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  • 1.  Usage Rating and Product Price Calculation

    Posted Jun 24, 2022 09:52
    Hi All,

    I am working for one of the Operator, who is having two different systems for charging and Billing. Billing system is having capability of aggregating all the Usage charges (coming from charging system) and calculate the products charges customer has subscribed for and finally generate the invoice. But the way Operator wants to implement the Charging and Billing is, Charging system will charge both usages and products (Retals, Onetime charge of Base plans and all the Add-ons) and push CDR's to Billing system for everything and then Billing system will just generate the invoice based on this data. With this approach Billing system is not doing the job what it supposed to i.e. calculate the product charges, doing proration, in advance charging etc.

    What is the standard approach to be followed? What can be the long term problems if Operator follows the approach of pushing the CDR for everything to Billing system?
    #CustomerExperience
    #DigitalTransformationMaturity
    #General

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    Peeush Bhatt
    TO BE VERIFIED
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  • 2.  RE: Usage Rating and Product Price Calculation

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Jun 26, 2022 04:40
    Hi Peeush
    The way you described the separation between Billing and Charging does seem to be the way that commercial systems work.
    And indeed in TMF ODA, there is a clear separation between billing and charging - charging in fact appears in Production layer, while billing is spread between Core Commerce (for RC, OC calculation) and Party (for actual invoicing and payment).
    Why does your Operator want to do things differently? What advantages do they see in having that.

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    Jonathan Goldberg
    Amdocs Management Limited
    Any opinions and statements made by me on this forum are purely personal, and do not necessarily reflect the position of the TM Forum or my employer.
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  • 3.  RE: Usage Rating and Product Price Calculation

    Posted 30 days ago
    Hi Jonathan,

    The reason given by operator for this implementation is that they have real time control on the credit limit. Because a charging system is doing the credit limit check.

    Will there be any disadvantages with this implementation, where a Billing system is just like a dummy system to generate the bill and not doing any computation of charges except Tax and Billing time discounts?

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    Peeush Bhatt
    TO BE VERIFIED
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  • 4.  RE: Usage Rating and Product Price Calculation

    TM Forum Member
    Posted 30 days ago
    Hmmm - interesting question. I take it that the credit limit, then, includes recurring charges, not just usage?

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    Jonathan Goldberg
    Amdocs Management Limited
    Any opinions and statements made by me on this forum are purely personal, and do not necessarily reflect the position of the TM Forum or my employer.
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  • 5.  RE: Usage Rating and Product Price Calculation

    Posted 28 days ago
    Yes, that's correct.

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    Peeush Bhatt
    TO BE VERIFIED
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  • 6.  RE: Usage Rating and Product Price Calculation

    Posted 25 days ago
    Hi Peeush,

    Are there practical considerations for the approach?  Sometimes, in real-world scenarios, there are comprises made based on the service complexity and system dimensioning.

    Back to your question - it depends on what they want to do long term.  You can probably manage the services in the charging platform with adequate visibility ring-fenced to the service, whereas the customer's account is in billing.   By any chance do they have different services with different charging platforms: say VoLTE and the FTTx?

    We have a real-world scenario with 5G-SA and VoLTE where we handle service-centric credit control in the charging systems (OCS & CCS), but consolidation is done in billing (thankfully, all in real-time).   I would recommend investigating the differences in customer experience for Pre-paid and Post-paid products if the charging and billing systems do not have adequate integration, especially if your CRM/SelfCare/App etc. gets their data only from the billing platform.

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    Rajesh Hari Parsad
    TauSpace
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  • 7.  RE: Usage Rating and Product Price Calculation

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Jun 27, 2022 02:32
    In the 3GPP 5G Core we have the Converged Charging System (CCS) which performs the combined role of the formerly separate Online Charging System (OCS) and Offline Charging System (OFCS). This is of course sensible and reflects the fact that. with modern IT, it is no longer prohibitively (resource) expensive to perform charging of all usage in real time.  If we now have a single Charging system, for prepaid and postpaid, you can see how the thinking may evolve to want it to also charge subscriptions and not just usage.

    As @Jonathan Goldberg says, in the TM Forum we consider Charging to be a function of the ODA Production block.  That much is clear, however Rating has been the subject of much debate. It is clear that Rating is a Core Commerce block function however in the real world Rating of prepaid Products is often delegated to network elements in Production (i.e. OCS) to be performed in real time.  In the 5G Chargers Catalyst we demonstrated a Rating function which was desegregated from the CCS using an experimental Open API. Moreover we demonstrated a Product Catalog driven integration where Product Offerings and Prices provide a single source of truth for all other ODA Components (Product Rating). So the Rating function of SigScale CCS and Oracle's Rating function, used for certain Product Usage, were each driven by the Product Offering Prices in the catalog.

    There remains the question of how to handle commercial terms which must be applied to the total (monthly) charge. Logically this then falls to the Billing system.​

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    Vance Shipley
    SigScale
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