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Convergent Charging System

Differentiate Your Services

Cerillion Convergent Charging System (CCS) is a 3GPP compliant convergent charging and policy management system for online and offline services.

As the industry moves towards widespread deployment of 4G and 5G networks, a fundamental change is required in the back office systems in order to support the next wave of telecoms services. Turning new network capability and capacity into new revenue streams needs a new approach to charging and billing which removes the historic customer segmentation by payment method (prepaid and postpaid) and supports the creation of new revenue streams. In addition, increased competition in all markets is creating demand for a more personalised service, with new customer spending controls and pricing transparency required to create a more compelling customer experience and increase customer lifetime value.

Convergent Charging System (CCS) delivers the next generation of convergent services, supporting session and event-based charging with or without unit reservation. Built around the 3GPP charging specifications, the system supports multiple monetary and non-monetary balances, which can be shared within a hierarchical structure or between unrelated services. Cerillion CCS allows operators to perform real-time authorisation, accounting and policy control during service delivery, with Nchf (JSON/HTTP2), Diameter and SS7/CAMEL interfaces for integration with the network and upstream application platforms.

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Key Benefits

3GPP compliant charging

Built from the ground up based on the industry standard 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) charging specifications.

Create new revenue streams

Monetise your network assets and create value in new content / OTT service partnerships.

Payment method independence

Break down the traditional barriers between 'prepaid' and 'postpaid' services with a single point of charging for all customers and services.

Customer spending controls

Avoid ‘bill shock’ with fully transparent pricing, real-time balance management and customer-defined 'spending controls’.

Build customer loyalty

Allow customers to share service bundles with friends, family or business colleagues.

Flexible deployment options

Implement as a best-of-breed charging engine; to replace legacy network prepaid platforms; or as part of an end-to-end BSS transformation.

Key Features

Cerillion CCS is based on the industry standard 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) charging specifications, providing unified online and offline charging through a single high-performance engine. CCS supports the new REST-based Nchf interface for 5G charging, whilst maintaining support for legacy and hybrid network deployments using Diameter and SS7/CAMEL where required. 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.

The Charging Function (CHF) acts as the gateway into Cerillion CCS, supporting both session-based charging and event-based charging scenarios, with or without unit reservation, including new 5G capabilities such as network slicing.

The CHF 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. Dynamic balance reservation size allows the number of units to be varied by service type and consumption – optimising system performance and scalability for high bandwidth services.

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, network slice, 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.

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 native 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, destinations or ad-hoc account groupings 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.

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.

Don't just take our word for it

Cerillion’s open and standards based products make them easy to integrate and upgrade, and we are very pleased with how straightforward it has been to rollout 5G.

Juraj Ondriš

CEO, SWAN Mobile

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