The Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT) is partnering with Canada-based PortaOne to deploy an integrated digital business and operation support system (B/OSS) known as PortaBilling for Virtual Internet Service Providers (VISPs) in Nigeria and across Africa.
Wholly owned by the Nigerian government, NIGCOMSAT operates and commercialises Nigeria’s communications satellite assets, including the NigComSat-1R satellite. The public company provides fixed satellite services and connectivity solutions to a number of government and private customers in key sectors such as defence, maritime, telecommunications and cellular backhaul.
NIGCOMSAT will leverage Portabilling, provided by PortaOne, to automate key business operations within its ecosystem of VISPs for services rendered, and data bandwidth leased on its NigComSat-1R satellite.
The VISPs will in turn access self-care services such as the management of tariff plans, subscribers and payments on PortaBilling platform.
As a B/OSS, PortaBilling enables customer management, service provisioning and integrated billing platform which includes service monetization, online charging system, rating and invoicing.
VISPs, network operators, Internet Service Providers (ISP) and wholesale carriers in NIGCOMSAT target markets that can rely on the PortaBilling ecosystem to launch, price, provision, and manage various prepaid, postpaid, retail and wholesale communication services without owning any expensive infrastructure.
In essence, NIGCOMSAT intends to eliminate entry barriers for small-medium scale enterprises to become an ISP or provide other communications satellite services.
Commenting on the deployment of PortaBilling, the Managing Director of NIGCOMSAT, Dr Abimbola Alale, said the telecom billing platform will “address the common challenges that Internet Service Providers in Nigeria face at the moment, while aiding profitability, market readiness and a need for technology, which evolves with the market because PortaOne offers a license, unlimited in terms of number of subscribers or resellers.”
Joseph Ibeh is a Mandela Washington Fellow and Senior Analyst at Space in Africa. His experience spans industry research and market analysis with a focus on African-grown NewSpace companies, commercial space industry, national space programmes and real-life application of space science for sustainable development in Africa.