Our customer, a global mobile broadband specialist, deployed their 3GPP compliant policy and charging rules function (PCRF) solution on top of a AAA platform and delivered ongoing support for policy decision based on a wide range of controls (e.g. subscriber location, UE type, monthly usage).
However, the end customer, a leading US operator, needed a massive amount of customization of the product and our customer’s R&D team was overloaded to handle this task. R Systems was asked to take over the development and later on the maintenance and support services for these customizations.
The project raised a number of challenges that threatened to delay the project, such as:
- accommodating the big gap between testing the application in the rules engine GUI and in the real AAA environment
- optimizing the response times and reducing the load on the network directory server
- development of a web based application with an LDAP database backend which stores the configuration data; web GUI built on top of the Servlet/Struts MVC framework and JSP pages
- tight integration with other systems, such as the provisioning platform
R Systems contribution and solution
The solution developed by the R Systems team was a 3GPP compliant PCRF application built on top of a proprietary AAA framework. The PCRF component has been interconnected with an online charging system through an interface used to exchange information about the data usage at the beginning of each new data session and also to notify the operator in real time about the data usage thresholds being crossed, possibly resulting in QoS (Quality of Service) adjustments.
R Systems was involved in this complex project from the initial phases through to final acceptance and maintenance and support, our involvement including:
- the analysis of the customer’s requirements
- the design and implementation of the network directory server schema
- system configuration, integration, migration, deployment, validation and monitoring
- onsite and offsite support for UAT testing in the mobile operator’s test environment
- maintenance and support
- software development, ongoing customization of the existing system, based on change requests
The solution provides the mobile operator with advanced capabilities for dynamic tariff management, bill shock, fair usage, service limited pass and prioritization, enabling him to use the PCRF to offer multiple services, enhanced QoS levels and changing rules.
Additionally, it enables the marketing department to be agile and adaptive based on the dynamic feedback obtained from the customer base. They can now test the effectiveness of the data plans launched towards their 30 million subscribers, by having the option to divide them in control groups and target groups.