Enhance Telecom Billing Performance with Real Time Charging Solutions

An intelligent establishment is laid for service union since the OCS grasps event based charging and session-based charging. This meets the charging criteria for both voice and information services, and for the bearing, subsystem and application layers. The charging system is developing from postpaid BOSS or paid ahead of time IN to focalized charging. The OCS rating motor involves the foundation of this procedure, while Re reference focuses encourage rating motor organization and satisfy new assistance advancement necessities.

The united charging framework assumes a key job in information association and coördination and structures the biggest client database. The OCS dismantles best practice concerning sorting out charging information everything being equal and services, which is fundamental given that the web based charging information depicts one of the most unpredictable information streams. A few charging modes and their blends are conceivable, including close to ongoing charging for postpaid or prepaid services, and charging for prepaid help.

Web based charging (in light of Ro and CAP interfaces) and disconnected charging (in view of the Rf interface) portray the collaboration among NEs and charging frameworks. Postpaid and paid ahead of time show the communication between account parity and client installment. Thus, client experience-based ideas for example paid ahead of time, postpaid, close to continuous and constant – can be flawlessly reflected to arrange based ideas, for example, on the web and disconnected charging.

Adaptable upkeep and arrangement through an electronic entrance and backing for different interfaces to outer frameworks, for example, CRM, Billing, and so on. The bill-based, postpaid BOSS and the free paid ahead of time IN charging framework are advancing into a united charging framework.

Telecom Billing System

Services have guaranteed that Money can be circulated as they were doing it for Electronic Airtime and Airtime vouchers and now in same manner, genuine cash is likewise accessible in roadside stands which exchange (Cash in and Cash out Agents), water and cigarettes. This requires genuine assistance greatness – the capacity to offer a consistent stream of new, creative Services bolstered by powerful and amazing totally secluded frameworks with a brief span to showcase.

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Prevent Revenue Losses by Setting up a True Real Time Charging System

To say that the telecom sector is full of competition is quite an understatement. Apart from the prominent service providers, you also have a plethora of mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) that offer their services at highly affordable rates.

If you run one such network, you would know how difficult it is to meet your bottom line in this environment. Unhappy customers can switch to a different provider at a moment’s notice. But happier clients are just as tricky when it comes to maintaining brand loyalty. You need to keep offering state of the art solutions that excite your customers and keep them from leaving your service for a competitor.

An essential service such as real time charging can prove quite handy in appealing to your clients. With its transparent billing, minimal errors, and faster service, a real-time charging system is precisely what you need to bring your services to the forefront in your customer’s minds.

What is Real Time Charging?

Real-time charging solutions help you actively charge your customers for the services they use. As the name suggests, these charges will incur in real-time, which in other words means that your customers are billed as they use any services, as opposed to being billed after they have used a service.

It might seem like a small difference at first, but real time charging can revolutionize your billing for the better. Among other advantages, it provides benefits such as a smarter network, accurate billing, and efficient services.

However, as a MVNO, it isn’t always easy to set up a real-time charging system that successfully delivers on all expectations. You need to be careful about what kind of real-time charging solutions are you enabling for your network. That’s why it is essential to keep the following points in mind while setting up real time charging systems.

Check If It Supports Convergent Billing

The first thing that should be on your mind is to set up a real-time charging system that holds the latest technologies within it. While any real time charging mechanism will allow you to deduct accurate charges, some variations are more effective than others.

For instance, a convergent real time billing system doesn’t only help you automate your charges. It also consolidates them for better management and accounting.

Through a convergent real time billing system, your customers don’t have to pay for different services or accounts on an individual basis. While they still get charged in real time, their charges come consolidated in a single bill.

This makes it easier for customers to pay for different subscriptions and even accounts. It also sets your service apart from operators who do not offer this feature.

Learn the End Charges for Yourself

Before you enter into a contract for real-time charging solutions, make sure that their actual charges do not cost you a fortune.

This is highly important if you are looking at long term growth for your network while also providing efficient billing services to customers.

Make sure that you are comparing different providers’ charges and services side by side before making a decision. Those who are confident in their services will also be able to answer any questions you have, so don’t shy away from having your team gather the answers that you require.

This method helps you find a real-time charging system that can serve as a long-term solution for business. It goes a long way by managing your costs while providing state of the art services to your customers.

