Prepaid Mobile Charging – This study is centred on the shift from a single charging system to a more intricate charging network. It examines the IMS network charging system and its related approach. The current approach involves a series of steps to facilitate the charging procedure.

Prepaid Mobile Charging Systems – Outlook

When a network element (NE) requests charging without a specific identifier for starting the process, the charging entity will assign a special identifier based on the charging policy and include it in the charging response provided to the NE. 

If there is a distinct label for charging in the charging response, the next network element (NE) will use this label in any service request transmitted to another NE or included in a service response sent to a prior NE. Using information from both past and future NEs, a decision is made on whether to request charging from the charging entity.

This decision is influenced by the presence or absence of a special charging identifier and the corresponding charging policy. If charging is requested, the special charging identifier is included in service requests and responses as necessary.

In the end, the charging entity will detect the special charging identifier and carry out charging procedures according to the identifier and relevant charging guidelines. As a result, the act of repeatedly invoicing the client for their use of the service is avoided.

Convergent Billing

The process of charging in telecommunications networks is greatly facilitated by the assignment of special identifiers and the utilization of charging labels. These mechanisms ensure the seamless coordination between network elements and enable informed decision-making regarding the initiation of charging requests.

By incorporating information from both past and future NEs, the network can optimize charging processes, enhance billing accuracy, and gather valuable insights for service improvement. In convergent billing, charging technologies are going to be “network charging” as opposed to “charging systems.”Charging System”.

Network Charging is capable of being deployed as a standalone application or providing a foundation and evolution path for additional business requirements such as billing, invoicing, billing time discounts, or re-rating using the productized integration with Billing and Revenue Management.

When the second-generation OCS is deployed, the combined solution provides efficient data traffic management and revenue-generating opportunities to differentiate on personalized quality of service. The integrated policy and charging solution is intelligently driven by customer knowledge and enabled by the shared subscriber profile repository residing on the online charging system.

The charging system originally formed part of the support network and can be regarded as a supporting platform for networks or services. In a converged environment, the charging system is unable to complete the entire charging process. Many network evolutions, however, are stimulated by changes in charging requirements.

Optimizing Charging Processes – Telco Networks

Numerous operators across diverse regions like Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, and Africa are adopting the OCS into their networks, with a growing number of them showing interest in the product. It is now time to incorporate future-oriented essential components into convergence in order to give it fresh form and meaning. Through a combination of personal observation from work over the past ten years and research sourced from Google, I have developed my own unique thought process.

In telecommunications networks, charging plays a crucial role in the provision of services and the billing of customers. When a network element (NE) requires charging but does not provide a specific identifier to initiate the process, a charging entity takes charge of assigning a unique identifier. This identifier is generated based on predefined charging policies, which govern the charging process. Once the charging entity assigns the identifier, it includes it in the charging response that is sent back to the requesting NE.

The significance of having a distinct label for charging in the charging response becomes apparent when subsequent network elements (NEs) come into play. In the context of service requests transmitted from one NE to another or service responses sent to a preceding NE, this label serves as a reference point. By incorporating this label, the NEs maintain continuity and consistency in tracking the charging process.

A key aspect of this approach lies in the utilization of information from both past and future NEs. This ensures that a comprehensive decision can be made regarding whether or not to request charging from the charging entity. The charging process becomes an intelligent mechanism that leverages knowledge from preceding NEs to determine the most appropriate course of action.

Leveraging Special Identifiers and Charging Labels

The use of charging labels and the coordination between NEs in the charging process also contributes to enhanced billing accuracy. By maintaining a clear reference point throughout the network, it minimizes the risk of errors or discrepancies in charging calculations. This, in turn, promotes trust and reliability for both the service providers and customers.

Furthermore, this approach enables the charging entity to gather valuable data and insights regarding the utilization of services and resource consumption. This information can be utilized for various purposes, such as capacity planning, service optimization, and identifying potential revenue streams.

By considering the charging labels provided by previous NEs and anticipating the requirements of future NEs, an informed decision can be reached.

Points to Note:

All credits, if any, remain with the original contributor. We have covered all the basics of data models and the importance of quality data and training data. In the next upcoming post, we will talk about implementation, usage, and practice experience for markets.

Books + Other readings Referred

  • Research through open internet, news portals, white papers and imparted knowledge via live conferences & lectures.
  • Lab and hands-on experience of  @AILabPage (Self-taught learners group) members.

Feedback & Further Question

Do you have any questions about AI, Machine Learning, Telecom billing/charging, Data Science or Big Data Analytics? Leave a question in a comment section or ask via email. Will try best to answer it.


Conclusion: The telecom sector has experienced remarkable accomplishments by deploying the OCS for business purposes. It is impossible to provide a definite solution to what is better without conducting a thorough analysis of the entire architecture. We should engage in a dialogue regarding this topic and work together to develop some insightful perspectives. 

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Posted by V Sharma

A Technology Specialist boasting 22+ years of exposure to Fintech, Insuretech, and Investtech with proficiency in Data Science, Advanced Analytics, AI (Machine Learning, Neural Networks, Deep Learning), and Blockchain (Trust Assessment, Tokenization, Digital Assets). Demonstrated effectiveness in Mobile Financial Services (Cross Border Remittances, Mobile Money, Mobile Banking, Payments), IT Service Management, Software Engineering, and Mobile Telecom (Mobile Data, Billing, Prepaid Charging Services). Proven success in launching start-ups and new business units - domestically and internationally - with hands-on exposure to engineering and business strategy. "A fervent Physics enthusiast with a self-proclaimed avocation for photography" in my spare time.

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