Download Introduction to OSS and BSS PDF

TitleIntroduction to OSS and BSS
TagsComputer Network Business Process Network Switch Provisioning Voice Over Ip
File Size420.3 KB
Total Pages24
Document Text Contents
Page 1

Page: 1

September 2008

Operation Support Systems & Business Support Systems: An
By Ravi Sharda

1. Overview

Before the initial 1970s, most of the support activities in a telephone company such

as taking orders, maintaining network inventory, provisioning services (for example,

line assignment and testing), configuring network components, managing faults and

collecting payments were performed manually. It was realized that many of these

activities could be replaced by computers. In the next few years, a number of

computer systems and software applications were created to automate these

activities. Examples include TIRKS, RMAS, SES, etc. Thus came the term Operations

Support Systems (OSS).

OSS are “network systems” dealing with the communications network and

supporting processes such as maintaining network inventory, provisioning services,

configuring network components, managing faults.

Business Support Systems (BSS) is a newer term and typically refers to “business

systems” dealing with customers and support processes such as taking orders,

processing bills, collecting payments, sales and marketing, supporting customer care

agents in response to service requests, trouble reporting and billing inquiries, etc.

OSS and BSS systems together are often abbreviated as BSS/OSS or B/OSS. The

term OSS was historically used to include both network and business systems. Some

industry analysts, system integrators and service providers still use the term OSS to

include both network and business systems, which sometimes causes confusion.

This article provides an overview of some of the core areas in OSS & BSS such as

Order Fulfillment, Service Assurance and Billing systems. The following BSS/OSS

systems are covered:

 Order Fulfillment – Order Management, Service Provisioning and Inventory


 Service Assurance - Fault & Trouble Management, Network Performance

Management, Topology & Configuration Management, Planning & Testing

 Billing - Billing Mediation, Rating, Billing Systems, Interconnection Billing,

Revenue Assurance

The article explains some of the basic functions of these systems, flow and some of

the products available from OSS/BSS vendors. It then provides an overview on some

of the available standards in OSS/BSS such as Telecommunications Management

Network (TMN) Model, Enhanced Telecommunications Operations Map (eTOM), “OSS

Through Java” (OSS/J) initiative, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), etc.

Terms marked with suffix “*” are explained in the “Terms” section. References list

out the references used in the article as well as others for the reader’s reference.

Page 13

Page: 13

Some of the products in this area are:

 InterconnecT from Intec Systems Ltd. These also contain Application Network


 Prospero from ICL

 INCA from BT

2.3.5. Revenue Assurance

Revenue Assurance & Fraud Management systems verify billing, detect and identify

unauthorized usage of service provider network assets. Some of the kinds of frauds

are Usage and Subscription.

Usage Fraud means that a customer uses the telecommunications network illegally.

This is accomplished either by obtaining a service with no intent to pay or by

obtaining unauthorized access to the network (i.e. “hacking” or “cracking”).

Fraud Management systems typically detect and prevent unauthorized access to a

communications network by analyzing traffic patterns on the network. Some

examples are provided in [8]:

 One technique involves analyzing the average call duration or the number of

calls placed to foreign countries to determine whether the traffic patterns are

consistent with a subscriber's call history or pattern. If a call is inconsistent

with the subscriber's call pattern profile, the subscriber is provided with a

report of the abnormal call activity.

 Other methods for dealing with the problem of unauthorized use involve

automatically denying or blocking access to the network when abnormal use

is detected to minimize the subscriber's financial loss.

Subscription fraud means that a customer obtains a service account by giving a false

identity (name and/or SSN) or by giving a false address or false credit worthiness.

Detecting subscription fraud involves searching recent order and existing customer

data for multiple orders and/or accounts with the same customer name, SSN, or

service address.

Common subscription fraud patterns include

 Change of billing address within a few weeks of opening an account.

 Substantial deviation of usage profile of a new user from an average new


Common techniques to control subscription based fraud include threshold based

analysis, inference rules analysis, profile based analysis such as habitual user profiles

and neural networks.

Fraud Management Systems typically read and store usage data from the service

provider’s network switching equipment and allows queries to be executed against

the data that detect suspicious usage patterns.

They also allow operators to review customer accounts that have suspicious activity,

to track their investigation and record the final case resolution. One of the available

tools in this area is SAS Fraud Management.

Page 23

Page: 23

3.3. References

[1] Who Makes What: OSS,,

Light Reading, Dec 2006

[2] The 2007 Telecommunications Industry Review, The Insight Research Corp.,

Dec 2006

[3] Eric Siegel, Architectural Overview of Network Management, The Burton

Group, Oct 2005

[4] Arindam Banerjee, Network Management is the Key to the Success of Next-

Generation Architecture, Yankee Group, Jan 2007

[5] Senthil K. Ramachandran, Order Fulfillment Core Processes and Pain Areas,

TMFC 2122 White-paper

[6] Sterling Perrin et al., IDC's Service Provider Infrastructure Taxonomy,

2004, IDC

[7] Lars Andersson, OSS Solutions for Network Operators – white paper, 2002

[8] Telecommunications Fraud Detection Scheme, US Patent 5504810,, April 1996

[9] OSS Through Java Initiative, OSS/J Roadmap, TeleManagement Forum, Jan


[10] Element Management Systems – Definition and Overview, Web ProForums,

International Engineering Consortium (IEC)

[11] Divakara K. Udapa, TMN Telecommunications Management Network, McGraw

Hill, ISBN:9780070658158, 1999

[12] Enhanced Telecom Operations map - eTOM: The Business Process Language

of NGOSS, TeleManagement Forum

[13] Wikipedia,

[14] Elisabeth Rainge, Next-Generation OSS and Billing Market Taxonomy, IDC,

Oct 2004

[15] Wikipedia,

[16] Wikipedia,

[17] Network Management Basics,


[18] Wikipedia,

[19] Balan Nair et al., Method and system for planning a telecommunications

network, United States Patent 5974127,, Oct 1999

Similer Documents