Telecom Billing Tutorial | system architecture, billing process
The word telecom billing is a process which involves all of the following.
• It collects subscriber usage for the services which have been subscribed with the operator.
• It aggregates all the subscriber usage for the fixed time period.
• It applies rental charges and generates the invoices for the customers.
• It provides facilities to recover the payments and also record the payments made for future.
Typical services supported by the telecom operators are voice, data, SMS, MMS, fax, video, VoIP etc. These various forms of informations are transported from source to destination using different electronic mediums such as copper wire, wireless, fiber optics, microwave, satellite etc. The popular international telecom operators are verizon, Etisalat, Airtel, Vodafone etc.
In other words, telecom billing refers to the process of generating, managing, and delivering invoices to customers for their subscribed telecom network services. Telecommunication companies such as landline operators, mobile operators and internet service providers (ISPs) use billing systems to accurately charge customers for their subscribed services.
There are two ways customers are charged by the telecom service operator viz. based on fixed monthly rental basis and based on usage charges. Let us explore this tutorial on telecom billing system including its architecture and billing processes.
Telecom Billing Types
The common telecom billing types are divided into post-paid and pre-paid.
In postpaid billing, subscribers utilize the services provided by the telecom service operator for period of a month.
After the end of the month operators generates the invoices and sent the same electronically or manually to the subscribers/users.
Once the invoices are received by the subscribers they will make the payment.
In prepaid billing, subscribers pay in advance and once the payments have been received by the telecom service operator they will start the service to the subscribers. Prepaid customers usually pay in realtime. There will no generation of bills or invoices in prepaid billing type. This is the main difference between prepaid billing and postpaid billing types.
Telecom Billing System Architecture
The figure-1 depicts basic telecom billing system architecture.
As shown the system mainly is divided into services, accounts, ratings, invoices and payments.
Once the order is placed, customer will be given unique ID which will be associated with the customer account. The account is also registered with the type of service ordered by the customer.
The customer account include contact information profile, type of account, payment method (post paid, pre paid), login related stuff etc. This account is linked with the services ordered by the customer. Customer is billed based on usage of services subscribed with the telecom service operator.
Rating part takes care of conversion of usage records from one form to the other form (i.e. conversion from usage unit to its equivalent cost).
Invoices and payments process takes care of generation of invoices based on various factors. Once invoices are generated they are dispatched or sent to the subscribers as mentioned.
Billing Software developers
Following are few of the billing software developers or vendors available across the world.
• Nokia Siemens Networks
• Convergys corporation
• Oracle Corporation
• Intec Telecom Systems
• Advantage 360 Software
• Trigital Technologies
• Elitecore Technologies
Reference (Top Billing Software product vendors) : https://www.capterra.com/billing-and-provisioning-software/
Telecom billing is a critical aspect of telecommunications operations, as it directly impacts revenue generation and customer satisfaction. It requires sophisticated system architectures and processes to handle the complexity of modern telecommunication services and the diverse needs of customers.