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What You Need for Quality Toll-Free Service

Posted by Daniel McFarland on September 29, 2015 at 9:30 AM
Daniel McFarland

We’ve recently gone over 10 questions to ask your wholesale VoIP provider before registering a toll-free number. Today, we’re going into more detail on the subject of underlying carriers (ULCs). ULCs are a vital component in toll-free services. These guys provide service straight from the top, pass it on to your wholesale provider, and then right onto your plate. Be sure to explore the following questions and don’t miss out on the VoIP features you deserve.

Don't miss out on the service you deserve.

Who are your provider’s ULCs?

What are ULCs you ask? To put it simply, ULCs are the telecom companies that supply toll-free and DID numbers to wholesale VoIP providers, which are then passed on to you. ULCs are categorized by size. Tier 1 ULC’s are huge telecom providers (think AT&T or Verizon) known as ILECs (Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers). Tier 2 carriers are known as CLECs (Competitive Local Exchange Carriers), which were basically established to keep Tier 1 carriers from monopolizing.

It's important to ask for your provider's ULCs, especially if you want to register under a Tier 1 carrier. These carriers are often considered to have more stability, greater quality, and a larger area of service than Tier 2 carriers. By knowing what ULCs your provider has contact with, you can get a good idea of what quality service you’ll be receiving. Also, a good VoIP provider will give you freedom of choice among their ULCs. This way, when you need to register a DID or toll-free number, you can choose to work with whatever carrier fits your needs, whether that may be area of service, quality, or price. 

Do you have failover protection?

Failover protection will ensure that your calls will reach you if a call is rejected because your switch is down. By enabling failover protection, your call will be transferred to your designated number so you won’t have to worry about missing a call due to a failed switch. Don’t confuse this with number forwarding. Think of failover as an emergency precaution while forwarding should be used if you want your calls to be sent to you for a brief period of time. If you would like your customers to be able to manage their failover and forwarding numbers on their own, VoIP Innovations makes that possible with an End User Dashboard from our BackOffice software.

How long is the post dial delay?

Have you ever made a phone call, only to be greeted with a moment of silence before the ring? This is your phone making “hops” and causing a post dial delay (PDD). What’s happening is your call is being passed through multiple channels before it gets to the ULC. Because the call is being sent through a physical optic or copper cable, there will be delays when being passed around so much. Know what ULCs your provider is working with so you will know how much of a post dial delay you might experience.

By asking your provider about their ULCs, you’ll have a better understanding of the quality of service your end users will receive. Always ask questions and always try to learn more. That’s the secret to growth and to a successful business.

As an additional way for us to show transparency throughout our BackOffice, we've made it possible for customers to not only pick which carriers they want to use, but we also created a Carrying Ranking System. The key metrics that are included in the new Ranking System were strategically chosen by our team based on the value they add for our customers. It's a great way for our customers to help each other out and get the best service they can. If you want to see the Carrier Ranking system in full swing, sign up for a Free Trial today!

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Tags: Telephony, Entrepreneurship

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