April 29, 2008 1:18 PM BST
The race is I think split into two lanes now. There is a software market space and then there is the managed billing services space.
In the software market, consolidation is happening and in the services domain, there is little emphasis in the growth of the actual technology.
I think this mix is certainly causing a need for something completely new.
Just to explain what I mean, the issue for billing systems now is where in the chain on events during a complete telco setup should they be placed.
Places tried are traditional BSS, where the billing is a recepient of call data and is used for rating and then consolidating on invoice and a/r for billing purposes and then of course manage collections, and the revenue reporting or OSS, where some billing systems have been placed right inside the network, mainly due to a dire need to be real time like in the case of Intelligent Networks for prepaid billing.
However, I think in both cases there are obvious hassles with the scale at which the subscribers and more importanly the call volumes are growing.
I think the best place where billing ( and more importantly) rating should be placed is directly on the handset itself.
Most huge costs in identifying a call post completion and the discovery of exactly what happened with the call to arrive at the right cost can easily be eliminated.
There are however, security concerns, but I think things can be learnt from a CAS approach that cable companies have been using.
Voice becoming more and more commoditized ( read may become free), I think the market dynamics also will support this cause and move it forward.
I am looking for a serious investor for this to start of this revolution and hope one day I will be able to acheive this.
Need more detail... please contact me to collaborate and participate along with me.