VSAT satellite systems provide reliable internet and phone communications in marine and remote locations where other connections aren’t accessible. CIR and MIR are essential features of VSAT provision, so how can a billing system take account of them?
Like fixed line broadband services in residential or business premises, VSAT is ‘always on’ and, to suppress costs and keep the service cost-effective, bandwidth is usually shared between users. A VSAT bundle has a Contention Rate (CR) expressed as a ratio. For example, a CR of 2:1 would indicate that bandwidth is shared between a maximum of two users. If only one user is using the service, maximum download and upload speeds can be achieved. If two users are sharing it, speeds will be halved.
Two key factors are at play in VSAT services:
1) Maximum information rate (MIR) refers to the maximum bandwidth that the VSAT subscriber will receive.
2) Committed Information Rate (CIR) is the speed that a user will experience if all subscribers who share the bandwidth simultaneously use the data connection. This promises a minimum speed, but it will be higher if the maximum number of subscribers does not use the bandwidth.
The variations in the MIR and CIR make accurate billing complex, with plenty of potential for errors. Some customers may also pay extra to increase their CIR, adding another complexity layer to their billing cycle. SATbill is a software billing platform designed to streamline the billing of satellite airtime usage for VSAT systems and accommodate the billing variations that MIR and CIR generate. Compatible with all call types and value-added services, SATbill delivers prompt and accurate invoices, taking MIR and CIR into account.