What is BSS / OSS?

“What is BSS/OSS?” is one of the most common questions people ask me when I tell them about what I do for a living. In this entry I’m going to answer this question.

BSS and OSS represent the two IT aspects needed to provide telecom services to customers.

OSS (Operations Support Systems):

These are the systems that are responsible for dealing directly with the network elements, Fulfilling needed to deliver/monitor the services delivered to the customer. OSS engineers usually are in close contact with Radio engineers and are familiar with the network elements. OSS includes functions such as :

  • Activation: Telling the radio elements to allow a customer to make phone calls.
  • Mediation: Generating the usage records (CDR) to bill the customer.
  • Service Monitoring (NOC): Network Operations Center, making sure quality of service is maintained across covered area.

BSS (Business Solutions Support):

BSS is the system that is encompassing/laying on top of OSS, it is responsible responsible for the higher level functions that aren’t included into OSS, Functions needed by the business to generate revenue and manage customers. BSS engineers are usually in touch with business and have a flexible system able to respond to the business ever changing needs. BSS usually includes systems such as :

  • CRM (Usually Siebel) : used by customer care/sales agents, this is the application that displays/Modify the customer details.
  • Billing ¬†and Revenue management : Manages charging, offers, discounts, bills and collection.
  • Inventory Management : Manages assets such as phone numbers, offers, devices.
  • Order Management: Manages order execution across the BSS elements.
  • Middle ware : The glue that holds the whole stack together, it includes the business logic and controls the orchestration of the various BSS components.

Ericsson lately released this video explaining BSS/OSS and the difference between them, it inspired me into writing this.


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