Union Street joins FCS initiative to standardise Call Data Records

Union Street Technologies has joined forces with four other billing system providers under the leadership of the Federation of Communication Services (FCS), to create a new standard for Call Data Records (CDRs). Together Union Street and the four other billing providers supply the billing platforms for the majority of UK comms providers (CPs) and will now be able to generate wholesale CDR files in a single consistent format making it much easier for Service Providers to exchange billing data with their customers. Wholesale Service Providers that adopt the new standard will make it easy for CPs to deal with them as the CDRs will be compatible with most billing platforms. The new UK standard for CDRs will be launched in January 2013.

Chris Pateman, CEO of the FCS states, “Having to write and re-write input processes to allow billing systems to receive CDRs in multiple different formats from each different carrier is a hassle the industry can do without. It slows down product development and it makes the processes of dealing with multiple wholesale network service suppliers more long-winded and more complex than it needs to be. It also drains development resources because the work has to be individually duplicated by each individual billing provider.”

According to Pateman most CPs are in the dark about the time cost to their business of having to map incoming data to a different format when they have multiple providers. “All the hassles and problems only arise at the implementation stage after the decision to add a network provider has been made and an unknown incoming CDR file format has to somehow be accommodated. By guaranteeing that everything on the billing system will be in a consistent standard format, complexity is reduced and everything becomes much more transparent. When I discovered this initiative, I immediately felt that the FCS would be the ideal guardian of the standard.” A detailed specification of the standard will be available via the FCS website.

Union Street is fully committed to supporting the new standard within its award winning aBILLity billing platform. On launch of the standard in January 2013, aBILLity will be able to receive CDRs in the new standard and the product will also output wholesale CDRs in accordance with the standard.

For Union Street, Tony Cook, Managing Director commented, “As a group the billing system suppliers have put aside our differences to adopt a constructive approach to CDRs for the benefit of the channel. We believe this will bring more simplicity to the market. This should make it easier for wholesale providers to market their network services to the channel community in the future. New entrants to the market will have the choice of adopting the standard which will make their service offering immediately compatible with multiple billing platforms. I am very pleased that the FCS have given this initiative such strong backing.”

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