The ben­e­fits of real-time billing

Enterprise - - Contents -

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.

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