Orange France selects Ericsson’s 5G converged charging solution

Ericsson and Orange France have signed a five-year agreement which will make Ericsson Charging the strategic monetization platform for Orange France’s 5G subscribers.

The cloud-native Ericsson Charging solution will serve the nearly 28 million Orange France customers, and private mobile radio users and 20 million IoT devices based on a container based deployment using Ericsson Cloud Native Infrastructure Solution (CNIS). Ericsson Charging will be integrated with legacy business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) billing platforms.

Emmanuel Lugagne Delpon, CTO at Orange France, said: “Ericsson Charging solution will provide us with advanced technology and the ability to accelerate our time to market for new products and services, delivering optimized operational costs, and improving our overall customer experience with real-time information.”

Franck Bouétard, head of Ericsson France, said: “Orange France wants to drive its evolution to a full converged charging system for their 5G network. The Ericsson Charging solution enables them to realize, create, and capitalize on new digital opportunities”.

The Swedish vendor noted that this new agreement builds on the long-term Ericsson-Orange France partnership. In 2019, Ericsson was selected by Orange France as its Business Support Systems (BSS) provider for real-time online charging system to modernize and standardize charging systems for prepaid and hybrid users. This latest collaboration will ensure that Orange is equipped with the capabilities to address future market demands, Ericsson said.

Ericsson Charging is designed to optimize operating costs through platform modernization. Real-time data and insights help to improve the customer experience as well as minimize downtime of systems and customer services, the vendor said.

Orange initially launched commercial 5G services in 15 municipalities at the beginning of December 2020.

The operator said that the service will be initially offered though frequencies in the 3.5 GHz band and may be supplemented by the use of 2.1 GHz frequencies.

Orange previously said it was planning to introduce 5G Standalone (SA) services for business users in 2022, with 5G SA for the general public to follow in 2023.

In November last year, Orange had opened its Open RAN Integration Center.

The new testing and integration facility will enable companies from the O-RAN ecosystem to test and validate their products and services.

Orange’s O-RAN facility is located at Orange Gardens in Châtillon, near Paris. It will be accessible to equipment suppliers of the Open RAN ecosystem, start-ups and system integrators, wishing to test the operation and interoperability of their components with those of other suppliers. The Open RAN Integration Center network will also be remotely accessible.

Orange said that the main objective of the O-RAN center is to allow, in the long term, the deployment of networks capable of working with hardware and software from different suppliers.

This laboratory — the first to be dedicated to Open RAN technology in France and the fourth in Europe — was awarded the OTIC (Open Testing and Integration Center) label by the O-RAN Alliance, of which Orange is a founding member.