16 March 2004 – Redwood Technologies, the leading provider of Value Added Network Services equipment, is pleased to announce that Africa’s largest prepaid system is commissioned and live at Nigerian Telecommunications Ltd (Nitel), the incumbent telco in Nigeria.
Based entirely on Redwood’s RedRouter prepaid solution, the system allows Nitel to convert residential subscriber landlines to ‘prepaid dial tone’, permitting subscribers to make calls only if their account is in credit. Aimed at combating bad debt and collection issues, the project will enable Nitel to make further infrastructure investment from the additional revenues generated. Nationwide coverage is provided from nodes in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi, Ibadan, Enugu, Benin and Port Harcourt.
The RedRouter prepaid billing system, running on Redwood’s industry-standard DNX® platform, uses SS7 and compressed VoIP infrastructure to maximise efficient use of Nitel’s network. Launched initially in conjunction with a prepaid calling card service, voice and fax messaging applications will soon follow. Subscribers will be able to access their voice mail messages from any phone, while the fax mail service will allow subscribers to retrieve faxes from anywhere in the world. Furthermore, both message formats can be forwarded as e-mail attachments, leveraging Nigeria’s fast-growing Internet café sector.
Additional services, such as prepaid audio conferencing, will be rolled out in the coming months.
Redwood has built its reputation in Nigeria during more than six years of close involvement, initially supplying equipment to the country’s pioneering Value Added Network Service providers and now providing network infrastructure to the country’s newest competitive Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) carriers. Redwood’s credits have included the first mass-access voice/fax mail system in Nigeria, and the country’s first SS7-interconnected prepaid calling card platform. The pioneer of prepaid dial tone in Europe, and a major supplier of softswitching technology to leading telcos such as BT, Redwood is ideally positioned to provide its telco grade prepaid technology to operators in both developing and mature markets.