8

Framework for Charging and Billing for Reconfigurable Services

Nancy Alonistioti and Maria Koutsopoulou

Communication Networks Laboratory, University of Athens

8.1 Introduction

In second generation (2G) networks, services provided to mobile users were either rigidly integrated in network equipment or developed with proprietary tools by mobile operators or equipment manufacturers. This situation led to the availability of a limited number of services that were tightly coupled with the type of network and the vendor of the equipment they were running on.

The convergence of the Internet Protocol (IP) and telecom worlds has a strong impact in the evolutions. In third generation (3G) mobile communications and beyond, an open and complex marketplace is expected to emerge: mobile devices with significantly different characteristics [e.g. computer laptop, Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), and cellular phone] should access a multitude of diverse applications and Value-Added Services (VAS), developed by Third Party Value-Added Service Providers (VASPs) that typically do not target solely mobile networks, using a variety of wireless link technologies (e.g. UMTS, GPRS, Wireless LAN, and Bluetooth) [1]. Applications and services will be provided to end-users over various networking technologies and heterogeneous communication infrastructures, which should converge, interface and co-operate seamlessly and congruously to ensure consistent, transparent and ubiquitous service provision to end-users, ...

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