This reference is the perfect solution for those involved or interested in the operation billing systems, customer care, and OSS. This reference book explains the latest technologies and applications used in the billing industry, assists with the explanation of technologies by using many diagrams and pictures. It is a great reference tool that allows people to effectively communicate with other people involved in the billing industry.
The convergence of technologies and systems means more competitors and more....
Table of Contents
About the Editors
Avi Ofrane founded the Billing College in 1996, a training company addressing the converging market trends associated with telecommunications Billing and Customer Care. The Billing College is a spin-off company of Mr. Ofrane's technology consulting company, Jupiter Data, Inc., established in 1990. Mr. Ofrane began his career in 1977 as an analyst with the IBM Corporation and has since 1982 concentrated exclusively on the telecommunications industry, in which he is now a recognized expert in Billing and Customer Care. Throughout his extensive career, Mr. Ofrane has been involved in all aspects of the industry, from strategic planning and executive management to vendor evaluation and project implementation. Mr. Ofrane lectures extensively on Billing and Customer Care issues, strategies, methodologies, and practices. He is a frequently requested speaker at major North American and European conferences. Mr. Ofrane is currently President and CEO of the Billing College, as well as a master instructor of the company's courses. Mr. Ofrane is the co-author of the book "Telecom Made Simple" and has written numerous articles for international trade publications. Mr. Ofrane holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Pennsylvania State University.
Mr. Lawrence Harte has over 29 years of experience in the electronics industry including company leadership, product management, development, marketing, design, and testing of telecommunications (cellular), radar, and microwave systems. He has been issued patents relating to cellular technology. He has authored over 75 articles on related subjects and has been a speaker and panel moderator at industry trade events. Mr. Harte earned executive MBA at Wake Forest University and received his Bachelors degree from University of the State of New York. During the TDMA digital cellular standard development process, Mr. Harte served as an editor and voting company representative for the Telecommunications Industries Association (TIA) TR45.3, digital cellular standards committee. As of 2003, Mr. Harte had authored and co-authored over 20 books relating to telecommunications technology. He has served as a consultant and expert witness for leading companies including Ericsson, Siemens, VLSI, AMD, Casio, Samsung, Sony, ATT, Nokia, Hughes and many others.
This book is the perfect solution for those involved or interested in the operation of billing systems, customer care, and OSS. This reference book explains the latest technologies and applications used in the billing industry, assists with the explanation of technologies by using many diagrams and pictures. It is a great reference tool that allows people to effectively communicate with other people involved in the billing and communication industries.
The convergence of technologies and systems means more competitors and new industry terms. As a result, communicating with others has become an alphabet soup of acronyms and technical terms. The Billing Dictionary solves this challenge by providing definitions of the latest technical terms and acronyms along with self-explanatory diagrams. This reference includes:
· Over 10,000 of the latest billing and communicatino definitions
· Contains 4,000+ of the latest industry terms and acronyms
· Has 400+ diagrams and photos to help explain complex definitions
· Includes directories of magazines, associations and trade shows
To ensure this dictionary contains the latest definitions, 12 experts were used from different sectors of the wireless industry to add and edit definitions. Many of the definitions were created using our technical books that have been edited by hundreds of industry reviewers. Diagrams and pictures in the dictionary assist the understanding of technical terms by providing functional and operational views.
This figure shows a standard processes used in a billing system. In this diagram, the customer calls customer care or a sales department and works with an activation agent to establish a new 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. This diagram shows the billing system is divided into two parts; a front end (near real time processing) and a back end (periodic bill processing). The front end gathers call information as connections made through the network (such as switches) and uses these events create call detail records (CDRs) of the customer's communication activities. Each CDR includes the identification of the customer and other relevant information that are passed onto the billing system. The billing system also receives CDRs from other carriers (such as a long distance service provider). The billing system then guides the billing records to the correct account and rates the call using the rate tables. These updated billing records are placed in a billing pool. The back end of the billing system periodically combines records from the bill pool to create a single invoice that is sent to the customer. The customer then sends the payment to the telecom service provider. The payments are posted (recorded) in the billing system. History files are then updated for the use of customer service representatives (CSRs) and auditing managers.
This figure shows a real time prepaid billing system. In this example, the customer initiates a call to a prepaid switching gateway. The gateway gathers the account information by either prompting the user to enter information or by gathering information from the incoming call (e.g. prepaid wireless telephone number). The gateway sends the account information (dialed digits and account number) to the real time rating system. The real time rating system identifies the correct rate table (e.g. peak time or off peak time) and inquires the account determine the balance of the account. Using the rate information and balance available, the real time rating system determines the maximum available time for the call duration. This information is sent back to the gateway and the gateway completes (connects) the call. During the call progress, the gateway maintains a timer so the caller cannot exceed the maximum amount of time. After the call is complete (either caller hangs up), the gateway sends a message to the real time rating system that contains the actual amount of time that is used. The real time rating system uses the time and rate information to calculate the actual charge for the call. The system then updates the account balance (decreases by the charge for the call).
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.
This figure shows a sample call center. This diagram shows that calls may be received or originated from the call center. The customer traditionally communicates with the call center by telephone. When a call is received by a call center, the user is typically provides with a list of options by an automated interactive voice response (IVR) unit. As the user selects from the list of options, an ACD system routes the call to a CSR station that is qualified to assist the customer (e.g. sales agent or technician). When the CSR agent answers the call, some of the customer's account information may become available on the CSR's computer screen ("screen pop"). The CSR will communicate with the customers and should make notes in the customer's account regarding the activity that progressed.
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