22 November 2019

MR77-80 webinar summary and recording

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For those of you who missed the recent PortaOne webinar on the new features in MR77-80 PortaSwitch, we have made available the recorded version of the session.

Webinar about new features in PortaSwitch MR77-80



By watching the webinar or reading its summary, you’ll learn how to:

  • Better serve business customers by allowing multiple subscribers to share a single balance
  • Seamlessly feed invoice data into SAP Business One
  • Utilize content-based charging, the SMS gateway and USSD self-care provided by Protei (an official partner of PortaOne) to enable rich mobile services
  • Provision and control internet access via Sandvine SPB and satellite internet via Newtec Dialog
  • Launch MVNO using integration with ECConnect’s MVNE solution
  • Benefit from other features and enhancements already available in PortaSwitch MR77-80

Please find below a digest of the most frequently asked questions:

Q: How easy is it to become an MVNO? What is the timeline for MVNO launch?

A: If you plan to start an MVNO business, you need to agree with your MNO about how to provision data: either using a provisioning solution like ECConnect EAP or Cisco Jasper, or integrating with the mobile core directly. If you adopt a provisioning solution, PortaBilling® offers several integrations out of the box. However, if you are integrating directly, you need to determine which core components your MNO uses. Since we have performed integrations with several different mobile cores, PortaBilling® may already be integrated with your MNO’s equipment. This helps reduce the time to launch for your MVNO business.

Q: When will deployment of containerized CPE provisioning begin, and how does it work?

A: We plan to release the minimum viable product (MVP) of CPE provisioning with MR83 (February 2020). Thereafter, provisioning of all new CPE models will be available via containers. So your PortaSwitch version must be MR83 or higher to receive services through containers. Backporting containerized services to older releases will be assessed after the MVP. Containers are launched in the cloud (SaaS), and are compatible with both on-premises and cloud-based PortaSwitch®. When you request auto-provisioning of a new CPE model, PortaOne launches the container in the cloud and the service becomes available for installation to compatible PortaSwitch versions.

Q: What is the basic difference between USSD self-care and self-care with responsive design?

A: These are two different ways in which customers can communicate with their service provider and perform various tasks. USSD self-care is available on any phone, including legacy push-button phones. Users send USSD requests by dialing the service code for a specific task: checking their balance, activating an additional package, and so on. Self-care with responsive design requires some sort of application, e.g. a mobile dialer or SIP softphone, with a built-in browser that can display the self-care web page developed by PortaOne. Using this app, customers can configure forwarding lists, listen to call recordings, or view their call history.

Q: Is there a future for USSD in the market?

A: USSD remains popular in countries (especially those in Africa) where people actively use prepaid cards or top-up vouchers and pay for them in cash. Users send a USSD request with the voucher PIN to top up their balance or activate additional packages. Even in countries where credit cards are the preferred payment method, users frequently check their balance via USSD requests, since this can be faster than launching and navigating through an app.

Q: Is content-based charging customizable, or limited to specific services?

A: Content-based charging is highly customizable. On the P-GW, you can configure different rating groups and define the types of traffic for each. Rating groups can be used not only for these traffic types (e.g. YouTube, online games, etc.), but also to filter requests from particular IP addresses or to particular websites, or even packets from and to specific IP:ports. This flexible configuration enables full control over the traffic types you provide to users and how you bill them for their traffic use.

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