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Convergent Billing: The Future of Telecom Billing

Convergent Billing
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The rapid change in the telecom industry has seen the addition of new services for improving the user experience. Operators across the world are striving to match pace with emerging services and increasing the number of subscribers.

It has become difficult for telcos to use the same old traditional systems and keep up with the emerging requirements. The conventional prepaid intelligent network (IN) systems along with post-paid billing systems are looking like stumbling blocks for operators to launch new services. In this difficult situation, the conception of a convergent billing solution has come across as a breath of fresh air.

The emergence of Convergent Billing Solution and OCS

The convergent billing solution trounces barriers of rudimentary vertical charging/billing systems and allows for combined online charging for all services and customers. This further allows operators to rapidlyoffer services and extend their customer base.

With passing time, operators have begun to reconstruct their extant charging systems and are replacing it with the new and improved OCS(online charging system). At this present moment, for most telcos the OCS has become the core of the convergent billing transformation.

Challenges Faced by Telcos Using Traditional Billing Systems

It is more than likely that many operators would have come across such a situation as mentioned below:

The marketing team comes up with innovative promotional offers that provide a sure shot way to win customers’ trust. However, the traditional IN system is unable to match up to the requirements of this new strategy. The telecom operator goes looking for the vendor of IN software and asks him to make the necessary changes, so his IN system can serve out the new plans for attracting customer.

The software vendor performs the task and makes the necessary changes. But, by the time he delivers the new and improved solution, the window of opportunity is gone. Your competitors who are using state-of-the-art convergent billing solutions have exploited the situation to its maximum and have made huge profits, but you are left with nothing to show for your efforts.

Situations like the one mentioned above are all the more common for telecom operators across the globe that still rely on erstwhile telecom billing solutions. However, such challenges can be easily handled by using the latest convergent billing solutions.

Traditional IN-Based Systems Do Not SupportAll-Service Charging but Convergent Solution Does

The introduction of IN came at a time when voice services were the only focus of subscribers. So, when a new service is conceptualized, an IN vendor normally adopt proprietary protocols in their extant billing systems, without giving any attention to industry norms. When industry specifications are not met, it becomes difficult for the IN to interconnect with other systems. Hence, IN becomes a liability as it cannot be used for new services easily.

Moreover, the burden on the telcos utilizing such obsolete IN solution increases as it does notfulfill the operational requirements for the combined online charging for all services. This hampers the growth of the telecom operator and he loses out to competition. Hence, it has become essential for telcos to be proactive in their thought process and understand the situation thoroughly and come up with a modern convergent billing solution that can address the requirements for both present and future.

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