Growing a Mobile Telecommunications Service in Israel's Competitive Market
The mobile telecommunications market in Israel is extremely competitive. We have six major mobile network operators (MNOs) and four mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) who piggyback on the MNOs' infrastructure.
Our Goal Is High-Quality, Highly-Available Mobility
Telzar 019 began as an international termination service provider in 2008 and launched our MVNO offering in 2013. I've been the company's CTO since 2011 and am responsible for every aspect of our engineering and technical operations.
Our main goal as a respected Israeli MVNO is to provide our customers with unique products and services that meet and exceed their every need. To succeed, we must offer high-quality mobile voice and data services that are highly available, competitively priced, and incorporate the latest features consumer’s demand. We work on competitive margins and have learned to optimize our operational expenses. Telzar 019's team is lean and can pivot quickly to react to changing consumer tastes and an evolving telecommunications marketplace.
Building Our Network with Dialogic
Telzar 019 first partnered with Dialogic (which is owned by Enghouse Networks) when we launched 12 years ago. We selected the company's ControlSwitch and BorderNet SBC Session Border Controller as the core of our international termination service and turned to Dialogic again in 2013 when we were granted an MVNO license.
In that second instance, we used Dialogic technology to build our mobile voice, data, and signaling network. Among other things, Dialogic supplies our Gateway Mobile Switching Center (GMSC), media gateway controller function (MGCF), signal transfer point (STP), SMS for SMSC, and applications, including: voicemail, real-time charging control function and Fun Tone. Our executive team made a strategic decision to become one of the biggest MVNOs in Israel by offering best-in-class call quality and uninterrupted services to our customers, and Dialogic technology gave us the right products to realize our vision.
Complying with Disaster Recovery Regulations
Dialogic also helped us comply with Israeli telecommunications regulations. As part of their licensing agreement, mobile telephony providers in this country must ensure uninterrupted service by setting up a primary site and a disaster recovery (DR) site that is no less than 50 kilometres away. Operators must ensure that at least one of its sites remains online during various network/site location issues such as network failure, power outages or malfunctioning air conditioning and site availability concerns such as earthquakes or flooding. These disaster recovery capabilities are mission critical and not easy to support and as a result always challenge the underlying network infrastructure as well as the Network Element, especially the application layer performance and capabilities that are mandatory here.
It happened to us shortly after we launched our MVNO service: A power failure occurred in one of Telehouse’s data center sites. The emergency UPS and generators kicked in, but in such cases, the air conditioners are set to halt operation due to the high level of electricity they consume. This consequently resulted in the site’s ambient temperature in the equipment room to slowly increase to dangerous levels. This triggered the servers to automatically power off, and then we discovered that a few elements within our core infrastructure were not functioning as they should. Dialogic’s products smoothly performed the relevant actions automatically, switching the service to the second site with no service degradation.
We called Dialogic to check our options in acquiring a replacement solution to the other vendors’ products that were not performing well under the same circumstances, and they took charge of the situation. They laid out our options, introduced to us the proposed solution that not only fully meets the disaster recovery capabilities, but also fully meets our current and future technical/business requirements, and prepared a working solution.
Dialogic proactively helped promote this solution and its speedy adoption. In case of any service outage, it’s procedure for the regulator to investigate the event and examine the relevant network functionality during the outage. If he finds that the service was inaccessible to the operator’s subscribers over a threshold period, then he is required by law to take actions such as fining the operator and verifying that the operator takes all required measures to ensure the problem won’t happen again. In our case, the regulator deemed our disaster recovery setup inadequate. To avoid such potential services, we had to remedy the situation right away. Fortunately, Dialogic understood the severity of the stakes and was more than up to the challenge. In next to no time, they set up a fully compliant DR solution that included a replacement of all the other’s vendors components/products that didn’t perform well during switchover operations.
Growing with Dialogic
Dialogic continued to help us as we grew. In 2017, four years after we launched our MVNO business, we rolled out Dialogic PowerNova Application Server (AS) and expanded our Dialogic ControlSwitch deployment to support rapid subscriber growth. We adopted these technologies to reduce complexity and to improve our ability to deliver cutting-edge services to our mobile customers.
Within ﬁve months of upgrading our infrastructure, we saw more than a 50% increase in our customer base. We implemented a new real-time charging application that provides session control and supervision, billing mediation, and account-balance management for prepaid accounts. We also improved the management of critical carrier-grade features like geo-redundancy and service availability.
A Valued Partnership
I value our partnership with Dialogic an Enghouse company because it is based on full transparency. Their people tell it like it is and focus on selling us only what we need. We've built up a personal relationship over the years and know we're getting solutions that meet our internal/operational/business requirements and comply with relevant regulations.
They also provided the infrastructure that powers our LA (Large Account) SMS offering. This service allows businesses and other organizations to promote their activities by sending out advertising and other branded content as text messages. Although we developed LA SMS technology internally, we worked with Dialogic to simplify the application and allow the bulk processing and sending of text messages. As you can see, this is a mutually beneﬁcial relationship and a true partnership.
Our Go-To Supplier
Dialogic is our go-to supplier. Whether we're looking to increase our customer base or expand our product offering, we talk to them first. Nearly every quarter, we reach out to our reps to discuss new features and order additional products and licenses. We are a high-value customer, and we keep going back to them because no other vendor provides the same level of service and support.
Telzar 019 has worked with Dialogic for over a decade and will continue to use their services in the years to come. Their sales and technical teams have provided outstanding, personalized service and 24/7 support from day one. They have always presented us with the right product when we needed a new solution and helped flesh out and improve our ideas. When we have experienced equipment and network failures, their support people have minimized or eliminated the impact on our customers.
The mobile telecommunications market in Israel continues to grow and evolve. Enghouse Networks has a broader portfolio and keeps us ahead of the curve and allows us to offer our subscribers the cutting-edge products and services they demand.