Real-time content-based charging with the third-party P-GW

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PortaBilling is integrated with the third-party Packet Data Network Gateway (P-GW) for real-time content-based charging on mobile networks: GPRS, 3G and LTE.

PortaBilling provides a single place for subscriber management and service configuration and functions as the OCS (Online Charging System). It communicates with the third-party P-GW via the Diameter Gy interface for user authorization and rating.

The P-GW performs policy control and reports traffic usage to the OCS. It supports content-based charging via rating groups with configurable speed limits. This enables you to differentiate among the types of Internet traffic, control the bandwidth and charge differently for each traffic type. For example, access to email and the self-care portal are free of charge – while online gaming, YouTube, etc. are available for a price. This gives you flexibility in service configuration and thereby increases your competitiveness in the market.

To control user access to the Internet and perform content-based charging, the P-GW communicates with the PCRF (Policy and Charging Rules Function). When a user connects to the Internet, the P-GW obtains the user’s service policy in the PCRF and then sends the Credit Control Request (CCR-Initial) message to authorize the user in PortaBilling. Upon authorization, PortaBilling allocates a service unit quota for the requested rating group and responds with the Credit Control Answer (CCA-Initial) message. The user can now use the Internet according to their service policy. Periodically, the P-GW reports about the volume of consumed traffic to PortaBilling so that when a user’s quota is depleted or runs out of funds, their session is either hotlined or disconnected.

Thus, to configure content-based charging for Internet access services, do the following:

  • Configure the service policies, rating groups, and hotline portal URL in the PCRF.
  • In PortaBilling, define quotas and create Internet access policies where you configure attributes and define hotlining URL. Bundle them in the Internet access products for accounts.
  • Configure the ESPF to provision user data to the PCRF.

This integration with the third-party P-GW expands the variety of available equipment for CSPs to build their network infrastructure. PortaBilling is already integrated with core components such as PCRF, HLR/HSS and SCP (Diameter-CAMEL gateway). Together, these integrations provide a ready-to-use ecosystem that minimizes the time necessary to launch mobile services on the market.

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