A Rating Bureau Service for Next Generation IP Services
2nd Information Technology and Telecommunications Conference (IT&T 2002)
The marked increase of IP-based services has resulted in the need for a more flexible rating process than the present ‘flat-rate’ accounting approach. This paper presents the design and development of a Rating Bureau Service for the IP telecommunications environment. It illustrates the architecture, information model, technologies, and standards used in development of the system, as well as expounding upon some of the key implementation goals. In the proposed rating environment, flexibility is achieved by decoupling the charging algorithm and the core rating system. Hence, algorithms can be changed independently of the core system, avoiding the need to recode and recompile. Algorithms can be swapped in and out of the system during rating, allowing a potentially limitless range of services to be rated by equal numbers of tailored algorithms. All algorithms in the system are spreadsheet-based. This approach moves the modelling and construction of algorithms from the programming domain into the business design arena. Anyone with a working knowledge of spreadsheets can effortlessly construct/update these arbitrarily complex charging algorithms. This paper focuses on the development of a fixed line call charging algorithm that may be employed by a large telecommunications company.