A quick message for wholesale VoIP providers who choose carriers and features on behalf of ITSP providers:
“We the people hereby declare independence from the oppression from tyrannical wholesale providers. We demand our right of choice when accepting services from a telecom carrier. Let it be known, on this glorious day of liberation, that we shall exercise the Freedom of Choice!”
If you’re an ITSP, you should be making the decisions. It’s your product, it’s your business, and you should have a service provider that will allow you to make your own choices in carriers and features. Today, let’s look into how Choice can improve your ITSP business.
Choosing a Carrier - Origination and Termination
Not all carriers are created equal. Ranging from Tier 1 to Tier 3, carriers will vary on quality, performance, and services offered. Try to choose a carrier that fits your budget and desired quality of service. Also keep in mind that quality of service will affect both origination and termination services.
Origination – When it comes to origination, not having a choice in underlying carriers means your provider might assign you a low tier carrier with unsatisfactory service. If this happens, you’ll have to go through the trouble of porting your numbers to get a better carrier. Choice in origination means you decide on what carrier you want based on price and tier so you will know exactly what service you and your end user will be receiving.
Termination – Choice in outbound calls will cover your price and quality. Most wholesale providers will send you a rate deck for all your termination services, so your rates and quality is virtually pre-determined. Choice means customizing your rate deck by carrier, which will determine your rate and quality you will experience. By manipulating your rate decks, you can distribute termination services at your own discretion of price and quality.
Choosing VoIP Features
Selecting your VoIP features is like building your own burrito. Lay down a hefty serving of DID features, sprinkle on some termination features, drizzle on E911 service, and treat yourself to some customizable billing and fraud features on the side. The final result is a fat, tightly wrapped package of savory VoIP services. Guac is extra.
DID Features – Adding features to your DIDs will give them an extra boost in customer interactivity. To provide your end users with a fully-loaded DID, make sure your wholesale VoIP provider can offer you the following services:
- CNAM for Caller ID.
- 411 to provide location directory assistance.
- E-mail to fax, and vice-versa, to distribute physical and virtual documents.
- Call failover to ensure your calls go through when a switch goes down.
- Call forwarding to receive calls on another DID.
- SMS for quick and convenient text messages.
For more information on these DID features, check out this Top 10 List to learn more about these features.
Termination Features – Communication is a two-way street, so you’ll have to supply your end users with VoIP services that will handle their outbound calls. Be sure to stock up on the following features to cover your all of your end users’ outbound calling needs.
- Domestic and International SIP termination for outbound calls within and outside North America.
- Dialer (Short Duration) SIP termination for businesses who create bulk calls and no surcharge fees.
- T.38 (Fax) SIP termination to handle outgoing faxes (Not to be confused with the T-800 Terminator).
E911 Features – These features will allow your DIDs to make emergency calls in North America. When you pair a DID with a registered E911 number, you will then be connected to a PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point) allowing emergency respondents to arrive at your location. This is a feature you should invest in. Failure to register an E911 number may result in fines from the FCC.
Hosted Billing Features – Hosted billing features allow you to conveniently bill and manage your telecommunication streams. Benefits to using a hosted billing system include:
- Payment options on post-paid and pre-paid accounts.
- Financial, tax and CDR reports.
- Taxing support and the ability to easily add end user exemptions.
Fraud Features – Protect yourself from unauthorized use of your VoIP services. Look for features that will keep your services secure, including traffic monitoring, fraud detection monitoring, and fraudulent activity alerts. Read more into how fraud features can protect your services by reading Top 10 Ways to Prevent VoIP Fraud Attacks.
Choice is just one way you can improve your ITSP business. Choose a carrier that can match your quality and price expectancies, and select features that will deliver the best product for your end user. To explore your options, try a free trial of our Titanium III, BackOffice. Titanium III provides you with Choice, Automation, and Control in order to save you time and money. Look for future posts on how Automation will streamline your operations, and how you can Control all of your services using a BackOffice.