The benefits of real-time billing
Initially, the media and internet giants like Microsoft, Google and Disney were predicted to capture a major share of the telecom industry’s revenues through their value-added Ip-based services. But, in recent years the telecom sector has shown a handsome growth of revenues globally, and particularly in Asia telecoms are among the fastest growing companies.
The high growing revenues in the telecom sector are largely attributed to the edge in one value- added service i. e. real- time billing. Experts have pronounced this billing expertise as a differentiation mark between telecom operators who are gaining market share and those falling behind. Also, the merchandising and marketing role of real- time billing has delivered the greatest value. In the wireless market, for example, billing software is increasingly enabling services such as real- time advice of charge, lifestyle packages, content charging, and marketing promotions. These services are offered through customer- specific rules to better personalize the telecom experience.
Analysts predict strong sales of real- time charging products over the next several years, with the worldwide market expected to more than $ 4.4 billion in 2012. The top market telecom players in real- time include Telcordia, Volubill, Nokia Siemens Networks, Redknee, Ericsson, HP, Openet, Oracle and Orga Systems.
Real- time billing is regarded as the next generation billing system where subscribers are attracted to the availability of new data services that offer instant information, instant entertainment, instant communication and instant purchases. To perform these tasks, the subscribers need an instantaneous check on the status of their accounts. Furthermore, immense promotional activity through mobile service and a large number of discount packages have become popular tools among subscribers, which has stimulated additional mobile usage. Also, mobile operators are increasingly seizing opportunities that customers undergo more impulse buying of online content. Thus, there is an immense generation of revenue through real- time billing which is a flexible, dynamic system to perform these tasks as it is able to react without delay.
Real- time billing has been able to overcome the debt burden among subscribers, as mobile providers for the first time can operate based on managed risk principles rather than on trust. Moreover, real- time billing can reduce the extent of losses and prevent revenue leakage, since circuitous CDR- based processes can be replaced by real- time equivalents.
The emerging markets of Asia have been strongly impacted by real- time billing. Given the opportunity to introduce the most advanced services and products, emerging markets have risen to reach a level on par with the developed world. In particular, the popularity of prepaid services in Asia has made the next generation systems ideally suited to the region. The new operators are increasingly investing in a state- of- the- art billing system. The end- to- end solution also supports customer relation management, thus the subscribers benefit from fully- integrated customer care software.
The adoption of the new billing system has, in fact, enabled nations such as Indonesia, India, China, Malaysia and Pakistan to gain a foothold at the forefront of the mobile phone world
In a conventional billing system, call records are generated and stored in switching elements. These are periodically transferred to billing system in batches (online or offline) where they are rated according to tariff definition and later invoiced. In the real-time scenario, services are rated during the service consumption, its credit status checked before service is delivered and checking continues during the service session. Among other things, it is an integral part of the service and not an after-service activity.