Telecom Billing Terminologies/Glossary


Term Description
24x7 architectureAn architecture that allows a computer system to operate continuously with the absolute minimum of downtime. This typically includes the ability to upgrade components of the system (hardware, software, data, etc.) without the need for the whole system to go offline.
access service requestA request made by one telephone company to another telephone company to meet any kind of interconnectivity or data sharing need. Abbreviation: ASR.
account The entity that is invoiced.
account action thresholdThe threshold value that triggers an external action as part of an account threshold set.
account available creditThe amount used to determine if further authorizations can be granted.
account balance The total amount billed minus the total amount paid.
account credit bufferAn addition to an account's credit limit that can be used to compensate for non-cash resource bundles available to an account; for example, free minutes of telephone calls when performing an authorization credit check.
account currency The currency used for an account. All transactions on the account must be in the account currency.
account number A unique identifier for an account that can be either system-generated or entered manually.
account start dateThe time and date that an account is deemed to have started.
account statusThe status of an account that indicates which stage of its life cycle the account is at. Valid life cycle stages include pending, live, awaiting final bill, suspended, and terminated.
account suspensionA period during which billing should not take place for the account.
account unpaid spend The account unpaid spend is defined as the account balance minus total adjustments plus unbilled usage plus the total of accumulated partial events.
accounting methodThe method by which invoices and payments are handled. This can be either open item or balance forward.
accounting periodA period of time, expressed in terms of a fiscal year and period within that year, that can be used when exporting financial information from Infinys.
accounts receivableThe outstanding balance due on current customer accounts. Abbreviation: A/R.
accrualsThis is the U.K. English equivalent to earned but unbilled accruals.
active account An account that is live and can be billed.
adjustmentA method of crediting or debiting an account with an arbitrary amount of money.
advice of charge requestA message sent from the network element to Prepaid System to request information on how much a given event would cost if initiated.
age of receivables The number of days between the actual bill date of the unpaid invoice and today's date.
agreement A contractual business relationship established by the operator with its business partners. The agreement enables the partners to offer services to the operator's customers and to share the revenue with the operator.
APMNStands for associated PMN.
application programming interface The interface (calling conventions) by which an application program accesses operating systems and other services. An application programming interface is defined at the source-code level and provides a level of abstraction between the application and the kernel (or other privileged utilities) to ensure the portability of the code. Abbreviation: API.
associated PMN A public mobile network associated with a specified event. Abbreviation: APMN.
asymmetric digital subscriber line A technology for transmitting digital information at a high bandwidth on existing telephone lines to homes and businesses. Abbreviation: ADSL.
asynchronous transfer mode A wireline protocol that supports data communication (with separate bandwidth controls for different types of transfer) over data connection facilities. Abbreviation: ATM.
audit trailA record that is added to whenever a transaction with a financial implication is made.
authentication The process of verifying that a user is who he or she claims to be. The user supplies a user ID and an authentication credential, such as a password. The system accepts these as inputs and verifies that the user is valid and has access to the system.
authorization The process of verifying what an authenticated user is allowed to do.
balance forwardAn accounting method in which payments and invoices are allocated to the oldest receivables (invoice).
balance transferA transfer of money between accounts.
Banks Automated Clearing SystemA system for processing automatic payment collections and refunds on bank accounts, credit cards, or debit cards. Abbreviation: BACS.
BIDDSStands for Barclays International Direct Debit Service and it is a system for processing automatic payment collections on bank accounts
bill imageAn on-screen version of a bill as sent to the customer.
bill template A template used by the Bill Formatting Engine for producing bills.
bill typeA categorization of a bill based on its purpose, timing, and content. Examples are initiation bill, periodic bill, final bill, post-final bill, interim bill or credit note.
billing time discountA discount that is applied to an event at billing time, changing the cost of the event as written to the database. Billing time discounts include pre-itemization discounts, tax discounts, post-itemization discounts, aggregate pricing discounts, and banded discounts.
billing windowThe length of time that the billing operator can generate product charges in advance of the next bill period.
bundle See package.
busy hourThe peak time for network traffic.
calling circleA relationship between telephone users, who are modelled as members and non-members of the circle. Within this model, a call made by a member of the circle to another circle member might be priced using a different rate to that applied to a non-member making the same call.
