Operations Support System (OSS) for a Telecom company â€œ Billing Module
The picture below shows a standard billing process in a Telecom company. In this diagram, the customer calls customer care or works with an activation agent to establish a new wireless account. The agent (customer care) enters the customer's service preferences into the system, checks for credit worthiness, and provides the customer with a phone number so that the customer may make and receive calls through the telephone network. As the customer makes calls, the connections made by the network (such as switches) create records of their activities. These records include the identification of the customer and other relevant information that are passed onto the billing system. The billing system also receives records from other carriers (such as a roaming partner). The billing system now guides and updates these call detail records (CDRs) to their correct customer and rating information. As information about the customer is discovered (e.g. rate plan), the updated billing records are placed in a billing pool so that they may be combined into a single invoice that is sent to the customer. The customer then sends his payment to the telecom service provider. Payments are recorded in the billing system. History files are then updated for the use of customer service representatives (csrs) and auditing managers.
The scope of this project is limited to processing of bills and generation of invoices. The typical entities in the application are as follows -
1. Customer Details
Data maintained includes - Telephone number, Customer Name, Address, , Rate Plan, Connection activation date, Status
2. Call Detail Record (CDR) Structure
This figure shows the basic structure of a call detail record (CDR). This diagram shows that a usage data report (UDR) contains a unique identification number, the originator of the call, the called number, the start and end time of the call. this diagram also shows an additional charge for operator assistance and that a UDR dynamically grows as more relevant information becomes available.
3. Rate Plan
The data maintained in the Rate plan includes â€œ Plan ID, Monthly fixed charges, Number of free pulses (or units), Pulse (or unit) charge
The invoice data includes â€œ Telephone number, Invoice number and date, Billing period (from and to), Total call Charges, Total Roaming charges, Other charges, Benefit or discount, Tax, Invoice amount, Payment due date.
5. Payment details
Payment details includes â€œ Telephone number, Invoice number, payment date, payment amount, payment method (Cash, Cheque or credit card), credit card number, cheque number, Bank name and branch and encashment status (of cheque).