Real-time Billing – a Feat of Engineering
Real-time billing (or near-real-time) has been around for several years now in telecom, although not rolled out everywhere quite just yet. It is a hugely empowering service provided to telecom users, so that they can view and check usage as soon as it comes through (often in less than 15 minutes!).
Historically though, roaming has always been a little bit trickier. With the usual status quo being that the home mobile network would be waiting around for the TAP (Transferred Account Procedures) records to be sent across from the visited operator, billed, and then sent to the end customer.
These days, many of our European clients have moved into an era of real-time roaming billing. Waiting around for TAP records is no longer the rule, but the exception! They are improving their margins by billing roaming usage themselves, and not relying on the visited network. But… there is always that 1%, that sneaky roaming call or text that just doesn’t get through to final billing. Why is this? Or did the CDRs get stuck somewhere e.g. at RAP (Reverse Account Procedure) send or RAP processing. This kind of ‘CDR walkabout’, can be costly and time consuming to resolve.
Ever more pressing is the requirement to test this BEFORE switching the ‘magic real-time-roaming box’ on in a real-life environment. Our Tier 1 clients use our technology to test and assure their real-time billing systems and resolve issues such as missing records.
What are the Consequences?
Missing billing or IN records usually result in a 100% revenue loss to the telecom operator. This is especially bad if it affects roaming revenue. It is for this reason that ‘Missing Records’ has often been the number one discussion point at service reviews when reviewing the return on investment that Test Call Generation brings.
There are of course other risk factors to consider with real-time billing, but in this post, we are just going to focus on Missing Records (Lost CDRs).
Lost Overseas – Leave no CDR behind!
I’m sure like me, you’ve probably left something behind before when you have been away on vacation, or maybe even when you’ve moved house. The analogy is simple – don’t leave CDRs behind, they might wash up too late or else never be found; cast away in some forgotten data bucket.
So how do we prevent CDRs from being ‘lost’. The answer is independent, auditable TCG data. The fact that the TCG is behaving like a real customer, except that this ‘customer’ records every detail of the call accurate to +/- 100 milliseconds. Auditable data that proves or disproves whether a call, text or data session truly happened, simples.
Our global TCG presence and extensive European coverage, means that assuring your real-time roaming CDR reconciliation couldn’t be easier. All our system requires is a few SIMs and a CDR extraction.
Near-real-time reporting from real-time CDRs. Any CDRs, any frequency. Test it, assure it.
A New TCG Study Coming Soon
I often get asked the following two questions when discussing test call generation:
- What is the number-one most frequent issue identified?
- Where is the best place to look for revenue leakage?
Based on our managed service issue logs and TCG studies, over the years the answer to those two questions has always held a different response. But not this time… We are seeing a change, a revolution in the way that test calling needs to be focused. All will be revealed in January 2023 when our white paper entitled ‘Test Calling Just Became More Important Than Ever – a 9-Year Study” is released.
If you would like to be one of the first to receive a copy, drop us a message on our Talk To Us page with your business email address and we will send you the new white paper as soon as it is released.