GSM - Billing

GSM service providers are doing billing based on the services they are providing to their customers. All the parameters are simple enough to charge a customer for the provided services.

This chapter provides an overview of the frequently used billing techniques and parameters applied to charge a GSM subscriber.

Telephony Service

These services can be charged on per call basis. The call initiator has to pay the charges, and the incoming calls are nowadays free. A customer can be charged based on different parameters such as −

  • International call or long distance call.

  • Local call.

  • Call made during peak hours.

  • Call made during night time.

  • Discounted call during weekends.

  • Call per minute or per second.

  • Many more other criteria can be designed by a service provider to charge their customers.

SMS Service

Most of the service providers charge their customer's SMS services based on the number of text messages sent. There are other prime SMS services available where service providers charge more than normal SMS charge. These services are being availed in collaboration of Television Networks or Radio Networks to demand SMS from the audiences.

Most of the time, the charges are paid by the SMS sender but for some services like stocks and share prices, mobile banking facilities, and leisure booking services, etc. the recipient of the SMS has to pay for the service.

GPRS Services

Using GPRS service, you can browse, play games on the Internet, and download movies. So a service provider will charge you based on the data uploaded as well as data downloaded on your mobile phone. These charges will be based on per Kilo Byte data downloaded/uploaded.

Additional parameter could be a QoS provided to you. If you want to watch a movie, then a low QoS may work because some data loss may be acceptable, but if you are downloading a zip file, then a single byte loss will corrupt your complete downloaded file.

Another parameter could be peak and off peak time to download a data file or to browse the Internet.

Supplementary Services

Most of the supplementary services are being provided based on monthly rental or absolutely free. For example, call waiting, call forwarding, calling number identification, and call on hold are available at zero cost.

  • Call barring is a service, which service providers use just to recover their dues, etc., otherwise this service is not being used by any subscriber.

  • Call conferencing service is a form of simple telephone call where the customers are charged for multiple calls made at a time. No service provider charges extra charge for this service.

  • Closed User Group (CUG) is very popular and is mainly being used to give special discounts to the users if they are making calls to a particular defined group of subscribers.

  • Advice of Charge (AoC) can be charged based on number of queries made by a subscriber.