Prepaid Calling Cards (Using a Gateway)

Setting up Your Network Components


Create Nodes

Create a Product

Create a Customer

Generate Accounts

Verify Call History for Account

Check Call History


Setting up Your Network Components

Please refer to the Appendices for the instructions applicable to your specific type of gateway.


Print the following page and use it to check off the operations you have completed while performing the system setup according to the instructions in this chapter. Please be sure to perform all of the operations in the order designated (all of the boxes should be checked), otherwise the service will not work.






General configuration


General configuration has already been performed according to the instructions in the Prepaid Calling Cards handbook

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Network configuration


Create a node for your gateway

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Configure your gateway

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Rating configuration


Perform the standard rating configuration for the prepaid services as described in the  Prepaid Calling Cards handbook

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In the rating list (of the prepaid product) include an entry that will contain gateway node and tariff containing the prepaid calling rates

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Account provisioning


Create a retail customer who owns the prepaid cards

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Generate a batch of accounts (PINs) for this customer

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Try to make a test call

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Create Nodes

This step is only required if you have not entered your gateways into the system before. In this case, you must enter your gateways as nodes. PortaBilling® requires some key information about your network equipment such as IP address, Node ID, Radius shared secret, etc.


Create a node


Add node created


Add more nodes


1.      In the Networking section of the Admin-Index page, choose Nodes.

2.      In the Node Management window, click the add Add icon.

3.      Fill in the New Node form:

o   Node Name – A short descriptive name for this node (that will be used in the select menus).

o   Manufacturer - Select Cisco or Quintum.

o   Type – VoIP node type; select VOIP-GW.

o   Node ID – h323-id (recommended hostname.domainname).

o   NAS-IP-Address – IP address of the gateway.

o   Auth. Translation Rule – Leave this empty for now; see the Translation Rules section of the PortaBilling Administrator Guide.

o   RTP Proxying – Leave the default selection (Optimal); for more details regarding NAT traversal, see the PortaSIP Administrator Guide.

o   Client Protocol – Select RADIUS to enable the gateway (node) to communicate with PortaBilling® via RADIUS in order to validate the prepaid card PIN.

o   Radius Key – Enter the RADIUS secret key you have specified in the configuration of the gateway.

o   Radius Source IP – See the Node ID, NAS IP address, and Radius source IP section of the PortaBilling Administrator Guide. Unless your gateway has multiple network interfaces, the value here should be the same as the NAS-IP-Address.


4.      Click save_close Save & Close.

5.      Repeat steps 2–4 until all of your nodes have been entered.

Create a Product

Create a product



1.      In the Rating section of the Admin-Index page, choose Products.

2.      On the Product Management page, click the add Add icon.

3.      Fill in the “New product” form. Please refer to the Create Product chapter of the Basic Residential VoIP Service section for a detailed description of the product creation process.

Create a Rating Entry for the Product

Add usage charges


Update the entry 


Configure overdraft protection


1.      When on the Usage Charges tab, click on the Add button.

2.      Choose Voice Calls in the Service select menu.

3.      In the Node select menu, select the node where your IVR will be running.

4.      You can also use an access number for rating entry in the Access Code field. For example, if you have a node with two access numbers, local (1-212-1234567) and toll-free (1-800-12345678), you can set up the product’s rating list in such a way that if a customer calls via a toll-free line, he will be billed using a different tariff (one which includes surcharges).

NOTE: The Access Code feature requires modification of Cisco platform application scripts. For more information about this feature, see the System Concepts section of the PortaBilling Administrator Guide. The Access Code feature on the Quintum platform requires the ACCESSCODE feature (available in the recent firmware).

5.      In the Tariff menu, select the tariff that will be applied to your prepaid calling card customers.

6.      Click Update.

Advanced Configuration – Click the  Advanced Configuration icon to configure overdraft protection for this product on the Overdraft Protection tab. (Please consult the Configure Overdraft Protection Section within the Product  section in the Overdraft Protection Configuration handbook for a description of the parameters available here.)

