HP and Amdocs have demonstrated that telecom service providers can use existing billing infrastructure to charge for the exciting new services that are enabled in emerging Internet Protocol (IP) Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) networks.
The finding by HP and Amdocs shows that service providers can move more quickly to IMS environments – and to the advanced voice, data and multimedia services that generate higher revenues.
The IMS billing interoperability test was based on the HP Internet Usage Manager (IUM) 5.0 and Amdocs Billing 7.5. HP IUM is a widely-deployed charging manager and provides the foundation for real time charging through Amdocs 7.5 for this joint solution.
“HP and Amdocs have shown they can remove a significant barrier to IMS adoption,” says Ronald Gruia, principal analys at Frost and Sullivan. “If operators can use existing billing solutions in IMS networks – and avoid ‘forklift’ upgrades, they can migrate more quickly to IMS networks – at much lower cost and risk.”
The tested service scenarios included both event-based and session-based charging for a VoIP call, enabling charging for a single data-related event or for a voice call based on its duration. In both scenarios, the HP IUM Charging Manager handled transaction and session control, receiving data and usage records in real time from the IMS core network through a standard Diameter interface. HP IUM then successfully passed the charging relevant information, through the Diameter interface, to the Amdocs IMS charging system that determined the amount of the charge and then charged the subscriber’s account.
“Amdocs and HP are helping service providers move a step closer to the advantages of IMS networks, lower operational costs and greater revenue opportunities,” says Keith Bothma, district sales manager: Communications, Media and Entertainment at HP. “Industry standards and interoperability are the foundation, and HP will continue to work with the IMS/NGN Forum and leaders like Amdocs to drive standards-based technologies for IMS environments.”
Most service providers are evolving away from proprietary, “silo-ed” architectures toward the more open, service-oriented IMS-based networks – in an effort to reduce cost, increase flexibility, and enhance revenue with a wide range of content-rich, personalized services.
“Amdocs is focused on delivering charging systems that enable service providers to maximize their investment in IMS and drive a superior customer experience,” says Charles Born, vice-president of corporate communications at Amdocs. “As the industry continues to evolve, Amdocs is committed to the standards that will support current and future requirements for migrating to IMS technologies.”
The test was conducted by the IMS/NGN Forum, a telecommunications industry association devoted to IMS interoperability as well as next generation network (NGN) service delivery architecture and solutions. The billing interoperability test was one of a series of multi-vendor events, called Plugfests, held quarterly in the IMS/NGN Forum Interoperability Lab at the University of New Hampshire.
The HP and Amdocs test was part of the recently concluded Plugfest IV, which was the first to focus on demonstrating the integration of business and operational support systems (BSS and OSS) in the IMS architecture.
HP is a member of the IMS/NGN Forum board and is actively driving the integration of BSS and OSS into the IMS architecture.