Calling Line IdentifierThe telephone line from which a telephone call originates. Abbreviation: CLI.
CAMELStands for customized applications for mobile network enhanced logic.
carrier grade real-timeThe instantaneous handling of actions, such as rating of events, in volumes that meet the needs of Tier 1 operators. A carrier grade real-time system provides the combined functionality and operational robustness that Tier 1 operators require.
catalogA set of configurable data specifying price plans and other related information. The catalog's position in the catalog life cycle is indicated by its catalog status
CDR A record of a telephony event. Abbreviation: CDR.
Centrex Centrex or CENTRalised EXchange is a service offered by telecom service providers that allocates a section of a public telephone switch to dedicated use by a single organization. It gives the customer the functionality of a private telephone switch without the need for in-house telecom equipment or expertise, and is especially useful for small companies.
charge type Examples: initiation charge, periodic charge, final charge, termination charge, reactivation charge and usage charge.
chasable debt This is the U.K. English equivalent to net receivables.
child product A product the purchase of which is dependent upon the purchase of another product.
collection action An action that is to be performed when the receivables for an account reach a particular age.
collection schedule The series of actions to be taken as receivables become older, that is, reach a defined effective age of receivables. It defines which dunning action must be carried out and timing for each action.
collection systemA system that is available for the handling of receivables. Each collection action is associated with a collection system through which it is implemented.
contact A person with whom the operator has contact for a given customer. Each contact can have a designated language (to be used in any correspondence, to have communication with, etc.).
contractA commitment from the customer to take one or more products for a set period of time, usually in return for a cheaper price plan. Contracts can be either fixed contracts or variable contracts.
contract termThe duration of a contract. This determines the date for calculating early termination surcharges, and (for fixed contracts) how long the price is fixed for.
convergent billingThe ability to take any number and combination of products and services and consolidate them into a single bill, regardless of the type of product and market segment.
credit class The credit category for an account or customer. It summarizes the overall credit worthiness of a customer or account.
credit exposureThe estimated maximum potential liability of an account considering all events (including partial events and authorizations) that Infinys is aware of. The credit exposure of an account is defined as the total billed for the account minus the total payments received for the account plus unbilled rated events minus total adjustments for the account plus the cost of accumulated partial event plus the outstanding amount relating to pre-authorized events.
credit limit The total amount of liability that the Infinys operator is prepared to allow a particular customer or account to have.
credit note An extra bill containing all adjustments in the customer's favor since the last bill was generated.
customerA legal grouping entity for accounts. A customer can purchase packages, subscriptions, and products that then are billed on one or more accounts.
customer hierarchyA flexible accounting structure used to represent the actual structure of a billed entity.
day book A financial report listing all transactions of a specific type that occurred on a specific day; for example, sales, payments or disputes.
debt actionThis is the U.K. English equivalent to collections
debt ageThis is the U.K. English equivalent to age of receivables
deposit The amount of money held against an account in parallel with the account balance, usually to offset possible failure to return equipment, non-payment of bills, etc.
discount application A discount application describes the type of discount that can be applied to modify an event's price.
discount period The period of time during which a particular event discount applies. For example, for a discount where a customer receives 30 minutes of free telephone calls every two weeks, the discount period is two weeks.
dispute A record of a disagreement raised by a customer or partner, typically in reference to a charge. An Infinys user may raise, track, and resolve disputes.
dunning noticeA written notification that is sent to the customer of a delinquent account asking for payment.
duplicate eventA duplicate event is defined as any unbilled event that relates to another unbilled event in all of the following ways: the account numbers are identical, the event sources are identical, the event type IDs are identical, the cost center IDs are identical, the event dates and times are identical.
