Test call generator

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Test call generators (TCGs) are revenue assurance solutions that replicate events on a telecoms network[1] to identify potential revenue leakage and to help achieve regulatory compliance. Both cellular and fixed-line telecom operators utilise test call generators to independently test their networks for call detail record (CDR) reconciliation and validate call start-time/duration metering and telecommunications rating. TCGs are mission-critical tools utilised by telecom operator revenue assurance departments to improve revenue capture and to validate network integrity.

Revenue assurance and test call generators

Network integrity

Test call generators are too often seen solely as an engineering tool to gauge the quality of network functions. Automated test call generators can also enhance revenue assurance by providing measures of completeness, accuracy, and timeliness.

[2]

Cellular and fixed line network testing Test call generators have the capability to test both GSM and fixed-line networks through utilising various hardware components. The components of a TCG system consists of both hardware and software, the key components are defined as:

  • Network hardware tester units - These can be either GSM units for 2G/3G testing, and fixed-line units for analogue testing.
  • System software - Generally consists of the following software modules; (1) System controller to manage the automated call execution process, (2) CDR importer to import the corresponding Operator CDRs, (3) Matching algorithm to match the operator CDRs and (4) Rating module to independently rate the CDRs.

Test call generation – revenue assurance call testing

Revenue assurance via testing

While various processes make a contribution to Revenue Assurance, it is - service usage from the subscriber’s view that is receiving the most attention among Wireless Operators. Test Systems are available that emulate the subscriber’s service usage within the operational network, and check the corresponding billing records. These are completely automated and under the direct control of the groups who validate the billing process and measure the quality of service. Though these techniques are comparatively new to Operators, they are becoming a priority across the industry for completely understanding and managing Revenue Assurance and QoS (service quality).

[3]

TCG's are utilised by telecom operators to consolidate revenue assurance strategies. They provide automated testing by executing live calls on the operators network to identify potential network performance issues and revenue leakage. TCGs produce independent rated CDRs that are reconciled against the operators CDRs to validate CDR integrity and to ultimately uncover lost revenue. Some of the services that TCGs provide are:

  1. Real-time testing for multiple call and data services e.g. voice, SMS, MMS, HTTP, mobile TV, video calling, content download (games, ringtones..)
  2. End to end call detail record reconciliation (from switch to billing)
  3. Verification testing of new tariffs
  4. CDR matching reconciliation
  5. Call rating validation for interconnect and retail billing
  6. Regulatory compliance testing (Ofcom/Sarbanes-Oxley)
  7. Network performance testing to validate new network components

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Revenue Assurance Jargon Buster". Cartesian. Retrieved 21 April 2009. A tool for creating records for testing by simulating subscriber activity and thereby causing live CDRs to be generated. 
  2. ^ Browning, Randy; Kumar, Sammy (January 2000). "Better Growth Through Revenue Integrity". PricewaterhouseCoopers. p. 10. Retrieved 2009-04-21. [dead link]
  3. ^ Adams, David (February 2004). "Realizing the revenue potential of wireless data". International Communications. Entico. Retrieved 21 April 2009. 

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