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ISP billing software?

IN general, what software do ISPs use for billing purposes, ie when you make a phone call, download some data and all those charges that come up on your bill?

im trying to develop some simple "theorical" app that should link to the ISP billing system, and since i have no idea of what do they use to track and bill our data/voice/services usage i'd like to find out.

can anyone shed some light on this?

thank you.
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celtician
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celtician
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2 Solutions
 
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
Simply they monitor all of your usage on a realtime basis and store this information in a database. And they probably monitor a lot more than what they report to you. i.e. your location, call quality, cell site 2 site transfers, etc. On their billing cycle they extract the items needed for the billing and then create your invoice.
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pergrCommented:
It is a staged process.

First, they collect records of your usage, using for example RADIUS. The usage can be from both data (BNG/BRAS equipment) and voice equipment.

Next there may be a stage where they correlate records. For example, if they have two voice switches which they get records from, and your phone call went through both voice switches, then they put these to records into one single one for your phone call.

The final record is typically called a CDR; a Call Detail Record.

The next stage is to "rate" the CDR, effectivaely is to apply the charges, or calculate the price that should charged for that phone call.

At the end of the billing period (typically at the end of the month) the "billing" is done. This stage put together all your rated CDR events, in order to create a bill. At this stage various discounts, packages, etc, are applied. Perhaps you get a discount if you make calls of 500 minutes and also have a data package, etc. The output is the bill.


Next step is to print that bill, but also to import it into the Financial/Accounting software of the ISP, and any other place that keep track of collections - that is the payments received from customers.
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celticianAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the answer, and do you know (in general) what database or software they use for that log and for the billing purposes?thats what im most interested in finding out

than you.
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
Ask them, if they don't tell you then you know that it is a 'company' secret.
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pergrCommented:
Most commercial billing systems use Oracle database in the bottom.

A lot of of cheaper, low end solutions, and also in house developed billing systems, use MySQL.
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