Home References What is OTT billing?

An OTT module enables processing, authorization and billing for on-demand transactional content in real-time. It is sometimes also referred to as VOD (video-on-demand) and is in great demand these days being a more intelligent way of providing on-demand transactions. OTT services allow the subscribers to order contents at their convenience- anywhere, any time.

An unending selection of advanced over-the-top (OTT) services and applications capable of running on all types of mobile and fixed devices is constantly developing the connected life. The constant evolution of the customer’s experience significantly changes the way users communicate, recreate, socialize, consume content, work and shop. This level of data consumption drives networks to their limits, pushing up competition in the OTT services space. OTT providers, along with telecom operators, face a growing need to offer a differentiated user experience. OTT players offer a significant challenge to operators. Thus, earning revenues from the investments made in OTT and the multi-screen delivery of OTT contents has always remained a challenge for service operators.

Billing and CRM for OTT operators

Content digitization and the availability of unlimited high-speed internet access and piling media devices have brought a new era in OTT services. This extends a major opportunity for content bearers and service providers to address the customer need everywhere.

From the billing perspective, most of the present billing systems may be unable to define customers without any physical identity. Thus, OTT billing should be an enabler to the mobile service providers in order to capitalize on their existing business models without becoming a barrier to the winning customers. Such a scenario necessitates the requirement of an innovative billing system, capable of recognizing customers on the basis of their interests and support event based postpaid and pre-paid billing integrated with a third party software.

The challenges with OTT billing are:

  1. Enabling an additional revenue source

A major challenge face by mobile service providers is the deployment of a common platform for billing as well as management of the entire list of digital services.

The mBAS direct billing platform serves as a single platform for this purpose- for OTT, VAS along with other digital services. Thus, a mobile-based payment made for the digital content at any app store is available to be attached to the subscriber’s billing. This allows the service operator to serve as a digital service distributor and collect additional revenue through service sales along with partnership.

  1. Obtaining a market-edge in DCB

Attaining a competitive edge in a rapidly changing business scenario has become a priority for every mobile service provider today. Various features like event-based charging for mobile service providers, access control management and subscription management etc. serve as a solution.

Tips for preparing a strategy for OTT Billing

  1. Gather meaningful data

The right kind of data is always an effective means. Collecting the network usage data is the very first step effective in dealing with the OTT challenge. Valuable information is attained by realizing the 4 Ws: who consumed the data, when it was consumed, what kind of data usage it was and where it was used. These four aspects, in a combined way help in completely understanding the network traffic.

  1. Analyze data usage patterns

Following the receipt of the traffic data, it becomes essential to plot the data in order to understand the consumption pattern and anomalies. Plotting the data allows to identify the top users and understand what, when and where is causing traffic congestion.

  1. Model and test billing policies

There arrives the time to figure out the best fitted policy for your network and subscribers. Modeling various policies helps in pinpointing the type of action required and the number of customers going to get affected by it.

Accompanied by the right data and its right analysis, one can come up with the right policies guaranteeing the desired revenue.

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