Single billing delayed for a month

7 May 2003

Due to kick off on 1 May, plans to launch single billing to enable alternative operators to act independently of incumbent Eircom have been postponed to 2 June because of a technical hitch.

Single billing will allow operators to bill telecoms users on one bill instead of users receiving a second bill from Eircom for line rental. The implementation of single billing is expected to stimulate the market for independent telecom operators.

The Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) has been working for the past nine months to implement CPS single billing products, namely Single Billing Through Wholesale Line Rental and Single Billing Through Agency Rebilling.

It is understood that the process has been slowed up due to the technical complexity of implementing the system and making it robust and fit for purpose. According to ComReg, a crucial element of the system called full Service Establishment Testing between Eircom and another operator has yet to be completed.

As a result, ComReg has frozen the process with the exception of the National Directory Database and the entering-in of subscriber details.

The new date, ComReg says, will allow for inter-operator product testing and validation to be completed in advance of a commercial launch.

When the service goes live, Ireland will be one of the first countries in Europe to launch single billing.

By John Kennedy