PortaBilling uses 3GPP standard interfaces (such as Diameter) for connecting to mobile network core elements, so from this perspective we are vendor-agnostic. The only situation when some vendor-specific integration may be required is if vendor uses proprietary protocols (for instance SOAP API for subscriber provisioning into HLR/HSS). Open architecture of PortaBilling allows to create a plugin module for such integration in a matter of days. Please contact our sales team and we can provide contacts for reference customers, who will be happy to share details about specific vendors / equipment used on their mobile network.
When a customer sponsors a Feature Request (FR), it is given priority. This allows PortaOne to focus development resources on what is most important to our customers. Once the feature has been developed, it is integrated into the next available Maintenance Release, along with new features developed for other customers. The combined code goes through a rigorous testing process, which ensures that this and all other functionalities work correctly. The single release image is then distributed to all PortaOne customers. Thus the software’s behavior is the same across all platforms, documentation is unified, and support procedures are identical. Compared to creating and maintaining customized software versions for every customer, this is the only feasible approach.
While you allow other customers access to your custom-developed feature, you also receive many more custom-developed features of theirs with every update. This community development approach allows our hundreds of customers from around the world to combine their creative ideas to help make PortaOne’s products the best in the industry.
Exchange rates can be managed either manually (exchange rates are entered by an administrator) or automatically (PortaBilling updates the exchange rates).
With the automatic update method, PortaBilling performs a daily check online and updates your exchange rates accordingly. You select which conversion website you want to use (either www.yahoo.com or www.xe.com), and PortaBilling updates the rates daily.
PortaBilling utilizes an online payment framework where communication with a specific payment processor is handled by a plugin module that knows the API details, data requirements, and so on. This allows easy addition of new payment processors. At this moment the following payment processors are supported “out of the box”:
- Chase Paymentech
- WorldPay Invisible
- WorldPay Junior
Plugin modules for new processors can be easily added upon request. Also, for payment processors which handle all the credit card/bank details on their side, a web services API is available for adding transactions to PortaBilling.
PortaBilling supports an unlimited number of invoice templates for use by different operators/resellers or for application to different customers. Invoices can have different styles, layout and graphics, they can contain just the basic totals or a detailed summary of calls, charges, and so on. They can be in any language your customers prefer.
There are two ways to customize the template:
- PortaBilling has a powerful web-based WYSIWYG invoice template wizard that enables you to customize the template in your browser – no additional software required. This is ideal for quick adjustments of invoice text, colors, fonts, etc.
- You may also upload your own complete template in HTML+CSS format. This is ideal for a full layout redesign via a third-party design agency.
Yes. PortaBilling is a converged billing system, capable of much more than just voice call charging. You can use PortaBilling to provision and charge for SMS, Internet, IPTV, WiFi, WiMAX, LTE, or any other type of service your company offers.
In addition, PortaBilling’s Subscription Plan module lets you charge customers additional recurring fees for the services you offer. For example, you may want to charge customers an initial Activation Fee for every new phone line added, or charge them a monthly fee for optional services such as voicemail or call forwarding.
Yes, you can. PortaBilling includes a CDR mediation/import module, which allows easy import of CDR batches from CSV files, proprietary formats such as TAP3, external databases, or other data sources.
The only thing you need to do is define how file contents (e.g. columns) are mapped into CDR parameters (called number, duration, etc.). This can be a simple assignment of names to columns, or you can program individual data translation/manipulation rules using small bits of Perl code. After that, the system will monitor to see if a new CDR file has been uploaded to the server. It will then extract the CDR from the file and perform data manipulation, CDR mediation (e.g. merging several incomplete records into one) and validation. Finally, collections of CDRs are placed in intermediate storage (so they are easily accessible to the administrator from the web GUI), and the CDRs are rated and applied to customer/vendor accounts.
If you do not have sufficient experience with CDR mediation, PortaOne’s engineering team can assist you with the CDR import configuration, any necessary development, and thorough testing.
Yes. Once you create distributors in PortaBilling, you can associate a percentage commission for every product sold. PortaBilling will automatically calculate the amount that the distributor owes you, minus any commission they keep for themselves.
Additionally, you can create resellers who are white-label virtual operators. You assign the rates that you will charge them and provide them with access to a self-care portal. There the resellers create their own products, adjust their rates for end users, add new customers, provision their services, and so on – without any intervention on your side.
Yes. You can use PortaBilling’s own plugins for doing tax calculations, or you can use an external module from companies like Avalara or SureTax.
Yes, PortaBilling is able to perform real-time session authorization via Diameter (Gy). For every new data session connected on SAE-GW an authorization request is sent to the PortaBilling OCS. PortaBilling allocates a reasonable quota for this session based on the customer’s available funds or his data transfer bundle (e.g. 50MB), and locks the required funds on the customer’s account. When this amount of data is used up, a quota extension request is sent to PortaBilling and the same process is repeated. If eventually there are no available funds/quota left, the session is disconnected or (alternatively) hot-lined, and the customer is redirected to a web portal which informs him about the situation and allows him to refill the balance.
Content-based charging requires a DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) node, which analyzes IP packets and determines which category of data (social networks, emails, video streaming, etc.) is involved. Sometimes the DPI function is integrated into PCRF; alternatively, it can be a separate network element. PortaBilling provisions DPI with the required service configuration (e.g. whether customer A has separate YouTube and Facebook traffic) and performs charging via Diameter Ro.
Yes, certainly. One of PortaBilling’s greatest strengths is its flexibility in processing a variety of services, including SMS, Internet, WiFi, WiMAX and IPTV. PortaBilling supports the RADIUS and Diameter protocols for real-time charging. However, if your network equipment is unable to communicate via RADIUS or Diameter, then billing data can be imported via a CDR import, or delivered using PortaBilling API.
Yes, it can. PortaBilling does not depend on the physical carrier protocols used to transmit voice. It can authorize and charge for calls made in the 4G/LTE network using Diameter. For 3G networks, where Diameter is not available, PortaBilling can perform real-time charging through CAMEL (using a CAMEL-Diameter gateway supplied by our technology partners). Roaming charges can be imported from TAP3 CDR files using a CDR import module.
We already have several customers providing MVNO/MVNE services. Some integration is usually required (e.g. provisioning data into HLR/HSS); how much depends on the carrier’s infrastructure. For more information about MVNO integration, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes, PortaBilling includes a CDR Mediation module, which allows CDR import from a variety of file formats, including TAP3. After the CDRs are extracted from the file, they are placed in intermediate storage for mediation and then imported into PortaBilling for rating. The administrator can monitor the results, make necessary adjustments to the configuration, and re-run the rating process.
PortaBilling can collect real-time charging data using either the Diameter or RADIUS protocols.
For other types of network equipment or third-party applications, PortaBilling includes a CDR Mediation module which makes it easy to configure data import from virtually any file format.
PortaBilling supports the Diameter interface, which is the standard protocol for all authorization and charging in IMS. Specifically, it supports the Diameter Gy and Ro applications, which allow PortaBilling to function as an OCS in an IMS environment.
PortaBilling follows the 3GPP standard for IMS for real-time charging via Diameter (Gy, Ro, etc.). Therefore, it should work with any LTE EPC. We already have deployments with Huawei and ZTE EPCs, and recently PortaBilling OCS has been certified for interconnection with the Alcatel-Lucent EPC used by Sprint in the US.
The only interface not explicitly defined within IMS is the provisioning of subscriber data from B/OSS into HSS, and so EPC vendors typically use a proprietary web service API for this. PortaBilling has an open architecture for service provisioning, so it is very easy to add a plugin for a specific vendor to accommodate their provisioning API.