When i first started building a billing system for the company i used to work for (5 or 6 years ago) i didn’t have a good idea of the theory behind telecom billing (They don’t really teach you that at school). I basically had to develop my own theories and do the trial-error thing.
I needed to have a database that included customer contact info, services to be billed (telephone lines, PRI, ADSL, etc) and rates for long distance calls, so i set up a MySQL database server with tables that contained this data. Then got myself a reporting tool that will generate reports based on that info; and those reports were going to be the actual invoices to be sent to the customers.
Well, it was not!…
Getting the reports to capture the customer information and to show the services provided and the charges associated with them was pretty simple, but to charge each individual long distance call based on specific rates depending on the country/city the customer was calling to was a real challenge. You have to parse the country code from the originating telephone number and then match it with the proper rate. Country codes are all different, but some times a country code contains part of another code which makes things way more complicated.
On top of that, there is the provider CDR (Call Detail Record) which is the long distance usage for all your customers, and that usually comes in a .csv file. We had 3 different providers at the time, all with different CDR formats, so i had to spend hours every month in order to modify this files and make a ‘master’ one with a standard format that my reports (Invoices) could read.
Now you see how complicated things are when it comes to Telecom Billing. Specially when you want to bill services like Long Distance. And believe me, i looked around for a software that could do all this at affordable prices, and all i could find were these consulting companies that will charge you literally thousands of dollars to build a system like this for you. There were a couple of softwares that did all this, but they were so complicated (and still expensive) that you would end up spending an insane amount of resources and consulting fees just to set it up and get it up an running.
Our idea here at easytelecombilling.com is to develop a web application that you can access from anywhere and that it’s ready to start billing your customers. As simple as that! You throw your CDR’s in, set up (or import) your customers. Press a button and that’s it. Your invoices are ready. Our servers will do the hard work i was talking about, not you.
Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested or if you have any questions about your telecom billing needs.