Sharing an Internet Quota among Multiple Devices

Preliminary Configuration

Enable the NetAccessVerifyMAC Module on the Configuration Server

Configure an Internet Access Policy

Create a Customer

Create a Main Account

Assign Dynamic IP Addresses to Multiple Devices

Assign Static IP Addresses to Multiple Devices

 

In PortaBilling®, several devices (for example, laptops, 3G / 4G or WiMAX modems) associated with the same account can share a single Internet quota. Sharing can be done among multiple devices with static and / or dynamic IP addresses.

 

Let’s configure the following scenario. Prime Ltd. company owns three shops in different districts of a city. To provide accurate provisioning for their devices in all three shops, static IP addresses are required. Moreover, Prime Ltd. wants to share a single Internet quota among all three shops because they have a premium offer from their ISP (PortaBilling® owner). Therefore, static IP addresses must be configured for three servers with the following MAC addresses:

·       07333777F1F1

·       07333777F2F2

·       07333777F3F3.

 

It is possible for three more devices to have dynamic IP addresses and to share the same Internet quota as the servers. So their MAC addresses are the following:

·       07555111C900

·       07555111C901

·       07555111C902.

Preliminary Configuration

In this handbook we assume that you already have an operating system to provide Internet access service. Please refer to the Broadband Internet Access Services handbook for detailed information about how to configure destinations, nodes, vendors, connections, tariffs and products, if required. The steps below describe how to supplement the operating configuration for your customers to assign static and / or dynamic IP addresses to multiple devices sharing the same Internet quota.

Enable the NetAccessVerifyMAC Module on the Configuration Server

1.     Go to the Configurations tab on the Configuration server.

2.     Clone the existing configuration.

3.     Select BillingEngine from the Configuration tree, then select the Custom group in the Groups section. Type in the following row in the LoadModules field:

 

netaccessverifymac=Porta::Extra::NetAccessVerifyMAC

 

The NetAccessVerifyMAC module checks whether the device’s MAC address is authorized to use the Internet service. The module matches a static IP address with its corresponding device to enable quota sharing.

 

Enable the NetAccessVerifyMAC Module

 

4.       Click the Save button and then the Check button.

5.       Verify the new configuration and click the Check / Apply button.

Configure an Internet Access Policy

Configuring an Internet access policy allows PortaBilling® to identify the customer by using the device MAC address. Using the verify_mac module, the billing engine searches for the customer via the MAC address received in the authorization request.

 

Here are directions for what to do when an Internet access policy has not been previously created. However, if the Internet access policy was previously created and assigned to your product, go directly to the step 3.

 

1.     In the Networking section of the admin interface, choose Internet Services.

2.     On the Internet Access Policies page, choose add Add.

 

Configure the Internet access policy

 

3.       Fill in the Internet access policy information:

·       Name – A short descriptive name for this access policy (e.g. Shared Quota).

·       Managed by – Choose Administrator Only here.

·       Description – To the existing description, add the following row: (verify_mac=customer). This enables PortaBilling® to identify the customer using the MAC address (CLI). Please consult the Appendices section for more details about the verify_mac parameter.

·       Access Types – Specify the access types on the table and define their download and upload rates. Please refer to the Broadband Internet Access Services handbook for detailed information about how to configure the access types.

 

Add Internet policy values

 

4.       On the Additional Info tab, specify the default radius_response values for your NAS:

 

Service-Type= Framed-User

Idle-Timeout= 86400

Framed-IP-Address= 255.255.255.254

Framed-IP-Netmask= 255.255.255.255

Framed-MTU= 1500

NOTE: This step is required only when your NAS communicates with PortaBilling via RADIUS.

5.     Click save Save.

6.     Assign the Shared Quota Internet access policy to the product associated with the Internet service on the Service Configuration tab. 

 

Add internet access policy

 

7.     Click save Save.

Create a Customer

A customer is an account owner of accounts. The customer’s contact information is used to distribute account usage information, internet access statistics, invoices, etc. In real life, this customer is an entity (company, retail customer, etc.) that owns multiple devices.

