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Convergent charging systems can transform CSP operations

John Abraham Principal Analyst, Research

"Telco digital transformation programmes have further emphasised the importance of real-time convergent charging platforms for the successful transition to a digital service provider."

FREE WHITE PAPERConvergent charging systems can transform CSP operations

Billing and charging systems have attracted significant investment from communications service providers (CSPs) since the mid-90s, driven by the explosive growth in the number of mobile subscribers, as well as the emergence of new use cases which demanded new types of monetisation systems. Over this period, most CSPs deployed multiple billing and charging systems from different vendors for specific use cases. The end result has been a complex framework of legacy systems that is interconnected to other support systems but functions as information silos. As CSPs prepare to better engage with the digital economy and become digital service providers themselves, it is essential that architectural silos are broken down and information flow between systems is seamless. Crucial to CSPs’ endeavours to develop a new set of offerings that can be taken to new customers in new markets is a unified, real-time charging engine.

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The key benefits of deploying a convergent charging solution include:

  • Ability to offer more service types, which leverages a finer segmentation of customer needs and can generate additional revenue.
  • Reduction in the time to market and the operational cost of new services, which enables CSPs to react more swiftly to market changes or opportunities.
  • Improvement of customer experience by providing real-time charging capabilities that offer up-to-date usage and account information.
  • Reduction in total cost of ownership by integrating prepaid and postpaid service charging, and unifying customer experiences.

In the past, many CSPs delayed the deployment and adoption of convergent charging systems primarily because the cost, complexity and risk associated with such a project were perceived to be very large compared to the anticipated benefits. However, this approach is changing at most CSPs as digital transformation programmes get underway, which emphasises the importance of unified, real-time software platforms for successful transition to a digital service provider (DSP). This white paper discusses the key considerations for CSPs in adopting a convergent, unified charging system.