Convergent Rating & Charging

Flexible, Scalable, Real-time Charging
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One of the most important parameter in the success of any operator in this highly competitive and changing digital economy is ‘innovation’. The transition towards the digital economy is boosted by ascend of LTE. While the CSPs are enjoying the benefits of LTE, including low cost per bit of data and new revenue streams of high-speed data-led services, they are also facing the crunch of highly competitive and evolving market which is continuously pushing them to offer better customer service. This leads to putting in place, a highly flexible, real-time and scalable charging system by adopting real-time charging/OCS and abandoning legacy IN. They were initially designed for voice services and are not compatible for data service innovation, time to market, customer experience and cost.

While CSPs enjoy the benefits of LTE including low cost per bit of data and new revenue streams of high-speed data-led services, they also face the crunch of a highly competitive and evolving market that is continuously pushing them to serve the customer better. To compete in this scenario there is need to implement a highly flexible, scalable charging system by adopting real-time charging/OCS.

Online real time charging system

OCS is a highly flexible, scalable real-time, 3GPP release 11 compliant OCS engine which caters to the needs of CSPs providing a wide range of data and voice services. It offers true convergence to CSPs including Prepaid-Postpaid Convergence, Network Convergence and Service Convergence. A robust platform OCS can be integrated with legacy IN as well next generation IP, FTTH/HFC, wire line and wireless networks. The platform offers Sy integration with operator existing PCRF to enable new monetization use cases. It can be deployed as standalone module or as an adjunct solution for real time charging.

Centralized platform for managing subscriber account such as customer account, group account, single account, Prepaid, post-paid and child account while enabling service providers to offer Split and Combine Invoice to subscribers in different formats

Features
  • Prepaid-Postpaid convergent: Capable for launch of complex, value-added data, voice and video services rapidly, accommodating a range of discounts, pricing plans and promotional offers.
  • Network & service convergence: 3GPP Rel 11 compliant OCS supports True Network Convergence for rating different applications, having different bandwidth requirements through different networks such as LTE, WiMAX, Wi-Fi, CDMA 2.5G, 3G, IMS, Broadband etc. Moreover it supports application-based rating based on granular information for (WAP, Streaming, Web, MMS, Email, FTP, etc) time of day, discount structures, loyalty schemes & transaction-based charging - VAS, Content & Entertainment.
  • Shared wallet/Family plans/CUG plans: OCS enables operator to allow the subscriber to share http quota, music, video, SMS balance, etc. with family members according to relationship & available balance. The members can avail discounted rates and transfer balance within the group.
  • Flexible pricing plans: Incorporates flat, slab-wise, step-wise, tiered, usage based rating, segmented and individualized price plans, add-on packages, holiday special rates, cross service plans etc.
  • Differential Rating Plans: OCS enables different rating based on time, Volume of data (Byte, KB, MB, GB), Number of event, Rollover, maximum-minimum caps, cutoff limits, Peak/Off-peak Rating, Free Units, duration, Differential Pulse, Port, IP Address, Calling party number prefix/called party number prefix, Service Type, QoS, SIP URL, MSISDN, Access Technology, Media Type, Tariff Switch, Location, Holiday Management and Applicability Date plans.
  • Dynamic Pricing Policies: Pricing policies based on subscriber information such as credit score, monthly spend, lifetime value or historical usage trends.
  • Business Reports & Graphical Representation of KPIs: Various business reports and graphical representation of KPIs assist operators to launch new plans and monitor the KPIs for performance enhancement.
  • Enhance Customer Experience: To raise the subscriber loyalty and increase ARPU, OCS has multiple offerings for subscribers like Advice of Charge, Real time notifications, Real time personalization, Real Time Recharge and High Value Customer Privileges.
  • Performance & Scalability: OCS engine is highly scalable with high availability and low latency. The architecture supports Active-Active model and memory + DB model. It can also be integrated with other systems like PCRF, Mediation, AAA, Billing, Provisioning System and Reports Tool.
  • Multiple Interfaces Support: Support for both standard and vendor specific Gx/Gxx/Sd, Gy/Ro, Rx, S9, Sy and Sp reference interfaces over Diameter.
  • Real-time Balance & Quota Management: OCS can manage and configure different types of balances like Amount, Time, Volume, and Event of each subscriber. It accepts or rejects authorizations based on balance status. It also supports Independent management of balances, separate quota for upload and download, independent reservations for Monetary and Non-monetary data, Multi-Service Balance allocation and Management, Multi Currency support, Session and Balance Expiry Alerts. It also takes appropriate network action in real time when the balance is exhausted.
  • Caters to Various Business Partners: OCS, can cater to consumers, small business, enterprise customer, MVNOs, MVNEs etc. OCS also enables operators to efficiently manage different OTT partners.
  • Location based Rating & Charging: OCS supports location based charging specifically designed to support roaming tariffs for Data, Voice and VOLTE roaming services, with integrated notification based on customer’s usage reaching their roaming threshold or any required business notifications.
  • GUI Based Operations: OCS supports tracing logs and pcaps through GUI.
  • Real-Time Rating and Usage Display: Innovative feature for prepaid and postpaid subscribers enabling rating based on service buckets, as well as real time usage display to subscriber for all monetary and non monetary usage.
  • Smart Overload Protection: OCS supports 3-level smart overload protection with priority queue.
Benefits
  • Create New Revenue Streams: By Combining Policy Control & Rating, OCS provides policy orchestration functions that allow providers to define policies based on network and usage attributes, subscriber attributes and service attributes.
  • Raise ARPU: OCS supports infinite pricing models, real-time modification of rating plans, real-time notifications etc. which drives customers to move from prepaid to postpaid services thus raising ARPU.
  • Lower Costs: A flexible solution, Crestel OCS platform offers a unified product definition, replacing dual rating systems to manage prepaid and postpaid customers. This reduces the number of service models, work involved in defining, maintaining and updating two separate rating systems, reducing operating costs. It offers Open Java and XML Web Services APIs to ensure low cost integration.
  • Rapid Time to Market: Rule based configuration enables OCS to support Rating; based on any usage definition in real-time, enabling rapid launch of new services thus reducing time to market significantly.
  • Flexibility and Compatibility: Open APIs give OCS the flexibility and compatibility for seamless integration with legacy rating and billing systems and as a comprehensive, standalone engine. It can be deployed as a single rating engine for the entire range of services or for a specific set for any type of network, language or currency.
  • Minimize Revenue Leakage, Errors and Fraud: OCS has various features which ensure minimum revenue leakage, like auto expiry agent, reprocessing of failed CDRs, etc.
Online Charging System architecture
Online Charging System architecture
Resources