There’s an article at TheFeature describing the challenges in billing presented by cellular services trying to create personalized service packages. It sounds like a great solution that Portal Software has come up with, but I still think this is a step in the wrong direction. I just don’t want my cellular provider to have a hand in everything I do on the cellular network. The new billing system at least sounds like it could be flexable, so it shouldn’t cause too many issues too soon. But what happens when the cellular usage patterns start to defy the object model presented by the software? It could end up in new technologies not getting implemented because of the infrastructure implications.
It could be possible that the software allows for a completely fluid set of associations, but I’m betting that this also puts the cellular provider in charge of who can be a third party in the billing process. Something that’s already started with data services IMO (ever try to get a server component that can send MMS messages to any cell phone?) and is causing trouble in that space. This would just further extend the stranglehold that cellular providers have over their customers. If anyone has a pointer to some details about how the third party billing associations are setup and utilized within the Portal Software solution, please drop me a line.