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Providing accounting/billing support for our MPLS network may involve considerations such as calculating network resource usage and apportioning bills or settlement fees. If a single SP implements the MPLS network, the end users are billed for the service via either a flat-rate or a usage-based model. There is growing interest in usage-based models because they may reduce costs; basing fees on usage also provides a means for SPs to differentiate their services from those of flat-rate competitors. If more than one SP is involved in the MPLS network, of course, the accounting becomes more complex—potentially requiring settlements between the SPs.

Accounting may also be used inside a given SP to apportion costs to different departments/divisions. This would apply in cases where different networks are used within one SP.

Here are some of the simple accounting metrics that might be included:

  • Number of IP packets received and forwarded by an LER

  • Number of IP packets forwarded (via MPLS) across an LSP

  • Number of dropped IP packets

Accounting is one of the FCAPS areas that's closely allied with the strategies and upper software layers of the OSS.

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