PortaBilling is integrated with the third-party Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) gateway to provide customer care services to mobile subscribers in GSM networks. A subscriber sends a USSD message to request information (e.g., a balance check) or an action (voucher activation) by dialing a service code. In order to retrieve the requested data, the third-party USSD gateway interacts with PortaBilling via API. PortaBilling acts as the BSS.
Here, in more detail, is how it works: You configure the service menu in the third-party USSD gateway and provide the service codes to your subscribers upon signup. Let’s say that John Doe wants to check his account balance. He dials a short USSD code – *123#. The USSD gateway accepts his message and requests his balance information from PortaBilling via the API. PortaBilling identifies John’s account and returns his balance amount in the API response to the USSD gateway. John Doe then receives the USSD message, “Your current balance is 43.25 USD.”
By using the third-party USSD gateway in their network infrastructure, service providers automate their customer care services. This improves the customer experience and also reduces the administrative load.