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The current technological advances in mobile telecommunication networks and the Internet are about to alter existing business models. These different worlds converge and create an open market, where a large number of independent application/service providers will offer their services to users through a limited number of network providers. At the same time, the evolution of existing network technologies and the specification of new concepts requires new advanced and holistic solutions in several technical areas. One such area is related to the design and management of new sophisticated functions and protocols to support innovative, flexible, and efficient charging, accounting, and billing mechanisms. This survey article considers the key concepts of such mechanisms, and the requirements they impose upon the network infrastructure. The article presents the latest efforts undertaken by standardization bodies in the mobile telecommunication industry as well as by Internet Working Groups to meet these requirements.