Obtain Your Services From a Reliable Provider

Another elementary yet very crucial aspect is to obtain your real time charging services from a reliable provider.

You should look for a provider that has been operating in the industry for a while, has a track record of serving other networks and MVNOs, and holds a credible reputation for using the latest technologies.

This makes sure that you are not handing your network’s fate into the hands of a sub-par infrastructure. Rather, you are paying for services that make a difference for your network’s service. This approach also gives you the confidence that you are setting up your real-time charging solutions with the latest advancements.

At (v)WeCare, we offer state of the art, cloud-based online charging solutions that are built to scale any network’s services to the next level. With automated billing, access-based controls, and native CRM, we can provide you and your customers with the level of service that you are looking for today.

Whether you are ready to move to our real-time charging system right away or if you have any questions regarding the efficacy of our services, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today. We will be glad to answer your inquiries and provide you with solutions that fit your needs the best.

Source : http://www.techpublishnow.com/real-time-charging-system/

What to Look for in Your Next Telecom Charging System?

As companies change their focus and become more customer-centric, the importance of innovative telecom solutions has increased. Especially when it comes to accuracy in billing, there is no middle ground and you cannot survive without owning/leasing a robust and reliable telecom billing software. In today’s telecom operations, the most critical element of is OCS. After many revisions since its inception, OCS has improved dramatically and has become critical for modern-day charging and rating applications.

What is an OCS?

OCS System

Online charging system better known as OCS is a vital part of telecom billing architecture. It forms the real-time beating heart of any BSS. Every customer exchange – whether it is event-based or session-based – is accounted for by the OCS. It also features an Account Balance Management Function (ABMF) that stores and updates vital subscriber information. It is a great advancement in the telecom industry that fixes the many anomalies/limitations of erstwhile IN and offline billing systems. 

The Risks of a Flawed OCS

An OCS is the most critical component of any telecom operation. Whether you are an MVNO or a major network operator, you should understand that your whole brand image depends on this vital resource. As every user interaction is captured by OCS, it is crucial for all your billing tasks. In case your OCS is flawed, it may lead to the creation of error-ridden invoices that will be sent to your customers. If this happens, then your customers will most likely switch their operator, which will spell doom for your business. Therefore, you should put all your efforts in finding an accurate OCS solution that can be trusted.

Vital OCS Features You Should Be Concerned About

An OCS system has many attributes that determine its efficacy in any business model. While different telecom operators may have their own preferences about these features, there are some important attributes that are critical for all telecom billing operations:

  1. Security against hackers – The threat of hackers looms large over any business that is done on the Internet. As an OCS is connected to the web at all times, you need to pay special attention to the security measures employed by the OCS provider. Without proper security, you risk losing all the goodwill generated over many years in a matter of seconds.
  2. Scalability – The subscribers of an operator keep on changing with time. Without a scalable OCS, you are unable to keep up with the varying demand. Hence, scalability of the OCS should be kept as a top priority.
  3. Provision for future technologies – An OCS should not only address the present-day requirements but it should also be ready to meet the future needs. It should be able to fulfill the requirements of highly-promising technologies like 5G and IoT. Without any provision for future technologies, you might have to constantly change your OCS system, which is definitely bad for business.

The Long and Hard Journey of Telecom Billing

The commercial success of the Online Charging System (OCS) deployed by telcos is a testament to the ever-evolving telecom billing technology. Not so long ago, it was hard to fathom how telcos will be able to accommodate so many new offerings (like 2G, 3G,4G, VAS, OTT etc.) as part of their service. But with consistent development, we are at a juncture where we see convergent billing and real-time charging making things simpler than ever before for both customers and the operators. But the work of telcos has not ended yet. With 5G and even 6G beckoning; and IoT becoming the next big thing in the market, the time to evolve has only just started.

The Age-Old Formula of Success

efore we go any further and analyze what the future holds for the telecom industry, it is best to first look at the basic formula that has worked so well for telcos. It has always being the ability to adapt one’s billing according to the services that need to be offered, which has driven MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) to success. In other words, it is how fast and how well you can adapt to the ever-changing telecom charging system architecture that dictates your success over competitors. Therefore, it has become imperative that you keep yourself armed with a competent OCS System, which can adjust to the future requirements. Flexibility, versatility, multi-tenancy and convergence are the key ingredients for a worthwhile telecom billing system.

