Pay Telephone Network Solution

The Client

Australia’s number one pay telephone network carrier, Telstra Corporation, saw significant benefits in automating its national payphone monitoring and alarm mechanisms.

Telstra required expertise in software development and protocol conversion to design and implement a cost-effective and reliable pay-telephone monitoring system for the entire Australian network. Telstra turned to Braintree who demonstrated a wealth of experience and expertise in software development and in working with a variety of communications protocols including financial.

Braintree saw this as an opportunity to develop its strategic positioning as leaders in innovative data communications within the telecommunications market by working with Australia’s largest Telco Company.

The Problem

Prior to 1990, the Australian pay-telephone network used a large number of disparate communications methods. These included Digital Multi-Tone Frequency (DMTF); dial-up modem connection; Tran$end; and x.25 (Packet Data Network), which, before IP, was one of the only reliable international communications protocol. These dissimilar communications methods presented several procedural problems for Telstra, as well as ongoing network conflicts.

Other procedural problems and network conflicts consisted of phones sending fault messages to the host when the phones were not faulty at all. There was no filtering mechanism that enabled Telstra to determine if the terminals are in actual fact faulty. Local technicians would be sent to a faulty phone only to find out that the terminal was in good working order. This was proving a hefty procedural problem and very costly as the faulty terminal could be anywhere throughout the vast Australian continent.

These fault-monitoring mechanisms include mechanical failure, the phones cash box being full, batteries low or even vandalism to the phone itself.

Telstra was looking to automate the entire pay-telephone network including the tracking and monitoring system so as to reduce the cost of managing the ineffective pay-telephone network system.

The Solution

Braintree was contracted by Telstra to adapt the entire system to a central communications platform, creating an automated platform that was more cost effective to operate and manage.

To make the task of creating this platform more difficult, the network included over 2000 credit card phones, meaning Braintree’s solution not only had to facilitate disparate communication protocols but also secure financial transactions.

Braintree designed and developed an automated centralised platform that was able to handle the monitoring of the entire Australian payphone network. The solution incorporated a highly sophisticated filter that could determine actual terminal faults. These faults would then automatically be faxed to the nearest Telstra depot so a Telstra technician could fix the terminal as soon as possible.

Braintree’s experience within the financial and communications industry enabled it to provide a solution that synchronised the entire national pay telephone network in a timely and cost-effective manner.

The Benefits

Braintree was able to design and develop a solution that upgraded the labour intensive and ineffective national pay-telephone network. The solution was fully automated and included a filtering device that could determine true faults before registering the fault with the host.

The system proved so reliable that Braintree was consequently contracted to consolidate Telstra’s various communications protocols onto coordinated Unix servers.



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