What Is Telecom Billing & How It Works

Published 10 Jun 2024

Managing finances efficiently is essential for telecommunications resellers who are looking to sustain growth and profitability. In this rapidly evolving industry, the complexities of telecom billing can be difficult to effectively manage without the help of a best-in-class telecom billing solution.

For telecom resellers, the challenges of accurately and efficiently handling nuanced billing operations while scaling their business remain top of mind. This article will help you navigate everything you need to know about what telecom billing is, how it’s done, and how telecom billing software can help you overcome common telecom billing obstacles.

 

WHAT IS TELECOM BILLING

Telecom billing includes the collection, processing, and presentation of billing data for telecom services such as voice, data, and internet. This process encompasses everything from usage tracking and invoicing to payment collection and financial reporting.

The telecom billing cycle typically begins with gathering service usage files, typing the calls, applying charges and taxes, and generating and sending a customer invoice. The process also includes the time and effort it takes to record customer payments and make any necessary adjustments.

 

THE BILL CYCLES IN TELECOM BILLING

Telecom bill cycles fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Prepaid Billing: With prepaid billing, customers will pay upfront and are charged in real-time as they use the service. They regularly receive statements detailing their charges at pre-determined intervals, such as weekly, biweekly, or monthly.
  2. Postpaid Billing: This is the most common billing method used by telecom resellers. In the postpaid billing cycle, customers use the service first and are billed after based on their usage during a set period of time. At the end of each billing cycle, an invoice is created and sent to the customer, who can then pay online, over the phone, or by mail. Billing cycles typically range from 30 to 90 days.
  3. Convergent Billing: The telecom industry is no stranger to convergence, even in bill cycles. The convergent billing method combines all services into a single invoice, whether prepaid or postpaid. Unlike traditional billing systems that separate services, convergent billing unifies them into one overall invoice. This makes the telecom billing process more complex, especially for customers using multiple services or custom contracts, but it offers a streamlined and comprehensive billing experience that many customers prefer.

HOW TELECOM BILLING SOLUTIONS WORK

By automating standard tasks, telecom billing solutions help streamline the overall telecom billing process for resellers. Designed to increase efficiency throughout the billing process, telecom billing software enables resellers to grow revenue by reducing operational costs, minimizing billing errors, and improving overall customer satisfaction.

With automated billing solutions like Rev.io Billing, resellers can quickly introduce new services, manage a large volume of transactions, and offer flexible pricing plans to attract a wider customer base. Moreover, these systems provide detailed reporting tools and analytics that help telecom resellers gain insights into revenue trends and common customer behavior, allowing for more informed and effective business decisions going forward.

Effective telecom billing software includes features that enable telecom resellers to:

  • Configure quotes, proposals, and orders
  • Optimize customer profiles
  • Ensure accurate bills while maximizing efficiency
  • Accurately rate and capture customers’ usage
  • Achieve dependable tax compliance
  • Automate bill distribution and manage collections
  • Utilize fully integrated payment processing
  • Automate outreach to customers with past-due accounts

Telecom billing solutions can serve as the software backbone of your telecom reseller business, helping your team optimize their efforts and focus on the work that helps your company grow. While not all telecom billing software is created equally, the right telecom billing solutions solve a variety of problems that every telecom reseller faces including:

 

THE TELECOM BILLING CHALLENGES

  1. WASTED TIME & RESOURCES

What could your existing billing team do with more time in their day? At their core, telecom billing solutions help shave hours of time off your team’s billing management process. Automated billing software allows you to reallocate your team’s resources and finite time to initiatives that drive business growth rather than maintain standard levels of operation.

  1. SWIVEL-CHAIR BETWEEN SYSTEMS

Not every telecom billing solution is created equally. The best systems fully integrate with the tech stack you already rely on to help simplify your processes. For example, Rev.io Billing’s comprehensive REST API integrations help reduce the swivel-chair between every system that is essential for your reseller business to thrive.

  1. REVENUE ROADBLOCKS

To avoid revenue roadblocks and beat your competition to market, it’s essential that you can create scalability for launching new products and targeting different market segments. The right telecom billing solution will help your reseller business achieve faster growth.

  1. LACK OF REPORTING & INSIGHTS

Telecom resellers hoping to run a smarter business can utilize telecom billing solutions with customizable reports and built-in data insights to identify strengths, pinpoint weaknesses, and better understand their customers’ needs and behaviors.

 

THE BENEFITS OF TELECOM BILLING SOLUTIONS

For many fast-growing communications businesses, back-office modernization remains an ongoing priority. And within every back office, billing plays a critical role.

So how will the right telecom billing software set your company up for success as you expand into new offerings, gain additional customers, and stay ahead of the competition? Consider five ways that a modern billing solution like Rev.io Billing helps your business grow.

