M. Dinesh Varma

Billing of 20 million landlines in south Indian cities to be shifted to a server hub in Hyderabad

CHENNAI: In a major billing reform, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) will soon shift the billing of 20 million landlines in the south Indian cities to a high-end server hub in Hyderabad.

The Call Detail Record-based billing system will integrate the billing of landline subscribers in Tamil Nadu, Puduchery, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. “The replacement of the existing system with a state-of-the-art integrated process will bring in transparency besides making it easier to track malpractice,” a top BSNL official told The Hindu.

The logistic and back-end operations for shifting the exercise to the Hyderabad server is in the final stages, and the Call Detail Record-based billing will begin in a couple of months, BSNL sources said.

A back-up server which will act as a “disaster recovery system” is likely to be positioned in Pune, said a BSNL official.

A single, country-wide intranet-like call detail record-based billing will help to reduce operational cost, increase revenue realisation, plug revenue leakage and minimise fraud.

BSNL also hopes to eliminate complaints about excess billing, both from customers as well as other telecom operators who shell out Inter Connection Usage fees for utilising its network.

The integrated billing is also in line with BSNL’s renewed efforts at countering competition and scaling up customer care.

According to an official, Chennai Telephones will also have its entire landline billing process yoked to the Hyderabad sercer.

The department’s bills are being generated through meters fixed at each of its network of exchanges across the city.

In Tamil Nadu alone, the billing involves approximately 23.76 lakh working landlines of the Tamil Nadu Telecom Circle and another one million landlines under Chennai Telephones.

Chennai Telephones is also planning to shift its WLL billing process to its main call detail record-based server in Tiruchi, from where monthly bills for its estimated one million mobile users are being generated.

The shift will also involve about 4 lakh WLL connections of BSNL in the Tamil Nadu Circle. The change is scheduled to take effect from July 1, and the Tiruchi server will take over the WLL billing for August.