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OSS/BSS Operations Support Systems/Business Support Systems

OSS/BSS Operations Support Systems/Business Support Systems

Operations support systems (OSS), or operational support systems in British usage, are computer systems used by telecommunications service providers to manage their networks (e.g., telephone networks). They support management functions such as network inventory, service provisioning, network configuration and fault management.

Together with business support systems (BSS), they are used to support various end-to-end telecommunication services. BSS and OSS have their own data and service responsibilities. The two systems together are often abbreviated OSS/BSS, BSS/OSS or simply B/OSS.

The acronym OSS is also used in a singular form to refer to all the Operations Support Systems viewed as a whole system.

Different subdivisions of OSS have been proposed by the TM Forum, industrial research labs or OSS vendors. In general, an OSS covers at least the following five functions:

  • Network management systems
  • Service delivery
  • Service fulfillment, including the network inventory, activation and provisioning
  • Service assurance
  • Customer care

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F.A.Q. about OSS/BSS Operations Support Systems/Business Support Systems

What is OSS/BSS?

The Operations Support Systems (OSS) and Business Support Systems (BSS) or most often referred to as OSS/BSS, BSS/OSS or simply B/OSS provide network and customer data for back-office activities. While the mechanism by which both systems work are similar, their end usage and user groups may vary significantly, depending on the information management setup within an organization. The OSS systems support internal network requirements such as network planning, maintaining network inventory, provisioning services, configuring network components and managing faults - facilitating and automating the operations, administrations, maintenance and provisioning (OAM&P). The BSS, on the other hand, provides the capability for dealing with customers, supporting processes such as taking orders, processing bills and collecting payments.

Why OSS and BSS?

OSS and BSS both evolved from the need for operational data relating to infrastructure and subscribers respectively. The OSS provides data such as network availability and network performance information, allowing operators to proactively manage networks and systems to deliver positive user experience on any connection. BSS, on the other hand, provides subscription information such as new sign-ups, churn and user demographics as well as information relating to customer relationship management. The data provided by both OSS and BSS are critical inputs for overall CAPEX and OPEX planning and are necessary for the formulation of budgets that cover infrastructure expenditure.


The changing landscape of CSPs forces the service providers to transform the traditional OSS/BSS systems to meet emerging areas within the organization, respond to new technologies and meet higher standards of service delivery. To this end, there is an increasing trend towards an integrated OSS/BSS platform to support a wide range of user groups. This can be witnessed in the area of service assurance, whereby an integrated OSS/BSS is required to provide higher SLA by tracking the service performance, pro-actively identifying network failures, initiating resolution action and notifying high-priority customers. Service Management is also another area which requires greater interaction between OSS and BSS processes whereby the service order and fulfillment involves multiple network resources. An integrated service management system orchestrates the end-to-end fulfillment process and keep the customer-facing team informed about progress, changes or delivery issues.