There’s no doubt that PCRF (Policy Charging and Rules Functionality) for telecoms organizations has come a long way in a short time. With the advent of next generation networks such as long-term evolution (LTE), it has become significantly easier to integrate this functionality at a network level. That means when telecoms providers are examining their roll out plans for next generation networks they’ll want to take a closer look at what can be achieved with PCRF integration.
The History of Policy Charging and Rules Functionality
Originally PCRF was a “bolt on” component of a network. It was designed to enforce policy through external moderation of the data on the network. The idea being that the telecoms operator could design certain rule sets and then apply it to the entire network automatically. This allowed for better control of risk on the network and a greater level of quality across the service. However, because this functionality was external to the network itself it was often difficult to implement and involved a series of complex bridges between systems on the network.
These problems often left telecoms providers with no clear business case for adding the functionality to their networks and many continued to rely on manual enforcement. This is in spite of the fact that manual enforcement is considerably less cost-effective than automated enforcement.
What’s the Situation Now?
Today, PCRF can be a fully integrated network component for next generation networks from the moment they are installed. It supports data from all the other platforms on your network too from charging, rating and billing to monitoring your customer database. That means simple, real-time application of rule sets that reduce the risks to your telecoms business and increase the profitability of the business. If you’re rolling out a next generation network it’s a technology that can be rolled out at the same time for tangible benefits and simpler management of services. Eliminating manual enforcement also offers an addition benefit – it reduces the risks of human error significantly impacting on your day-to-day operational ability.