Pipeline Publishing, Volume 3, Issue 1
This Month's Issue: 
Balancing Billing 
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Pre-Paid & Post-Paid
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By Dana Porter & Yaron Morgenstern

a Convergence that Must Happen

For years, service providers have looked at and discussed pre-paid/post-paid convergence. There was no driving need to bring these two together, which left many service providers content to stick with business as usual.

Now, convergence has become an imperative. As the telecom industry undergoes significant change, service providers are focusing on new business issues that must be addressed through pre-paid/post-paid convergence: retaining and growing existing customer relationships, offering new content and data services and service bundles, and enabling flexible payment methods. This article lays out the various benefits to service providers for pre-paid/post-paid convergence.

Let  start with a definition of pre-paid/post-paid convergence. Under convergence, customers are supported by a single system, resulting in a unified view and enabling unlimited payment flexibility for all customers. However, converged solutions may vary by degree. On one end is a very limited degree where both types of customers are stored in the same database but handled by separate systems.  A fully convergent solution is where a single system handles all customers and services. For service providers seeking to offer next-generation services, a fully convergent solution is vital. It must be composed of:

  • A single customer management repository for prepaid and postpaid customers that provides a unified account view of all services.

  • A single billing or invoicing process that provides customers with the option to be invoiced by payment type or services. With one usage repository to capture events and a single discount engine for calculating and applying end-of-cycle discounts, service providers can target offers to their most valuable segments, carry out prepaid balance recharges from postpaid accounts, and offer cross-channel benefits and discounts.

"A fully convergent solution is where a single system handles all customers and services."


  •  A single product catalog that acts as a repository for all services, regardless of payment method, reducing time-to-market and streamlining the billing process.

  • A single pricing engine for rating all types of events performed by the same pricing engine and using the same product catalog. With this, service providers can provide services such as closed-user groups, shared rewards, free calls from children to parents, multiple/shared balances, spending limits, and advice-of-charge, as well as split recharges and balance transfer

Previously, the network organization operated prepaid systems and the IT organization operated postpaid systems. As each organization created and rolled out services, new systems for support were implemented, which resulted in disparate systems that are complex and expensive to maintain. The siloed approach involving multiple software licenses, vital hardware requirements and vendor relationships for the duplicated teams that support maintenance and upgrade processes has resulted in high operating expenses and organizational inefficiency. Thisis a price mobile service providers cannot afford to keep paying.

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