Raw CDR Analysis Is Central to Revenue Assurance

Revenue assurance used to be all about CDRs, but when was the last time you worked with actual CDRs? The answer may be that it was long ago because of all the systems you have since put in place.

RA has evolved from basic fundamentals. One of those fundamentals is that an organism uses it nervous system to monitor the health of the whole body. CDRs are nerves for telecom operation, giving the leads towards the roots of leakages, frauds and revenue risks.

Revenue assurance is easy going today. It is now highly dependent upon automation and tools. People have stopped performing the basics. Raw CDRs are the place where actual bugs can be identified but this is getting neglected. Analysis of raw CDRs is an opportunity to identify issues in sample records which even huge data cannot provide.

Practicing more and more analysis on raw records gives the analyst the knack to understand the entire configuration of the network. People actually don’t understand how to read raw CDRs which restricts them from further analysis and stops them plugging gaps.

The reasons why RA analysts avoid raw CDRs are:

  • The content is too technical
  • The CDR content depends on the vendor
  • Decoders are sometimes not available
  • Analysis is complex
  • Field details and manuals are not available

Data streams provide more scope for RA departments to work on this hidden treasure. GGSN and SGSN CDRs are new sources of business. In voice systems only charging is impacted, whilst GPRS CDRs give information about customer speed throttling, quality of service, and types of services like APNs are involved. All of this information impacts charging and the business’ bottom line.

It is always fruitful when we identify any fluctuations in trends or gaps in reconciliations. RA analysts must revisit the basics. This includes demanding sample raw CDRs from your vendor. Ask for the definitions of all the fields. Understand the information provided in the records. Figure out the gaps in configuration and accordingly raise the alarm for probable leakages. Following this process ensures the chance of future errors is minimized.

Manish Raikar
Manish Raikar
Manish Raikar is a specialist in revenue assurance, business intelligence, process automation and data analytics. He led the prepaid RA team at Vodafone Idea, was an assistant manager at Patni Computer Systems, and has also worked at Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices.