Pipeline Publishing, Volume 3, Issue 6
This Month's Issue: 
Avoiding Snares 
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Environments get Savvy;
Revenues go Missing

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By Richard Kane

Service providers need the tools to recoup lost revenue opportunities in an increasingly complex network arena

The large, internationally known service provider can provide the quadruple play, differentiate itself in a competitive landscape and boast a highly evolved network.

Still, this high profile service provider hasn’t reached its full potential – and the reasons are revenue leakage and fraud. As service providers continue their quest for market share, their networks grow into sophisticated entities that put a wealth of information at the provider’s fingertips. How to capture and effectively analyze and use that data is where the challenge lies. This challenge is magnified when the word “revenue” enters the scenario because a wealth of information doesn’t always equal a wealth of revenue.

Therefore, today’s service providers need network solutions not only to capture and analyze this data so they can both realize and recoup revenues, but also to be able to do so in real time, thus further increasing revenue potential.

Moving beyond stopgap solutions

Service providers need to understand a network’s architecture, what inefficiencies exist, and what types of missed billing opportunities they can capture. That creates another set of needs. These carriers need to be able to view the records easily so that they can determine who to bill. In that vein, they need the jurisdictional information to make sure everything is done correctly. They also need to know who sent the call and what type of call it was, so that the terminating provider knows what to charge.

"The solution could be an in-house system that monitors network traffic. "

Obviously, the problem is magnified as the service provider gains more and more new customers, and is made much more complex with the addition of re-seller plans. A vicious circle begins with more customers demanding more services over a more sophisticated network, which the service provider hasn’t yet fully leveraged.

Clearly, a solution is in order.

Consider this: An already large and successful national service provider has increased its call volume exponentially in the past few years. With all that new traffic, call tracking and cost allocation become more important than ever.

The solution could be an in-house system that monitors network traffic. But that solution may not provide all the necessary resources, such as the ability to associate cost to calls. Another important requirement would be the capability to track each call going across the network and apply cost to each call individually. Many solutions can track the calls, but telling the provider how much the transactions are costing from an operational standpoint is another matter entirely. An effective platform would be able to do this in a way that is both user-friendly and customizable.

Today’s answer

For example, the service provider needs a traffic analysis, management and reporting system that performs comprehensive, network-wide processing in real time. This gives the carrier useful, revenue-recouping, and revenue-generating data about its network.



All of that leads to the widespread problem that all carriers want to avoid: phantom traffic. Many times, a call-originating provider will strip information that identifies the call’s origins – either through neglect or purposeful fraud. That means that the call gets terminated for reduced or incorrect access charges, or potentially at no cost, which, of course, translates into a lost revenue opportunity. What’s more, after the call is terminated, the service provider who has terminated the call has no recourse; blocking the call reduces revenue opportunity and invites contractual issues.


Thus, the ability to quickly accrue for costs, audit invoices, and perform revenue studies can enable the service provider to avoid costly revenue – and legal – implications. Accurate auditing, accrual, and percentage interstate usage (PIU) studies can further increase revenue opportunities and efficiencies.

This revenue assurance confirms that revenue is being accurately billed. All customer and reference data is accounted for and cross-referenced against billing systems, thus leading to a greater return on investment.


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