early termination surchargeA charge generated when products on a contract are terminated before the end of the contract (including when the contract as a whole is terminated).
electronic funds transfer The transfer of money from one financial institution to another over an electronic network. Abbreviation: EFT.
event A distinct incident that occurs at a particular point in time and which has event attributes that allow it to be rated. For example, a telephone call, an Internet download, or the viewing of a program.
event attributeA feature of an event that allows it to be rated, discounted, etc. For example, a telephony event may have attributes, which describe the time it occurred, the duration of the call, the number dialed, and the type of call .
failed paymentA physical payment that has not been successful; for example, a check payment rejected due to lack of funds.
final billA bill generated when an account is terminated to bill all outstanding charges that are due. If necessary, it can be followed by a post-final bill.
fixed contract A contract where the price of the product(s) on the contract is fixed at the start of the contract.
foreign network operatorA network operator other than the Billing System network operator. A foreign network operator may have an interconnect accounting agreement with the host network operator that allows events to be passed between the two networks. Abbreviation: FNO.
foreign PMNA public mobile network owned by another network operator. Abbreviation: FPMN.
general ledgerThe accounting records that show all the financial statement accounts of a business. Abbreviation: GL.
home PMNThe home public mobile network of a customer making roaming mobile telephone calls. Abbreviation: HPMN.
host network operatorThe network operator with which the Billing System operator is associated.
in-advance tariff This is the U.K. English equivalent to in-advance price plan.
Incumbent Local Exchange CarrierThe term for a Local Exchange Carrier following deregulation of the telecommunications industry. Abbreviation: ILEC.
intelligent networkA service-independent telecommunications network. Intelligence is taken out of the switch and placed in computer nodes that are distributed throughout the network. This provides the network operator with the means to develop and control services more efficiently. New capabilities can be rapidly introduced into the network and easily customized to meet individual customer's needs.
interconnect accounting agreement A breakdown of events to facilitate the reconciliation of outbound interconnect call detail records, that is, call detail records for which an invoice will be received. Abbreviation: IAA.
interim bill A bill generated in addition to the periodic bills generated for an account. AKA interim invoice
interstate call A type of telephone call with an origin (dialing number) and destination (dialed number) within different U.S. states.
intrastate call A type of telephone call with an origin (dialing number) and destination (dialed number) within the same U.S. state. State regulators have jurisdiction over intrastate calls.
invoice A legal document demanding payment for one or more product instances, and their associated events, for a single account.
itemization Detailed breakdown of one or more items of the invoice; for example, a list of requested films from a pay-per-view television channel.
late eventAn event that occurs while a rating time discount is applicable but is not entered into the Billing database until after the discount's period of applicability has ended.
leased line A dedicated line used to transmit voice, data, or video and charged by a fixed monthly fee.
local number portabilityLocal Number Portability (LNP) is the process that allows a customer to keep their telephone number when they change their operator in their same geographic area. Local number portability requires that service providers release their control of one of their assigned telephone numbers so customers can transfer to a competitive provider without having to change their telephone number. LNP also involves providing access to databases of telephone numbers to competing companies that allow them to determine the destination of telephone calls delivered to a local service area.
local toll call A toll call carried by the Local Exchange Carrier that is within a Local Access Transport Area.
lockbox A check processing service.
logical inventory The intangible assets of a company. For example: IP addresses, calling card numbers, and telephone access numbers are examples of logical inventory.
long distance call A call carried across Local Access Transport Areas by a long distance carrier or Inter Exchange Carrier.
loyalty points The points awarded as products are purchased and/or used. They may be redeemed for goods as specified by the service provider.
market segment An optional categorization of a customer, such as a senior citizen or college student, that is used to filter and price available offers. Examples: senior citizen, college student, AAA member, etc.
mediationA process for retrieving usage records (such as call detail records) from the network equipment.
