Telecom Billing Pre-Paid vs Post-Paid - Telecom Billing

What is pre –paid Vs Post-paid billing?

A large portion of the administrators give two choices to their clients, to go for a postpaid or a prepaid association. A Postpaid and additionally prepaid associations have their own preferences and impediments.

Usually, an operator will have 70%-80% customer base comprising of pre-paid customers and rest of the customer base will come from post-paid side. For an operator, it is always good to have more post-paid customers.

You might be willing to know about the differences between the two types of customers, services and systems. Let us list down a few major differences between the two −

  • Service Payments − This is the most critical factor, which separates between two client bases. Prepaid clients make installment ahead of time before utilizing the administration, while post-paid clients utilize offered benefits all through of the month, and toward the finish of the month, client gets the bill to pay inside the given time period.
  • Charging & Billing − For pre-paid customer, it is required to charge the customer in real time for all the usage whereas post-paid customers can be charged at the end of the month.
  • Service Offerings − Post-paid charging frameworks give more adaptabilities in examination of constant charging frameworks. For instance, constant charging framework isn't adaptable to keep up a perplexing business clients' progression, where as a post-paid charging framework can deal with a client pecking order up to N level.
  • Support & Maintenance − An operator used to give same importance to both the businesses. If, for a pre-paid business, operator needs to have skilled manpower to control the operation, same time operator needs a great staff to handle post-paid customer's queries related to their charging, bills, and fixing operational issues.
  • Supported Network − Quite a while prior, the system of the paid ahead of time and the postpaid associations were unique. This used to conjure grumblings that the prepaid association would offer preferred network over the postpaid or the other way around. This is the period of focalized charging and administrators are maintaining their business with a similar system without trading off correspondence quality.

Post-paid Scenario

Network elements (like switches, SMSC) produce raw usage called Usage Detail Records (UDRs) or Call Detail Records (CDRs), which contain information required by the billing system:

  • Calling number (A number)
  • Called number (the number receiving the call) (B number)
  • when the call started (date and time)
  • Call duration
  • Call Type (MOC, MTC, etc., MOC stands for Mobile Originated Call and MTC stands for Mobile Terminated Call)

The above mentioned UDRs from arrange components and furthermore from other specialist co-ops are gotten by the charging framework and the charging framework changes over these into an organization justifiable by the framework. The above arranged/changed over UDR is then guided to discover the client/record to which the call ought to be charged and afterward rate the occasion appropriately.

The above rated UDRs also stored un the billing data store, and on the billing cycle date, the billing process picks up these rated UDRs and whole these processes and renders bill/invoice, taking into account, the payments, taxes, discounts, etc.

Then the customer pays the bill and the billing system is updated regularly along with the payment details. Here’s the diagram discusses about the billing standards process −


Pre-paid Scenario

Steps involved in prepaid billing in brief are as follows −

  • When customer makes a call, prepaid switching gateway captures the calling number and sends the account information to the real time billing system.
  • Using the above information the Real time billing systems authenticates the identity of the user, calculates the customer account's remaining balance with the help of the rating tariff table and maximum allowable duration of the call, and sends this information to the prepaid gateway.
  • The gateway establishes the call.
  • While calling, the gateway monitors the call so that the user do not exceed the maximum allowable call duration.
  • Once you finish the call , the gateway sends the actual call duration to the prepaid billing system, which then calculates the actual call cost and updates the account balance, decreasing the remaining balance.

The following figure shows the general prepaid billing scenario −


Prepaid billing process incurs the following important steps along with account information gathering and updating account after the call is completed −

  • Authenticating − Authentication is the way toward confirming that a user is who he or she claims to be. The user supplies a client ID and an authentication certification, for example, a password. The framework acknowledges these as data sources and confirms that the client is legitimate and approaches the system.
  • Authorizing − Authorization is the process of confirming the authenticated user is allowed to do. Generally, Remote Access Dial In User Server (RADIUS) protocol is used to limit access to the system to registered and authorized customers.
  • Providing advice of charge (AOC) – AOC provides information about the actual cost of the call either before or after the event. AOC offers the ability of a telecommunications system to advice of the actual costs of the event either prior to or after the occurrence of the event.

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