Given how complex and cumbersome wholesale and settlement billing are, it’s tough to imagine any major telecom still operating it manually. As it turns out, Wataniya Telecom Kuwait has been handling partner management, carrier-to-carrier rating, billing, settlement, and dispute management and reconciliation manually. It was announced on November 6 that the carrier finally selected CSG International to automate these processes, following the lead of parent company QTel and its sister operating units in Algeria and Tunisia.
Keep in mind, Kuwait’s population is only about 3.5 million people, about 2 million of whom are non-nationals. It’s an extremely wealthy nation which doesn’t attract an awful lot of tourism, but does host a significant amount of western business as one of the more “liberalized” middle eastern nations, at least in terms of media and adaptation to western culture. This would seem to necessitate a significant amount of international voice, data, and text traffic transiting in and out of Kuwait. In turn, this would explain why Wataniya hosts multiple domestic and international carrier partners. Its automation of its wholesale and partner settlement processes stands as a sign of the operator’s desire both to better manage what can be a costly process if left to manual handling and to better monetize a cash flow oriented aspect of any globally interconnected operator’s business.