The Evolution of Billing Systems

In the latter part of the 20th century, telcos realized that their offline charging system was causing revenue leakage as it was not able to provide charging information before a service was delivered. This was causing problems, especially in prepaid billing. To fix this problem, an IN-based system was conceptualized that was able to authenticate users and check their account balances before delivering services. It worked well but it had some restrictions in terms of creating flexible plans. After that, OCS was conceptualized, which could not only charge customers in real time but also allowed telcos to launch attractive bundles of services with great flexibility. In 2010, we saw our first glimpse of convergent billing. The convergent billing system allowed for the integration of several service charges onto a single customer invoice, which provided more transparency in telecom billing.

What The Future Holds for the Telecom Industry?

As AI (Artificial Intelligence) becomes the new trans-formative technology, we are more than likely to see a shift towards data sciences dictating the telecom operations of the future. The vast amount of data crunching would require you to have access to state-of-the-art quantum computers and probably an OCS version 2 for getting the job done. Also, we are expected to see the erstwhile OSS/BSS model (which assigns computer systems for pre-designated tasks and is highly inefficient) become obsolete and phased out. Instead, we will have technologies like NFV (Network Function Virtualization) and SDN (Software Defined Network) that will drive a new OSS/BSS model with better utilization of resources.

Why Switch to a Versatile Telecom Charging System?

Not so long ago, voice calls and SMS were the staples of the telecom industry. Subscribers were happy as long as they could make high-fidelity voice calls and telecom operators were content with the profits they were making. However, nothing in this world stays stagnant, especially not when technology in the industry is moving at a rapid rate. With the launch of newer technologies and features, the competition between telcos sky-rocketed. As more and more operators got into the mix, the profits started receding. Right now, the race is to launch newer services and better plans. And, to win this race, telecom operators need a telecom charging system that can help them bring their offerings quickly to the market.

Increasing Complexity in Modern-Day Telecom Charging

Telecom charging systems of yesteryears did exactly what they were devised to do. They kept track of calls and SMS along with charging, rating and billing for the services. But, with the launch of newer services like VoIP, IPTV, multi-speed data services e.g. 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G etc., the playing field for telecom operators has changed considerably. Now, the same process of charging, rating and billing has become a lot more complex than it was ever before. Handling large amount of data that comes with modern billing is something that is unachievable for legacy billing systems.

Important Characteristics of Telecom Charging System

In case, you are still using a legacy charging system, it is time to move onto a cutting-edge system that helps you bring your new plans into the market, quicker than ever before. And, any good telecom operator knows that launching the right product at the right time is the recipe for success. Some major attributes that you should look for before procuring your next telecom charging system are listed below:

1. Backward compatibility – It is hard to make a switch to a new billing system instantly. Hence, you need a telecom charging system that is backward compatible with all your applications, so you can make a move to the new system at your own pace. This prevents you from suffering financial losses while you make the transition to your new telecom charging system.

Telecom Charging System

2. Event/Session-based charging – For an online charging system to be successful in the modern billing tasks, it should be flexible enough to perform both event-based and session-based charging. Event-based charging is required for services like SMS and session-based charging is needed for services like voice calls.

3. Provision for OTT partnerships – One of the biggest reasons why telcos are experiencing diminishing returns is OTT platforms. OTT services like Skype and Whatsapp offer free calls and messaging to users, which eats into the profits earned by telecom operators. However, when you have a telecom charging system that allows you to charge OTT services, you can expand your business by increasing the number of your partnerships.

4. Cloud-based charging system – A cloud-based charging system provides great scalability and flexibility to any telecom business model. It allows for the use of redundancy that prevents the loss of crucial charging information, in case of a disaster. A cloud-based charging system also helps in making a complete switch to the digital platform.

WHY YOU SHOULD EMPLOY AN OCS THAT COVERS REQUIREMENTS OF PAST AND FUTURE?

Nowadays, telecom industry is in a state of flux. Every telco is looking to venture into new territories to compensate for the money lost to competition and OTT (Over the top) services. In the past, telecom operators used to thrive on revenue generated via voice calls and SMS. However, in the present times, the range of services that they need to deliver has widened considerably. The legacy systems employed by telcos no longer do justice to the modern innovative telecom services that need to be delivered. Moreover, telcos require most services to be delivered in real time, which is why; a flexible and real time charging system is needed for timely tracking and accurate billing.

