Cellcom Israel Ltd., established in 1994, is the largest cellular operator in Israel. Cellcom Israel provides its approximately 3.259 million subscribers (as of September 30, 2009) with a broad range of value added services including cellular and landline telephony, roaming services for tourists in Israel and for its subscribers abroad, and additional services in the areas of music, video, mobile office etc. all based on Cellcom Israel’s technologically advanced infrastructure.
Consumers’ demand for lower roaming rates requires service providers to look for alternatives to reduce roaming costs to the consumers. Cellcom Israel was facing the above challenge and was looking for a cost-saving, roaming solution to offer to its customers, as well as to Israeli tourists worldwide.
AudioCodes VMAS Client and the VMAS Client Management System (CMS) enables Cellcom Israel to offer a new service called “Cellcom Link”, which allows roaming subscribers to initiate voice calls and send text messages (SMS) over a Wi-Fi connection, at highly cost-effective rates, via their current mobile handsets.
One of the most important features that the solution offers is the ability to keep the user’s original phone number for calling and receiving IP calls. “Cellcom Link” is currently available for all Cellcom Israel’s roaming customers outside of Israel.
The user can also receive incoming calls via this service, including the support of Caller ID, as if he were at home, without needing to use incoming blocking services.
Customers can join the service by sending a simple, short SMS message request. Following that, the customer will get a link to download the client. The installation process is done over the air and the customer is not required to insert any information such as a user name or password.
The solution supports a high level of security using advance secured technology and smooth deployment. The Client Management Server (CMS) provides back office capabilities, including an integration and connectivity to the operator’s systems. All client features and operations are managed by the CMS over the air.
On top of the ability to make SIP calls from the mobile handsets, the VMAS Clients enable a rich set of features, such as: using existing address book, calling from logs, using the regular mobile device GUI to place VoIP calls, replying to SMS messages received from the GSM network, and many more.
Handling a call in a mixed environment is another key feature, in which a user can start a call while in the WiFi zone and continue the call, without being disconnected, even when it is transferred to GSM.
Supported devices by Cellcom Israel at the time of the launch are: Nokia N95, N95-8G, N96, E71, E63, E65, E61, E51, 5800, N86, N97, E52, E72.
“We are constantly searching for advanced communications solutions in order to benefit our customers and offer them innovative technology,” stated Adi Cohen, Vice President of Marketing at Cellcom Israel. “The service is not intended to replace the existing “Cellcom Abroad” service, rather to serve as an additional solution for customers travelling abroad who make many phone calls with WiFi supported devices and would like to cut costs, while retaining their personal cellphone number.”
“We are delighted that Cellcom Israel selected the HD VoIP enabled VMAS Solution as a new service offering for their subscriber base,” stated Lior Aldema, Chief Operating Officer at AudioCodes. “This advanced technology was introduced very quickly, and within four months from project initiation, Cellcom Israel was ready with the service. This service will extend Cellcom Israel’s offering to both residential and enterprise subscribers travelling abroad, while offering cost-effective rates.”