MOC Stands for mobile originated call. An outgoing mobile telephone call. Specifically with a TAP file this is recognized as a type of TAP event. Abbreviation: MOC.
MSISDN Stands for Mobile Station International Standard Dialing Number.
MTCStands for Mobile Terminated Call. An incoming mobile phone call. Specifically with a TAP file this is recognized as a type of TAP event. Abbreviation: MTC.
net receivablesThe maximum receivables that can be chased on an account or an invoice, calculated using the equation total receivables minus any pending disputes raised against the account/invoice minus pending or exported payment requests relating to the account/invoice.
network elementThe control element on the network that is responsible for controlling and metering events for any type of service that uses Billing System to rate usage.
network operator A body responsible for the operation of a network; for example, the company that runs a telephone network.
nominal bill dateThe date a bill created via the Billing Engine was scheduled or requested to be produced. This may differ by several days from the actual bill date if billing is run late or infrequently.
Number Translation Service A service such as an 0800 or 0898 call provider.
numbering plan area The first three digits of a North American telephone number referred to as the area code.
offering The collection of items that is sold to the customer as a single marketing entity.
operational support systemA system that helps service providers manage computer network problems. Abbreviation: OSS.
override priceA change to the standard price plan price for a product, defined individually for a customer.
package A defined group of products that are sold together as a unit at a pre-defined price.
parametric productA product that can have a quantity associated with it, so that a customer can, for example, take 200 Centrex lines or 14 miles of leased lines and have it appear as a single item.
parent productA product that can be purchased without any dependencies.
partner accountThe account that is created under an agreement and is invoiced for charges that are specific to managing the account.
payload The physical message that is sent through the Event Service to an external system. Payloads are of different types, such as a class name and object identifier, a name/value pair, or an XML document.
payment authorization request A request sent to a payment authority (bank, credit card service, etc.) to confirm, update, or cancel an automatic payment authorization.
payment due dateThe defined period of time (usually expressed in days) after an invoice is produced, when payment of that invoice should be received.
payment methodThe way in which the customer can make payment; for example, direct debit, check.
payment request post-processor A post-processor used to convert payment request format files containing payments into formats suitable for BACS and BIDDS.
pending productA product that is not yet active
periodic bill A bill produced at regular intervals depending on the bill period specified for the account.
periodic charge A product charge that is applied every charge period. Example: a line rental charge.
PMN agreementA roaming agreement between the Billing operator and its roaming partners.
port in The process of importing logical item identifiers, such as telephone access numbers, from another service provider into the Billing operator's inventory. A configuration must support ranges in order to port in access numbers
port out The process of exporting logical item identifiers, such as telephone access numbers, to another vendor. A configuration must support ranges in order to port out access numbers.
prepayment An amount invoiced in advance of a particular date (for example, the end of an accounting period) for goods and services that are to be provided after that date; for example, pay in advance line rental charges.
Private Branch ExchangeA computerized on-site telephony system, usually used by business customers. Abbreviation: PBX.
product A tangible or intangible object that is offered to the customer to buy or lease. A product may be for continual service, equipment, or for field work activity
product attributeA quality or distinctive feature of a product that is defined by the CSR during configuration. A mobile telephony product may define product attributes for the MSISDN and IMSI.
product charge A charge of a particular charge type generated by a product.
proratable tariff A price plan wherein the charge for a product may be rated in proportion to a part period at the start or end of supply.
quarantine A period after deactivation during which a logical item, such as a telephone number, cannot be assigned to a different holder. When a quarantine has been applied to an item, the item is not available for assignment until the quarantine expires.
rate planA plan that defines all the rules and parameters that enable the Rating Engine to determine a price for a single event; for example, a telephone call, pay-per-view event, or home shopping selection.
rating The method of determining the cost for individual events.
rating time discount A discount that is applied to an event at rating time, changing the cost of the event as written to the database. A rating discount is an example of a rating time discount.
real-time ratingThe process of receiving and rating events individually or in small groups, rather than in large batches. Real-time rating minimizes delays between an event's creation and rating.