Online Charging System: The Backbone of a Successful Telecom Billing System

An online charging system is a must-have for any modern telecom billing system. An OCS is essential for telecom operators as it lets them:

  1. Charge on the basis of events e.g. SMS
  2. Charge on the basis of sessions e.g. calls

OCS is a real time charging system that allows the telecom operators to control credit. At the same time, it also allows users to control what they spend. Although an OCS is a vital part of any present-day billing operation, it can only be of true value if it works with the applications of past and is designed with an eye on the future requirements.

Importance of a Future Proof and Backward Compatible OCS

There are many attributes of an OCS that make it stand out. However, the most important aspect of an OCS is how well it works with your legacy solutions. The compatibility of an OCS with your pre-existing equipment and applications allow you to introduce it into your workflow without hampering your current billing tasks. Also, an OCS should be flexible enough to accommodate the requirements of near future like 5G offerings, so you do not have to change your billing systems frequently to meet constantly changing technology.

There are many other features that make an online charging system worthy of your business. Have a look at some of these key features of an OCS:

  1. Analytics – Most traditional OCS solutions available in the market do not support analytics, which is why; telecom companies often struggle to understand customers’ requirements. Hence, they are unable to devise new plans to attract customers towards their services. However, there are many cutting-edge real time charging systems available in the market that come with analytic features. Using such OCS solutions not only helps you in your present tasks, it also helps you forge better business strategies for the future.
  2. Adaptability with complex revenue management – There are so many revenue streams (for a telecom business) nowadays that keeping track of each one of them can be difficult for a telecom operator. Prepaid, postpaid, IPTV, different type of data services and OTT partnerships, there is simply too much to handle for telcos. In this complex situation, a revolutionary online charging system can simplify their work and ensure accurate completion of real time charging and billing tasks.   

Maximize 5G Potential for Your Business with a Real Time Charging System

Although the launch of 5G is a great initiative in the race to match wired broadband speeds, its value for a telecom operator hinges upon several factors. Faster data connection may seem like a real boon for the subscribers, however, it does not automatically translates into profits for telcos. A lot was expected by telcos after the launch of 4G, which supplanted the erstwhile 3G connection. But instead of bringing in new revenue streams, it dug a hole in their pockets as subscribers were lured away by OTT (over the top) platforms like NetflixFacetime and Skype. Hence, it is imperative for a telecom operator to be proactive in his strategy while tackling 5G. One way of ensuring that you maximize the advantages offered by 5G is by investing in a real time charging system that monetizes all your offerings.

6 Important Features of OCS

OCS (Online Charging System) is a real time charging system that is designed to match the current requirements of telecom billing. It is 3GPP release 11 compliant and works a lot better than the charging systems employed in traditional billing solutions, which lack the desired scalability and flexibility. Some key features of an online charging system and traditional charging systems are listed below:

1. Session based and event based charging for different telecom offerings like voice calls and SMS.

2. Identification of subscriber and service before offering access to a service.

3. Monitoring and tracking service usage and also maintaining records in the database.

4. Updating subscriber balance.

5. Management of important features like blacklisting, prepaid lifecycle, live balance etc.

6. Calculating charges as per CDRs (Call Data Records) and recording them in the system database

Things to Consider before Investing in a Real Time Charging System for 5G

Although OCS has immense benefits and can be a worthy upgrade for your older charging systems, there are certain things that you need to be mindful of before investing in a real time charging system.

1.Past and future compatibility — To ensure that OCS works with legacy and future applications, you should invest in a robust and backward compatible real time charging system. A good upgrade option is an OCS that can be integrated with older IN (intelligent network) along with next-gen IP, 5G, FTTH/HFC, wireless and wire line networks.

2Postpaid/prepaid convergence — An OCS should allow for complete postpaid/prepaid convergence, so you can offer composite VAS (Value Added Services) along with video and voice services quickly.

3Convergence between service and network — With so many different data speeds provided by different connectivity platforms e.g. CDMA 2.5G, LTE, WiMAX, Wi-Fi, 3G, IMS, 5G, broadband, it is important that an OCS should show true convergence in rating a variety of applications with different bandwidth requirements.

4Intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) — To make operations simple, the OCS should have an easy to operate GUI that lets telcos customize their 5G offerings quickly and as per requirement.

5Support vendor partnerships — A real time charging systemshould allow for the management of different vendor partnerships e.g. partnerships with MVNOs, MVNEs, OTT etc.