Mediation is the process of collecting and processing usage/charging data from various networked elements and formatting it in user readable format usually for billing/reporting purposes.
A Mediation system is usually performing below task.
- Collecting and validating CDR from network elements (Switches / MSC’s)
- Filtration (non billing CDR’S)
- Correlation of different input sources CDR’s
- Aggregation of partial CDRs related to the same call.
- CDR Normalisation
- CDR Enrichment (e.g. for adding cost control services)
- Transformation of data as per business logic
- Handling of rated CDR’s UDS i.e. (UDR, BIR, XSC*) * XSC- External subscription charges
- Handling of subscriber lifecycle CDR’s (e.g. first call activation), Periodic Account management CDR’s
- NRTRDE files generation and processing
- Downstream Format mapping ,header and trailer generation
- Roaming services (Voice/Data/SMS) charging (for CAMEL enabled partners)
- Downstream Distribution
Function of Mediation system
Whenever a subscriber/customer uses communication services (Voice,SMS, MMS and Data etc ) from a Service Provider, their usage/charging data are generated at the subsequent network elements.
The usage/charging data is called as Call Detail Record (CDR) in the traditional voice network environment or Internet Protocol Detail Record (IPDR) in the data network environment. Some of the Service Usage Data sources in the network are:
GSM telephony Network Elements;
Voice calls – MSC
SMS traffic – SMSC
Data traffic – GGSN
MMS traffic – MMSC
Roaming CDRs from business partners
Interconnect CDRs from partners
- The CDRs are normally pushed to or pulled from the switches. These file contains header or trailer records containing the number of CDRs in a particular file. The files are generated as they reach a specified count or at regular time intervals.
- There are various protocol supported namely FTP, SFTP, FTAM, X.25, SNMP, SFTP provides a secured way of collecting the CDRs as it uses SSL.
- Once CDR file received, Mediation software start processing the CDR’s. This process involves removal of header and trailer , adding extra filed in CDR to process and finally parsed to check with switch format to validate CDR.
Some mediation software collect CDR from network element at physical path then process it, while some collect the same in buffer and after process , one final CDR is sent for further process and one file sent to Archive directory.
A typical mediation workflow: