ISP full-cycle billing solution

ISP full-cycle billing solution

October 20, 2005

Internet service provider

A client-server suite intended for billing. It can be used for maintaining a client's database. The server-side software calculates the traffic consumption. The client-side application provides an interface for managers and system administrators.

In the Internet's early stages, subscribers were not charged a monthly fee for bandwidth use, but paid by the amount of data used. This method made calculating charges fairly challenging, and unlike with a monthly fee, can often lead to disputes with customers. Leaving a torrent client running overnight or being infected with a virus can lead to significant costs. Therefore, it was of utmost importance that telecommunications companies could find a means of precisely calculating traffic. The software solution was created to automate the management of telecommunications network providers and to calculate services provided for subsequent billing to customers. The software allows administrators to calculate traffic in real time, ensuring that subscribers do not exceed set limits. The need to create a billing system with the given functionality was due to a lack of functional and attractive programs on the market with advanced features for use in the client's telecommunications network.

The software offers a range of functions:

  • Automated accounting and control of traffic consumption
  • Real time monitoring of bandwidth and data transfer
  • Convenient and efficient tracking of services received and invoices for the client
  • Opportunities for clients to widen the range of services and develop the business
  • Synchronization of work across communications equipment modules with different interfaces
  • Punctual and detailed error reporting
  • Automated generation of documents for mail-out to clients (invoices, notifications)

Using the billing system allows organizations to manage the technological processes of distributing traffic and to make amendments as and when they are required. The application can be applied across different technologies:

  • Data transfer through general access telephone networks (dial-up)
  • Wireless communications
  • Ethernet

Considering the specific requirements for radio communications at base stations, special management modules have been included in the system architecture. Software adaptors have been developed for direct communications between incompatible industrial equipment.

The programme allows the general traffic flow to be taken into account, and to track the traffic flows coming from specific customers in real time. The system adjusts the bandwidth allowance based on the parameters of each tariff. If the volume of traffic is exceeded, uploads and/or downloads can be automatically restricted. Services are then resumed under the condition of a transfer of funds by the user into their account. This method ‘nudges’ customers into making payments on time.

The manager's workstation is equipped with the instruments to create current (at any given time) and analytic reports, covering periods of a month or more. A single statistics aggregator has been developed to handle larger volumes of data.

An administration web interface has been created. MAC (media access control) addresses are automatically assigned to specific ports. This allows for the option of adding new tariffs. The functionality allows administrators to prevent the emergence of problems or avoid serious consequences when problems do arrive. In case of technical failure or breakage of the network, the node can be located promptly and a request for troubleshooting will be sent to technical support.

Additionally, a web interface has been developed for employees of the company, as well as end users. The user account area increases loyalty to internet service provider and offers:

  • Information about charges, speed limits and current tariffs
  • Topping up the user balance
  • Changes to settings and the current tariff