 

1.     In the Participants section of Admin-Index page, choose Customers.

2.     On the Customer Management page, choose add Add button.

3.     Fill in the Add Customer form. Please note that there are several tabs with extra information available on the page. The most important fields are:

 

Add a customer

Main form (top)

·       Customer ID – Specify a short name for the customer; this will be used on the web interface.

·       Balance Control – Specify the way the customer will pay for the service. Choose Postpaid in this field.

·       Currency – Select the currency in which this customer will be billed.

·       Permanent Credit Limit – Assign a credit limit for the customer.

Create a Main Account

Product assignment, quota tracking and usage charges will be applied to the main account.

 

1.     Go to the Customers page.

2.     Next to the customer name, click on the  or  accounts Accounts icon (the one in the Accounts column) to go to that customer’s account management page.

3.     Click on add Add.

4.     Fill in the Add Account form:

·       Account Role – Select Universal from the list.

·       Account ID – The ID that will be used to authorize Internet access. In this example, it is prime.

·       Main Product – Select the product associated with the Internet access policy created earlier. In this example, Internet Access Premium.

 

Add an account

 

5.     Click save_close Save and you will see a confirmation announcement that a new account has been created.

NOTE: You may configure multiple main accounts, if needed. Each main account will share an assigned Internet quota among the devices that work in conjunction with it. This makes it possible to use several shared Internet quotas under the same Customer.

Assign Dynamic IP Addresses to Multiple Devices

To add devices that have dynamic IP addresses, create aliases on the main account page for each such device in the Account_ID@MAC_Address format (e.g. prime@ 07555111C900).

 

1.     To create an alias, go to the Aliases tab of the main account.

2.     Click on add Add.

 

Add an alias

 

3.     Fill in the Add Alias form:

·       Alias Role – Select General from the list.

·       Alias ID – Specify the alias in the Account_ID@MAC_Address format. In this example, prime@ 07555111C900.

4.     Click save Save.

 

 Add an alias

 

5.     Repeat steps 1-5 to assign aliases for all devices with dynamic IP addresses.

 

 Check aliases

 

When any of these devices starts a session, PortaBilling® locates its alias and authorizes NAS to assign a dynamic IP address to this device.

Assign Static IP Addresses to Multiple Devices

For devices that require a static IP address, create separate ad hoc accounts under the same customer in the Account_ID@MAC_Address format (e.g. prime@07333777F1F1) and configure the static IP address for each ad hoc account.

 

1.     To create an ad hoc account, go to the Customers page.

2.     Next to the customer name, click on the  accounts Accounts icon (the one in the Accounts column) to go to the account management page for that customer.

3.     Click on add Add.

4.     Fill in the Add Account form:

·       Account ID – The ID that will be used to authorize Internet access. Follow the compulsory template for account IDs – AccountID@MAC_address, where:

o   AccountID equals the main account ID under the same customer (in this example, prime)

o   MAC_address is the MAC address of the device with the static IP address.

·       Main Product – Select any product associated with the Internet access service.

NOTE: An administrator can assign any product to this account – all existing settings will be ignored by PortaBilling® (and bypassed). These are auxiliary accounts with one single purpose – to supply the main account’s devices with static IP addresses.

Add an account

 

5.     Click save Save.

6.     Go to theService Configuration tab. Configure the static IP address:

·       Static IP – Select Enabled to enable this functionality.

·       Static IP – Specify the device’s static IP.

·       Static IP Netmask – Type in a netmask, or leave the default value: 255.255.255.255.

 

7.     Click save Save.

 

Add static IP

 

8.     Repeat steps 1–7 for all devices that require the static IP address.

 

Repeat the configuration for other accounts

 

When one such device starts a session, it assumes the static IP address from the ad hoc account. When the session ends, PortaBilling® charges the main account.