AUTOMATE YOUR DAY-TO-DAY

You would be amazed how much time and energy billing managers can save simply by automating the most standard tasks. By eliminating these manual responsibilities, many of which can lead to human error, your billing managers can prioritize higher-value tasks. Learn how our client Spectrotel saved over $1 million in operating costs, reducing its back-office staff down to just two employees, with help from Rev.io’s automated telecom billing platform.

EVOLVE YOUR OFFERING

Your growing business has ambitious goals. Maybe you plan to expand your existing offering. Or maybe you’re focusing on launching new products in other market segments. Either way, each move will require an evolution of your billing and back office. So how will you adapt?

With a scalable solution, your team can tailor its billing and customer management to the unique requirements of the evolving solutions you offer. By choosing a telecom billing system with advanced configuration – from lines of service to fields, tabs, product catalogs, recurring charges, usage rating, and more – you can feel prepared to scale a new communications offering, regardless of the specific billing formats it requires.

PLUG REVENUE LEAKAGE

Revenue collection for your business can feel rather straightforward. But what are the ongoing operational risks associated with billing your customers?

For a telecom billing platform that your team operates manually, you have the potential to undercharge customers for your services. This problem is especially relevant to billing for connected devices involving customer usage. If the system is outdated and unable to rate this usage accurately, then your business may leave significant revenue on the table. Thankfully, cutting-edge solutions exist to help you avoid this dilemma.

SCALE FOR RAPID GROWTH

Your business continues to add new clients and grow at a rapid rate. Great news! But with this success comes new decision points for your team. One key consideration: is your current platform equipped to handle a significant increase in billing volume?

A modern telecom billing system is designed with this scalability in mind, helping you prepare for situations where rapid growth requires additional back-office capacity. Learn how Rev.io helped our client CallTower prepare for the billing volume increase associated with consecutive acquisitions.

MANAGE A DISTRIBUTED WORKFORCE

Survey data suggests that remote work flexibility is here to stay.  For executives, this new distributed workforce environment creates unique pain points. One question to address: will our existing legacy systems adapt well to this new arrangement?

To make life easier for your business, your leadership may consider alternative technology. One popular choice, a cloud-based telecom billing solution, integrates seamlessly with many of the main systems you rely on. As a result, your remote or hybrid team can continue operating efficiently. And for C-suite decision-makers, this cohesion between systems increases visibility across the entire organization.

 

WHO NEEDS A TELECOM BILLING SOLUTION

A telecom billing solution is an essential tool for various stakeholders within the telecommunications industry. These stakeholders include:

TELECOM SERVICE PROVIDERS

Both traditional and modern telecom service providers, including mobile network operators, internet service providers (ISPs), and cable TV operators, rely on robust billing solutions to manage their vast subscriber bases. These solutions help in generating accurate bills, processing payments, and managing subscriptions efficiently.

MOBILE VIRTUAL NETWORK OPERATORS (MVNOs)

MVNOs, which lease network capacity from traditional mobile operators, need telecom billing solutions to handle their unique customer billing requirements. These solutions ensure seamless integration with the host network's infrastructure and support flexible pricing models.

WHOLESALE TELECOM OPERATORS

Companies that provide bulk telecom services to other service providers need comprehensive billing systems to manage interconnect billing, track usage, and settle payments with multiple partners. These solutions help in accurately invoicing for the bandwidth and services provided to other telecom entities.

ENTERPRISE BUSINESSES

Large enterprises with substantial telecommunications needs require telecom billing solutions to manage internal billing, allocate costs to different departments, and ensure transparency in telecom expense management. These solutions help enterprises keep track of usage, optimize costs, and prevent billing discrepancies.

OVER-THE-TOP (OTT) SERVICE PROVIDERS

OTT service providers, such as those offering streaming services or digital communications, benefit from telecom billing solutions to manage subscription-based services, handle micropayments, and offer bundled packages. These solutions support diverse business models and ensure smooth revenue management.

CLOUD COMMUNICATIONS SERVICE PROVIDERS

Companies offering cloud-based communication solutions, like VoIP, video conferencing, and unified communications, use telecom billing solutions to handle complex billing scenarios, including pay-as-you-go models, subscriptions, and one-time charges. These solutions enable accurate tracking of service usage and timely invoicing.

GOVERNMENT & REGULATORY BODIES

Government entities and regulatory bodies overseeing telecom operations utilize billing solutions for monitoring compliance, managing license fees, and auditing telecom operators. These solutions ensure transparency and adherence to regulatory standards.

A telecom billing solution is indispensable for any entity involved in providing or managing telecommunication services. It streamlines billing processes, enhances customer experience, and ensures accurate revenue management, making it a cornerstone of modern telecom operations.

 

REV.IO'S TELECOM BILLING SOLUTION

If you want to learn more about the advantages of modern telecom billing systems like Rev.io Billing for a business like yours, then contact us today!

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