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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Introduction to Billing System

Billing in telecom industry is part of the big Business Support System (BSS) architecture. The purpose of billing is a tool for telecom Provider Company to invoice customer for service or product used by customer. Billing used in telecom industry not just as an operational tool, but also as competitive tools to keep up with the changes in the market.

New telecom operator and incumbent telecom provider needs the advanced billing for giving the innovative charging and tariff for their customer. For example, some new operator will need to give seconds based or even character based charging for their call and text message services. While incumbent will need to give a lot of bonuses, such as free call for some call usage, for 100 minutes call usages customer will get 50 minutes free call.

The others system that will need billing system is fraud management system, loyalty system, Interconnect system and data warehouse. Below will be explained those systems in details:

Fraud system
In telecom industry there’s always possibility for fault, either by person or system. Billing system need to supply data of customer usage to fraud management system, then fraud system will calculate and compare those data with network call data to get the mismatch between those two data. If billing data less then network data, it will be revenue leakage in the systems.

Loyalty system
Customer will get benefit for their usage and subscription. Billing system will provide data for usage and customer data for loyalty system. Then loyalty system will create point for each customer, the point it self will be able to exchange will bonuses from operator.

Interconnect system
Interconnect is mechanism for provider pay their call cost to other operator. For example, A provider customer call to B provider customer, then A provider should pay B provider interconnect cost for each call. How to determine the cost? This is where Billing pays important role to set the cost. Billing system will provide data for get the interconnect cost.

Data warehouse
Data warehouse or Business Intelligent mainly used by top management to make strategic decision for company future move in the telecom industry, either to set lower tariff or enhance the ARPU (Average revenue per user). Billing system usually provides cost per call per customer to be manipulated in data warehouse and presented in business intelligence dashboard. Some information related to data warehouse could be found in data warehouse solutions.

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