The nation's most-watched start-up NBN Co will this Friday begin the hunt for companies capable of building the systems that will link its network to retail providers.
The operational and business support systems, known as OSS/BSS within the telco sector, will form the vital link between NBN Co's wholesale network and retail service providers, which in future will include Telstra, Optus, AAPT, iiNet, Internode and others.
NBN Co yesterday posted an advertisement in The Australian alerting IT vendors, system integrators and developers that it would this Friday release documents, marking the begin of its hunt for qualified providers. The company has also been beefing up its IT skills-base with recent hire, Greg Tilton, who reports to NBN Co's chief technology officer, Gary McLaren.
The systems will be critical for carrier customers of the NBN Co in managing their own customer base. While carriers such as Internode, AAPT, iiNet and iPrimus have established their own networks, or have installed broadband equipment at Telstra's exchanges, they are often able to remedy faults within their own networks, in the future this will come under NBN Co's domain. NBN Co's OSS/BSS will be required for tasks such as line-activation, billing, identifying and alerts for network faults.
iiNet's regulatory affairs manager, Steve Dalby, told ZDNet.com.au that NBN Co's OSS/BSS will be an opportunity to overhaul the industry's existing inter-carrier systems.
"This will be a great opportunity to have a look at what the industry uses today for their inter-carrier BSS and OSS and what could be done better," he said.
"If a cable has been cut in Queensland and it affects the north of the state, letting people know that there is a cable cut and that it will be 12 hours before it's fixed is a very important part of that fault identification," said Dalby.
Likely candidates for the work include IBM, Accenture, KPMG, Logica, Clarity and Bearing Point amongst other specialist service providers.
The telco sector has over the past months debated what retail service providers will require in terms of OSS/BSS via industry forums run by the Communications Alliance.
The request for capability statement will be available after 5pm this Friday from the NBN Co's interim website.