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Billing in an IMS World

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  1. Billing in an IMS World TMC IT Expo – Oct 2006 Bala Janakiraman Sonus Networks

  2. IMS – Enabling Rapid Service Introduction Applications • One core network, multiple access technologies • Single set of applications that apply network wide • Consistent user experience • An environment to experiment & introduce new services Session Control (IMS) Simplicity Packet Core (IP) Circuit Access Wireless Access Packet Access Flexibility Will your Billing System be Ready?

  3. Billing Challenges with IMS Customer Real Estate Agent • Pieces of information about a session (call) come from various places • Multiple levels of correlation required by billing mediation • Business rules need to be carefully understood – may vary per service • Some services will need online charging • Accounting for peering arrangements with other carriers RAN RAN IMS IMS BBA Voice call Video session Office Assistant Instant Messaging

  4. TPF IMS Charging Architecture Billing Domain • All IMS core network elements provide charge event information via Diameter • Charge-related information supported in SIP headers • Correlation support – built in • Selectable Charging Collection Function – built in • Support for peering arrangements - built in CS - NE Service - NE SIP AS MRFC CCF MGCF BGCF CDF CGF P - CSCF I - CSCF IMS OCS S - CSCF GWF WLAN SGSN GGSN ONLINE CHARGING OFFLINE CHARGING CRF AF IMS accommodates some key needs that were previously left as an exercise

  5. Billing Content in IMS • Charging information not as richly defined as that of legacy services • Diameter events (charging information) may be underspecified in some cases for some service providers • E.g., strict AMA requirements may require certain extensions to the charge events Integrating IMS services into a legacy environment requires careful examination of call-flows and data creation

  6. HLR FMC Scenario – Wireline Operator √ GSX (MGCF) √ PSTN Mobile RAN Subsystem MSC/ VLR GSX (BGCF) √ SRX (S-CSCF) √ HSX IMX (CCCF/NeDS) Sonus IMS Core √ PSX (gsmSCF) Generic IP Network TA NBS, (P-CSCF, THIG) Charging information generated in multiple network elements

  7. FMC Scenario - Billing Issues to Consider • Service pricing: Monthly subscription, Tiered minutes/megabytes options, content charging • Same or different rates for cellular/wi-fi legs • Correlating charging information from multitude of elements for the same call • Support for pre-paid and post-paid subscribers • One bill or separate bills for FMC & Broadband Access services • Roaming agreements with Mobility Partners • Collecting call detail records from Mobility Partners for analyzing service quality during roaming sessions

  8. Impact on Billing Processes & Systems • Sourcing the CCF & OCS • Equipment Provider or BSS provider or home-grown? • Multi-vendor support (because of vendor extensions to standards) • Operational needs of online charging • High availability – 99.999% • Low latency – response in ms • High transaction throughput • New IMS based services will require flexible billing options – can the billing infrastructure support this? • Pre-paid, post-paid, content-based, session based billing • Will the existing BSS support IMS services? • Phased migration • IMS enables you to create a variety of services – ease & speed of BSS customization will be key to success

  9. Thank You Bala Janakiraman bjanakiraman@sonusnet.com