NEC adds advanced billing capability to its Converged Core, enabling flexible monetization opportunities for MNOs in B2B and B2B2X services

Tokyo - NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 6701) today announced it has enhanced its Converged Core by launching a containerized Charging Gateway Function (CGF). This new Network Function (NF) provides significant flexibility in processing increasingly complex billing information, while also enabling mobile network operators (MNOs) to efficiently launch new charging models. This new flexible billing capability frees MNOs from legacy usage-based systems and allows for monetization strategies that closely match a specific use case.

5G networks are expected to provide end-users with various types of services built on enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), Massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC) and Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC). While a legacy billing model, such as flat-rate or usage-based billing, may fit for eMMB services, it will become inadequate as mMTC and URLLC services come to life in the coming years. For example, a Quality of Service model would be more suitable for a URLLC, with quality guarantees with discounts based on Service Level Agreements. mMTC billings, on the other hand, should be based on the number of concurrent connections for IoT devices, such as connected home appliances.

The CGF advanced billing capability is the latest addition to a suite of solutions called NEC Open Networks. NEC is leveraging its rich history of innovation in network architecture and telecommunications to lead our industry’s transition to Open RAN for 5G. NEC’s broad suite of solutions in this area is second to none, featuring disaggregated RAN components, xHaul transport, Core Networks, Operations Automation and professional Systems Integration - all enhanced by cloud-native accessibility and performance. Wireless operators can rely on NEC Open Networks to realize the real-world benefits of truly open 5G networks – flexibility, improved speed of innovation and independence from proprietary solutions while taking advantage of the global accessibility and scalability of the cloud.

"This CGF functionality prepares our customers for the increased complexity they’re likely to face as networks continue to support a growing number of connected devices," said Patrick Lopez, VP of Product Management for 5G Products, NEC. "Operators can feel free to make the best business decision when rolling out new services knowing that they have creative, nimble options in capturing revenues for those services."

NEC CGF is an NF that resides between the Converged Core and the billing system, helping MNOs improve their time to market with new solutions without modifying existing billing systems. This flexibility also provides the crucial ability to tailor billing to the diversified needs and requirements of each user. In addition, the fully cloud-native, containerized architecture of NEC Converged Core NFs, now including CGF, provides 5G networks with high scalability and resiliency.

NEC will be presenting its industry leading NEC Open Networks at MWC Barcelona 2022, at Fira Gran Via, Hall 2 2F10.

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