of driving simplification, Telenor has centralized their roaming operations into one global setup, supporting all Telenor affiliates. Cellusys was chosen as a trusted partner to provide a steering of roaming solution that offered group control as well as flexibility for affiliates. Telenor as a Group now has a scalable, centralized approach to wholesale roaming and negotiation.

“Telenor is a pioneer in delivering managed roaming services to MNOs,” says Brendan Cleary, CEO of Cellusys. “The group has a unique position in the marketplace and are finding new ways to create value for their customers.”

“We are carefully choosing the best in class to partner with. Cellusys shares our vision of simplifying roaming for Telenor Group and has tailored their solution to address this shift toward centralizing traffic,” says Rickard Widerberg, CMO at Global Wholesale. “The Cellusys solution for Steering of Roaming as well as Welcome SMS reduces onboarding time and allows us to deliver high quality roaming services to the Telenor Group,“ Widerberg adds.

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Mavenir and Airtel Demonstrate O-RAN RIC (RAN Intelligent Controller) at Global O-RAN ALLIANCE Plugfest hosted by Airtel in India

Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”), India’s largest integrated telco, together with Mavenir, demonstrated O-RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC), at the recent Global O-RAN ALLIANCE Plugfest it hosted.

The Global Plugfest, which was a first for the India region participation, showcased the growing maturity of the O-RAN ecosystem. The event allowed participants to integrate and validate conformance & interoperability of the solutions implemented based on O-RAN defined architecture & specifications to accelerate readiness of solutions for commercial deployments.

Pardeep Kohli, President and CEO Mavenir, said, “We are excited to partner with Airtel in the first global O-RAN plugfest event that enables re-thinking of traditional network deployment models.”

“We are delighted to partner with the global O-RAN community. Our engagement with Mavenir for this successful demonstration is yet another step forward towards building 5G systems with open network architecture,” said Randeep Sekhon, CTO at Bharti Airtel.

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Vonage to drive Fisher & Paykel customer service communications

Vonage, a global provider of VoIP business communications, has been selected by global appliance maker Fisher & Paykel to promote customer service communications to their clientele in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, United Kingdom and the US.

The company now uses Vonage’s messaging API to offer customers on-the-spot support notifications for maintenance via SMS. The API also helps businesses improve post-sales, especially regarding the way customers can provide feedback when services have been completed, so that the company can continually improve their services.

In addition, the Vonage Messages API, built into the Fisher & Paykel platform, provides automatic and instant SMS confirmations and reminders for all technician appointments. This platform also includes self-service links for customers to easily cancel or reschedule an appointment.

According to Sunny Rao, Vonage Senior Vice President and General Manager for the Asia Pacific region: “Delivering prompt customer service across multiple countries in a consistent manner can be a challenge. Businesses need a fast and efficient way to reach their customers no matter where they are in the world. Vonage APIs allow companies to instantly reach their customers through their preferred channels at reduced costs, enabling businesses to effectively communicate with their customers and create a better customer experience.”

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How retailers can facilitate social distancing using text messaging

The mGage team looks at how SMS can play its part in keeping shoppers safe during the pandemic.

More than 65 per cent of online shoppers are browsing and buying from their mobile devices. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this trend significantly.  According to ReadyCloud Suite, eCommerce has grown more than 32 per cent in 2020 while Baymard reports that buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) orders have surged 259 per cent. Whether customers prefer to shop online or in-store, brands must find innovative ways to give them a safe and enjoyable shopping experience. Here are just a few ways text messaging can help retailers facilitate a touchless approach.

Set Up Shopping Appointments

For stores with limited space, overcrowding may become a concern during the busy holiday season. You can facilitate social distancing via text by enabling customers to set up a shopping appointment, receive a reminder, and confirm their time slot.

Send Contactless Coupons

Most consumers have gone cashless and are unlikely to carry around physical coupons. Paper coupons are not only cumbersome and easy to lose – they can also be a vehicle for germs. MMS makes it easy to send coupons customers can scan from their phone at the register without having to touch any surfaces.

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Zeotap raises $18.5M for a customer ID platform it says was built with privacy in mind

As the online world slowly moves to a more privacy-focused environment free of cookies, startups building alternative ways to help businesses manage customer identity and build marketing around that are getting attention. Zeotap, a customer identity platform built around a company’s own (first-party) data that combines this with other data sources to create more complete pictures of users and what they do, is today announcing that it has raised a further $18.5 million.

This is an extension of a Series C round for the firm coming from a single investor, SignalFire,  from its Breakout Fund, reserved for growth-stage investments. Founded in Berlin with operations now out of New York, Bengaluru in India and the U.K., Zeotap  has now raised $60.5 million for the round, with other investors including the likes of SingTel (via Innov8), Here (the mapping company), Iris Capital, the European Investment Bank and a number of others participating.

Projjol Banerjea, founder and CPO of Zeotap (pictured above, right, with co-founder Daniel Heer, who is the CEO) said in an interview that the opportunity Zeotap is targeting has become especially urgent this year, in the wake of the global health pandemic.

“You have two companies right now,” he said. “Those that are using the current market as an opportunity to reassess marketing and drive efficiencies, and double down on streamlining their business. And those that are more resilient and seeing the current time as an opportunity to scale. Whichever category you fall in, customer data is important.”

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