receivable classThis class is used to categorize a bill into bill receivables and to assign a payment priority to each bill receivable.
refund The monies paid back to the customer, either automatically (for example, directly into their bank account via BACS) or interactively (for example, by sending them a check). Refunds are treated as negative physical payments.
reissued bill A bill reissued at the recipient's request to replace an original that may have been misplaced or gone astray in the post.
rejected eventAny event that cannot be rated. For example, this could be because the event source cannot be found or the event record is corrupt.
rerating The action of recalculating the price of events at billing time, typically to reduce them in response to event discounts.
revenue assuranceA check that no rated events are being lost, that is, that the number and total value of events entered for an account are equal to the number and total value of rated events that are billed for that account.
roamer event An event produced by the customer of a foreign PMN when roaming on an Infinys operator's network.
roaming A mobile telephone term indicating that a customer has made a call, which is serviced by a network operator other than their home network operator. This occurs when the customer is traveling in an area that is not serviced by their home network operator.
sales agent The personnel at a communication service provider who is primarily concerned with driving initial sales to new customers.
service provider The provider of a service.
settlement A payment made between partners as a result of processing and reconciling transactions in accordance with a partner agreement and its revenue sharing terms.
settlement periodThe period for which settlement amounts between the Infinys operator and a merchant are reported on and settled for with regard to a group of services or products.
shopping The process of viewing available offers and selecting one or more offers with the intent to purchase.
SIM A removable module that is inserted into a mobile terminal (GSM handset or fax). The card contains all subscriber-related data, such as access numbers, service details, and memory for storing messages. Abbreviation: SIM.
SLA Service Level Agreement.
SMS 'short messaging service' or 'service management system'.
TADIG error codeAn error code used within TAP file transfer, as defined by the Transferred Account Data Interchange Group. Error codes are detailed in TD.57.
TAP File Export TAP3 system process that creates TAP3 files for export.
TAP File ImportTAP3 system process that imports TAP3 files from a PMN.
trunk line A long distance line that directly links two telephone exchanges.
unbillableAn account is marked unbillable when billing of the account cannot be completed.
unit based rating The method of rating events in which the duration of units and price per unit can be specified and the event duration is always rounded up to the next unit boundary.
V-H rating A rating method that determines the cost of an event by defining vertical (V) and horizontal (H) coordinates to the source and destination locations and computing the distance between them. Also known as X-Y rating, or the Cartesian coordinate geographic model.
value added serviceA communication facility for the transmission and provision of additional features. For example, the ability to transmit stock market quotations on demand. Abbreviation: VAS.
vanity itemAn item identifier that is considered more desirable than others. A vanity is an optional element that is associated only with configurations that support ranges for logical inventory.
vanity mask The numeric pattern or exact value of each format element in an identifier.
vendorThe supplier of a particular product or service.
visited PMNA public mobile network used by a customer while they are roaming. Abbreviation: VPMN
voice over Internet protocolThe routing of voice conversations over the Internet or any other IP network. The voice data flows over a general-purpose packet-switched network, instead of the traditional dedicated, circuit-switched voice transmission lines. Abbreviated: VoIP.
volume product discountA particular discount that allows customer loyalty to be rewarded by providing discounts based on the number of events or product charges that a certain product generates.
wirelessA telephone service that uses electromagnetic waves to carry a signal, rather than sending it via cable or wires. Wireless handsets are sometimes known as cellphones or mobile phones.
wirelineA conventional telephone service that allows voice, video, and data transmissions via a network of wires. Also known as landline or fixed-line.
write off The disregarding of a small amount of receivables. For example, this may occur if the currency conversion of a payment made in a currency other than the account currency returns a number slightly smaller than the invoice.
zero activity accountAn account for which, during a bill period, no product charges (for example, periodic charges) are in force, no usage (that is, no events) have been attributed, no discount has been attributed, and no adjustments apply.