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    Charging Services Overview

    The MobileNext Broadband Gateway supports offline charging, which is commonly used in a postpaid environment. The broadband gateway provides mobile operators with an intelligent charging service that has flexible provisioning and accurate resource usage record collection for their mobile subscribers. The broadband gateway gathers Charging Data Records (CDRs) and delivers them to the charging gateway function (CGF) over the Ga interface using the GTP Prime protocol. The billing function is distributed across all modules of the broadband gateway, which performs these tasks for billing:

    • Accurate CDR creation and closure
    • Partial record generation
    • ASN.1 formatting of CDRs prior to transfer to CGF or local storage
    • Support of GTP Prime protocol stack to transfer CDRs to the CGF
    • Support of primary, secondary, and tertiary CGF for redundancy of each charging profile

    Charging information collection does not affect real-time operations and is transferred over the Ga interface using the GTP Prime protocol. The network element generates the CDR for each subscriber and reports it periodically to the charging gateway. The charging gateway then optionally reformats and transfers the collected CDRs to the operator’s billing system for billing purposes.

    Figure 1 shows the components in a sample charging topology.

    Figure 1: Simple Charging Topology

    Simple Charging Topology

    The provisioning of the charging services follows this process:

    1. Configure the CGF or local storage.
    2. Create the transport profile and associate the primary, secondary, and tertiary CGF.
    3. (Optional) Configure the CDR and trigger profiles.
    4. Create a charging profile with a profile ID and the associated transport, CDR, and trigger profiles. The profile ID is used to match against the charging characteristic information element sent in the GTP create request or the RADIUS profile id AVP from the RADIUS authentication response.
    5. In the access point name (APN) configuration, configure the charging profile selection order as static to select locally configured charging profiles.

    The binding of the charging services, as well as the charging information collection, follows this process:

    1. The broadband gateway starts to establish a bearer when the broadband gateway receives the request from the mobile subscriber to create a packet data protocol (PDP) context.
    2. For each new bearer created in the broadband gateway, the configured charging profile selection order algorithm is applied and a charging profile is associated with the bearer.
    3. The broadband gateway generates a container or CDR for every trigger or signaling event that the operator wants reported for this subscriber.
    4. When the mobile subscriber terminates the session, the final network usage is reported to the CGF by the broadband gateway.

    Published: 2011-11-16