The Rough Guide To PCRF For Mobile Networks
The technology world is full of acronyms. I know that acronyms make it easy to talk about specific things. You don’t have to spend so much time referring to things by their full, official title.
But in some cases, spending a lot of time talking about acronyms can get confusing! The telecommunications industry is guilty of this practice. Mobile network operators take acronyms to a whole new level.
A friend of mine once did some research into how mobile network operators work as a business. The research was for a university project, in case you were wondering.
He told me that he got confused by the scores of acronyms in use by the industry. He also seemed rather confused by one specific acronym: PCRF. A lot of people that don’t know much about the mobile telecommunications industry aren’t aware of PCRF, or what it means.
In today’s blog post, I will offer you a rough guide to the weird and wonderful world of PCRF. By the end of it, you should know more about the subject. And if you’re still confused, you can always read more about PCRF at Comverse.com.
What does PCRF stand for?
You might hear the “PCRF” acronym a lot if you work within the mobile telecommunications industry. In a nutshell, PCRF stands for “Policy and Charging Rules Function.”
How mobiles work
Have you ever wondered what happens when you try to call or text someone from your mobile phone? Or how you can go online from almost any open space? Mobile phones send and receive information, called data, using radio waves.
Data gets sent and received in a similar way to how you listen to radio stations at home or in the car. The data gets transmitted wirelessly to a cell tower. Those big metal masts you see in some places repeat that information until it gets to a base station.
The base stations then communicate with “switching” offices. It is here that your data gets sent and received to the correct destinations. There are many cell towers, base stations and switching offices. They make it possible for you to have phone conversations over many hundreds of miles without loss of signal!
The role of PCRF
As you can imagine, mobile network operators deal with vast amounts of data. The role of PCRF is to make sure that the quality of service is high for all data types.
It’s a process that all mobile networks use to ensure that everyone can make and receive calls with high clarity. It also ensures data, such as SMS messages and IP data packets get routed to their correct destinations.
Another key function of PCRF is to make sure that you only pay for what you use. Mobile users have some form of mobile contract, whether it’s pre-pay or post-pay.
PCRF is there to make sure that you get billed according to the “rules” of your tariff. For example, if you use 500Mb of data and your tariff is for 1GB/month, you won’t get charged anything extra.
I hope this article has been useful for you!