Chapter 9: Billing and Mediation Services

Cisco Press

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Mediation Service vendors are now offering services that range from basic mediation (capture and aggregation of call events, generation of multiple CDR formats) to database-centric services such as reporting and analysis. Some also offer more sophistication via certain value-add modules for various rating methods and correlation services. Correlation will become a critical component in the coming days as we see VoIP calls being tied up with web access, audio/video conferencing, and telepresence in deployments.

Summary

Billing and mediation are important revenue-affecting pieces of any VoIP-based service. With so many VoIP protocols and small service providers and businesses launching VoIP, it is imperative that billing procedures are standardized and formats picked up prior to launch of service.

The global growth of VoIP-based systems presents several challenges to the service provider with regard to data capture, processing, and billing. Mediation software plays a key role in VoIP networks. It accepts data from various network elements (for example, softswitches, media servers, signaling gateways, and service development platforms) and transforms it into industry-standard billing data structures that can be used by virtually any billing system, including the legacy voice billing system of a service provider.

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