Illustration of Two Rockets Representing OSS and BSS in Telecom. Together, they demonstrate the difference between OSS and BSS in telecommunications.

What is the Difference between OSS and BSS in telecom?

In telecom, both OSS and BSS are widespread terms, but what do they stand for, and what is the difference between them?

Operations support systems (OSS) and business support systems (BSS) are IT systems that are crucial in supporting various telecommunications services. They are a mix of hardware and software tools and form the backbone of the telecommunications industry. Although the functions of an OSS platform and a BSS platform can vary in different areas of telecommunications, they always play a vital role in helping telecom businesses simplify day-to-day processes, improve efficiency, and tackle industry-related challenges.

Read more to learn about the different systems and how our BSS/OSS solution can help your FTTH network succeed and generate more revenue. 

Illustration of Two Rockets Representing OSS and BSS in Telecom. Together, they demonstrate the difference between OSS and BSS in telecommunications.

What is a BSS Platform ?

Your typical Business Support System, (often also referred to as Billing System or Billing Platform) handles the business side of telecommunications and your customer needs. This includes, for example.

  • Product management : To help you plan, visualize and share the progress of your project and make data driven decisions.
  • Order management: Or order orchestration that allows you to capture, validate and track orders from different channels, simplify order management processes and reduces “time to market” significantly. 
  • Customer management: To streamline a number of customer-related services, from billing and order processing to subscriptions and notifications.

Essentially, a BSS platform ensures that the business operates smoothly and that customers are happy. 

What is an OSS Platform?

In comparison, an Operations Support System (OSS) manages the actual telecommunications infrastructure. This includes, for example.

  • Network monitoring: is a critical IT process where all networking components like routers, switches, firewalls, servers, and VMs are monitored for fault and performance and evaluated continuously to maintain and optimize their availability.
  • An Element Management System (EMS), also called Element manager, manages specific types of one or more network elements within a telecommunication management network (TMN). That means an EMS can manage a single node/element or a group of similar nodes. For example, it can configure, read alarms etc. on a particular node or group of nodes. The EMS communicates upward to higher-level systems of network management, in order to manage the traffic between itself and other network elements.The EMS is a critical part of the telecommunications management solution. The EMS is the only exposed network element within the TMN and acts as the mediator of the information. It also controls the network elements within a network management system.
  • Network maintenance System (NMS): Can be used to configure and manage devices on the network. Most NMS include a dashboard that allows network administrators to see a high-level overview of the network. This dashboard typically provides information on network traffic, performance and any errors or issues that must be addressed immediately.
  • Compared to and EMS, an NMS (Network Management System)  manages a complete network and understands the inter-relationship between individual devices, which an EMS cannot.
  • Service provisioning: Helps you prepare and equip a network to allow it to provide new services to its users
  • Fault management: The component of network management that detects, isolates and fixes problems.

In short, BSS platforms are focused on your customer’s needs and business operations and can also be referred to as a billing platform or billing solution, while OSS solutions are focused on technical operations. OSS and BSS should work smoothly together, as in our COS Product Suite, and help you increase revenue, cut costs & shorten time to market.