25 March 2016

PortaOne Delivers New Features in PortaSwitch Maintenance Release 54

PortaOne announced availability of MR54-0, the newest version of PortaSwitch, communication services delivery platform.

MR54 Highlights

  • In-session Tariff Switch
  • IP alias for PortaSIP cluster
  • Hosted IP PBX "volume" billing
  • Service Wallet Top-up
  • LTE service provisioning for ZTE
  • Fraud Detection Alerts
  • High-availability option for IMGate
  • Unified GUI for huntgroup management
  • Routing Margin Tariff
  • Custom Fields Access Control
  • Tax Rate Management
  • New OS version
The most important improvements in the functionality include:

In-session Tariff Switch - this enhancement of PortaBilling OCS allows to instruct the network node (SAE-GW, etc.) of the exact moment of upcoming change of the price (e.g. change from off-peak to peak in 30 minutes). This allows network node to continue the session uninterrupted, but split the usage report (amount of data transferred) by two periods, thus ensuring the accurate charging.

IP alias for PortaSIP cluster - it is now possible to assign multiple IP addresses as entry points into the cluster. All of these IPs are shared between dispatching nodes of the cluster in the high-availability mode. This allows seamless migration to PortaSwitch customers with pre-configured IP phones in case of acquisition. Also using alternative IPs and ports as entry points may help to deliver the service in the countries where standard VoIP may be blocked.

Hosted IP PBX "volume" billing - a popular pricing model for hosted IP PBX / IP Centrex service is charging the customer based on the number of extensions, or charging reseller for all extensions provisioned by his customers. The charging plugin for this model has been added to the "measured services" module. It allows to measure the number of extensions periodically and produce accurate bill even if the number of extensions has fluctuated during the month.

Service Wallet Top-up - administrator can create a list of allowed top-up values and their cost, which is then becomes available for end-user on the self-care portal. This allows to promote larger top-ups (e.g 5GB of data costs $10, while 10GB costs $15) and so increase the revenue.

LTE service provisioning for ZTE - PortaBilling has been integrated with ePC from ZTE in order to automatically provision LTE services. This includes SIM card activation in HSS, subscriber profile provisioning into SPR, etc.

Fraud Detection Alerts - this allows administrator to define monitoring profiles and receive alerts if traffic to some suspicious or unusual destinations (e.g. premium numbers in some foreign country) exceeds acceptable threshold.

High-availability option for IMGate - IMGate is the messaging component of PortaSIP, which handles instant messages between subscribers as well as delivering SMS messages to/from mobile networks. Starting with this release it has been fully integrated into PortaSIP cluster framework, which allows instant service relocation to another server in the cluster in case of a hardware failure.

Unified GUI for huntgroup management - all huntgroup management is now done via self-care IP Centrex portal; administrator can still perform configuration on behalf of end-user (if required) by using web GUI "auto-login as a customer" feature.

Routing Margin Tariff - this enhancement to the profit-guarantee module allows to override customer's tariff with another one during profit-guarantee calculations. This allows to fine-tune profit-guarantee - e.g. require higher margin for unusual destinations or lower profit requirements for the high-volume destinations.

Custom Fields Access Control - in addition to regular custom fields, which are visible to end-user of the self-care portal, administrator can now define "internal" custom fields, which Are only visible to administrators.

Tax Rate Management - a popular scenario for prepaid services is "tax inclusive", when recurring / usage fees already contain the applicable tax. Then on the invoice the amount of taxes has to be "back-calculated" from the total charged amount. In order to simplify the tax rate management in this case, the actual tax rates are now entered using "Custom Taxes" in the customer class and not tied to an individual invoice template. So now all types of taxes are managed in the same location.

New OS version - PortaSwitch now uses Oracle Enterprise Linux version 7.2, which provides improved performance, enhanced security and support for new hardware. The upgrade is done via the PortaSwitch software management framework, so it is entirely seamless for PortaSwitch customers and no manual actions (e.g. console operations) are required on their part.



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