Industry regulated changes to the EBC matrix could create a nasty surprise for operators if they don’t act soon.

Industry regulated changes to the EBC matrix could create a nasty surprise for operators if they don’t act soon.

This issue centres on two main areas. The first is the question of “call origination”, and the second is the question of “transit traffic”. Operators who fail to grasp the complexities here are heading for trouble.

“Operators who fail to grasp the complexities of the new guidelines are heading for trouble”

Call origination

Under current rules, operators are free to use their own specific pricing structure and billing mechanisms, irrespective of the origination of the call.

Ofcom’s new regulations, due to come into force in November of this year, will insist that all calls are billed according to where they originated. In simple terms this means that the cost of all calls will be proportionate to the distance they travel over a network.

This potentially means major upheaval for operators. After all, the regulator is now looking hard at data which operators have never needed to worry about. And industry commentators are warning that sorting it all out – i.e. coping with the constant code changes, tracking and testing – will require additional resource for all telcos in the way of extra full-time technical experts.

Such resource issues, together with the ongoing complex changes in calculating interconnect charges mean that many operators are now looking at how a proven fully secure outsourced service will bring significant benefits to their business.

At iCONX, the out-sourcing question is resolved in two ways. First, our highly developed software allows us to process all code changes as and when they are issued, removing this responsibility, not to mention the hassle, from the operator. Remember that we don’t need to come to you to make these updates. They are implemented in Dublin and rolled out to all clients seamlessly. Second, our people are paid to spot this sort of thing coming! Your whole planning process becomes enhanced. Nasty surprises are a thing of the past.

“If bills are produced in the incorrect format, BT will simply reject them . . .”

Transit traffic

Dealing with transit traffic is problematic. As a rule, it should always be billed single tandem, but for various reasons (eg. the use of CPS codes), confusion occurs and it can be very difficult to identify the number strings correctly – and missed transit traffic leads to incorrect billing.

Under the new guidelines, BT are to provide files which summarise transit traffic. Good news – but it still requires accurate interpretation from experts. If you don’t have that in place, then BT may be helping your competitors more than they’re helping you.

iCONX have a proven track record when it comes to spotting transit traffic inaccuracies. Timely advice from our experts could enable operators to adjust their bills accordingly, issue amendments as appropriate, and save many thousands of pounds worth of revenue.

In summary

Like most interconnect billing issues this is a knotty one. It may be tempting to put off dealing with the new structural changes for as long as possible. But ignoring it now could cause major problems when it comes to billing BT after February 2006.

If bills are produced in the incorrect format after the specified date, BT will simply reject them – and the operator will be set to lose out on substantial amounts of revenue until their system is rectified

If you think this issue might affect your billing system, or would like some further information about Element Based Charging, please call us on +353 1529 1700, or e-mail