Cerillion CCS is based on the industry standard 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) charging specifications. Cerillion CCS utilises the 3GPP-based IMS to fulfil the integration between charging and network components. In addition, Cerillion Mediator Plus is offered as an optional extension to the CCS, providing additional mediation, session and policy management features as part of an integrated solution. Cerillion CCS uses 3GPP IMS Diameter applications such as the Credit Control Application in conjunction with the Diameter base protocol, for example the Rf and Ro interfaces for offline and online charging respectively, and the Sy interface for integration with external PCRF platforms.
Online Charging Function (OCF)
The Online Charging Function (OCF) acts as the gateway into Cerillion CCS, supporting both Session-Based Charging Function (SBCF) and Event-Based Charging Function (EBCF) scenarios, with or without Unit Reservation. The OCF supports centralised Unit Determination and centralised Rating.
The OCF interacts with the Rating Function (RF) and Account Balance Management Function (ABMF) in order to authorise or deny service, or to send an instruction for the alert, automatic balance top-up or enforced termination of the currently active service.
Account Balance Management (ABMF)
The Account Balance Management Function (ABMF) stores and maintains the credit, debit and reserve balance data for an account. This data is central to the real-time credit control mechanism. The ABMF enables monetary and non-monetary balances to be defined and an account can have more than one balance associated with it, for example, minutes, loyalty points, free text allowances or gift vouchers. A balance instance can also be shared between multiple directly associated services through a hierarchical structure, or between unrelated services not within a hierarchy.
The ABMF supports operator defined policies for applications such as balance notifications, auto top-ups, overdrafts and service denials; as well as customer-defined policies such as spending control preferences.
Cerillion CCS provides a high performance and low latency Rating Function (RF) which applies charging based on specific usage or event content and rules. The RF can determine the value of chargeable events or network resource usage based on a wide variety of criteria including subscriber, origin, destination and balances information. In addition, the RF allows for policy and charging rules to be included in the rating decision making logic, thus further increasing the flexibility within the system to meet a rapidly changing environment.
The Rating Function enables online and offline rating based on exactly the same tariff structure. Due to the flexible architecture it is also possible to deploy the online and offline instances on separate hardware, allowing optimisation of the high availability online platforms distinct from the offline environment.
Charging Data Function (CDF)
The Charging Data Function (CDF) is a key element of the CCS used for Offline Charging. It communicates with the upstream applications over the Diameter Rf interface, assembling charging information into Charging Detail Records (CDRs) for further downstream processing. In addition, the CDF can optionally communicate with the Rating Function (RF) over the Re interface to provide offline rating of the CDRs within the CCS, before they are forwarded to the Billing Domain by the CGF.
Charging Gateway Function (CGF)
The Charging Gateway Function (CGF) delivers the required Ga interface to support receipt and onward processing of CDRs via the Bo interface to a downstream billing system (such as Cerillion Revenue Manager). It provides the functions to mediate the CDR from its Diameter form into a standard CDR format for distribution to the Billing Domain, whether or not the CDR needs to be applied to an existing Account Balance within the CCS.
CCS provides support for real-time discounts to be applied based on promotional top-ups and balance eligibility rules. These promotions grant discounts to qualifying usage determined by configurable eligibility criteria such as specific usage types and destinations within a set qualifying period. Furthermore, cross-balance discounts can be offered whereby usage of one balance may invoke a promotional discount or credit on another balance.
The CCS Dashboard is an integrated tool for monitoring and managing all CCS nodes, processes and databases. It provides a graphical representation of the real-time system performance, highlighting key performance metrics including throughput, latency and error rates, with in-app notifications and configurable email alerts to advise when performance thresholds have been crossed.
Carrier-grade performance & high availability
Cerillion CCS has been built to support the carrier-grade operation expected of modern network architectures, supporting 250+ Transactions per second (TPS) per node, with 95% of online requests achieving a response time of <50 milliseconds.