7.      Click save_close Save & Close to save this rating entry.

Create a Customer

Add a customer


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


1.      On the Customer Management page, click add Add Customer.

2.      Fill in the New Customer form. Please refer to the Create a Customer chapter of the Basic Residential VoIP Service section for a detailed description of the available parameters.

3.      Click save Save.

Generate Accounts

NOTE: Before generating accounts for a production system, read the section “Provisioning Prepaid Accounts

1.      Go to the Customers screen (the screen which contains a list of customers). It should resemble the screenshot below:


Create accounts


Open account generator


Add accounts information


2.      Next to the customer name, click on the  or accounts Accounts icon (the one in the Accounts column), which will take you to the account management for that customer.

3.      Click on the add Account generator.

4.      Fill in the “Account generator” form (please refer to the Generate Accounts chapter of the Prepaid Calling Cards handbook for a detailed description of the available parameters).

5.      Click add Generate; a confirmation screen will indicate that your information has been accepted.

6.      Click close Close to return to the account administration page.

Test Everything Together

1.      Start Radius debug on GW.

2.      Try to make a call and use one of the accounts.

3.      Browse information using BE Log Viewer.

Verify Call History for Account

To view the xDR of an account, go to Customers, select the Customer owning the accounts, and click on the Accounts icon; or, alternatively, select Account Info in the Help Desk section of the Admin-Index page.


Verify call history for account


_Hint_Glasses You can also go to the account self-care page (accessible via the Accounts menu item in the Home popup menu). The only difference is that account’s owner does not have the option of seeing incomplete (failed) calls when using the self-care interfaces.


Login with the account’s web access login and password. After that you will be able to see the account’s dashboard interface. On the Billing Information tab, click Transactions.


Log in to account self-care


Define search parameters


\Browse the service usage history


Choose the date range for which you want to see a list of calls, and click Show Records. In the results table you will see call charges and other fees, such as maintenance fees or refunds (if any). The report can be also downloaded by clicking the   Download icon. 

Check Call History

If you want to see a list of all calls going through the system, or perhaps only those for a particular destination, use the Trace Session.


o   In the Helpdesk section of Admin-Index, choose Trace Session.

o   Fill in the check phone number form:

-       h323-conf-id – If you need to trace a specific call, enter the h323-conf-id here; otherwise leave this empty.

-       Rate Pattern – The phone number you are looking for or a destination pattern (first digits and a percent sign, for example 1%).

-       From, To Date The date range.


o   Click Search Sessions.


The advantage of this method is that you can see all call attempts, including unsuccessful calls, with disconnect reasons displayed. Also, you can see the billing history for a call.


For the administrator’s convenience, account xDRs can be also reached from the Account Management window by clicking the xDRs icon for an account.

Common Symptoms / Problems

Common Symptom / Problem

Description / Solution

Radius debug on GW shows requests, but PortaBilling® Radius debug does not.

There are several reasons why communication may be unsuccessful:

1. Wrong radius server IP configuration in GW. Verify and correct.

2. Wrong radius port(s) configuration in GW. Verify and correct.

3. IP network problems. Verify that your network is configured correctly, including cables and firewalls.

PortaBilling® Radius debug shows requests arriving but says “request from unknown client”.

Verify and correct Node IP address in PortaBilling®. Consider any propagation delay, which may require 15 minutes.

Arriving PortaBilling® Radius debug showing requests displays a “failed to decrypt” message.

Verify if PortaBilling® Node Radius key configuration is the same as GW radius key (shared secret).

PortaBilling® replies with authentication reject.

Verify product rating list and account status.

Debug session looks normal but GW hangs up (or says nothing) after receiving authentication confirmation.

The most common reason for this is the lack of a particular prompt on IVR prompt servers. This situation may occur only for specific monetary or time values.

Account balance not decreased after successful call, and call does not appear in call history.

Verify that the GW is transmitting stop accounting records. Set accountingtype 2 for Quintum or gw-accounting h323 vsa for Cisco.

Advanced Prepaid Service with Roaming

Deploying prepaid card products with roaming is easy with PortaBilling®. Just install additional gateways in different geographical locations and enter the corresponding nodes in PortaBilling®. Then create tariffs which reflect your service charges for different geographical locations, and extend the product rating list using new nodes and tariffs.