The word “billing” is rarely used in everyday life, for most people it is unfamiliar. Despite this, they are regularly facing various billing systems. Billing is a system of accounting for services rendered and invoicing for them. Run out of money on your phone? This billing system of a mobile operator has counted all the services rendered to you and deducted the necessary amounts from your balance. Have a utility bill? These are billing systems of heating networks, energy, and other companies that have calculated your costs based on the current tariffs and the meter readings you provided. There are thousands of such examples, billing is an important part of the ecosystem of any service provider.
The above examples relate to the so-called subscriber billing when the service is provided to the ultimate user/subscriber. However, modern business is complex and often a well-coordinated work of a long chain of service providers is required to provide a service to an end-user. Moreover, at each stage, the work performed must be calculated according to constantly changing tariffs and terms of interaction.
International calls are a common example of such interaction. When a subscriber of a mobile operator calls to another country, the call often goes through a whole chain of operators before reaching the destination. The interaction of operators to connect their networks is called interconnect, and billing systems that take into account the volume and cost of services between operators are called interconnect billing. Typical services for such billing are inter-operator calls and SMS.
Interconnect billing processes data from network devices, collecting and interpreting events that have occurred – the beginning of a call, its end, direction, whether the call was successfully completed. The number of such events for a large operator reaches 1 billion per month, therefore, for the operation of analytical modules, it is important to quickly provide aggregated data and various statistics.
An equally important element of billing is the generators of reports and various financial documents. Are our traffic volumes growing with a new partner? Who raised the price for Austria, and who is holding it on the previous level? Based on the billing data, you can quickly receive any information about the status and dynamics of telephone traffic exchange, the volume of payments, and amounts charged for payment.
Interconnect billing also interacts with many outside systems, receiving and transmitting statistics and calculation results, thus forming the operator’s ecosystem. A well-built ecosystem allows you to optimally customize work with partners, quickly respond to changes, and avoid unnecessary costs. Checking your data with partner data – what if the amounts according to our calculations differ? Who is right and how to determine without spending a lot of time analyzing? How to consider complex services – video and audio content, resource rentals? How to route calls correctly with the purpose to have both the best quality and optimal costs? And if the operator has a complex system of discounts based on the volume, time of calls, and the volume of oncoming traffic?
The answers to these questions are provided by particular products and modules tightly integrated with billing. Exactly via using a set of products a synergistic effect could be achieved, which allows you to maximize the income and profitability of the services provided by the operator. Also, the automation of processes and the saving of time for the operator’s employees and partners to perform regular operations should be mentioned. It also greatly affects the operator’s costs.
More details about billing and other products of Telesens Interconnect Business Suite ecosystem you can find in our upcoming publications.