Toll Free with LCR (least cost routing) and Redundancy
For many years it’s been known by carriers, very large call centers and other heavy users of long distance that least cost routing (LCR) for outbound calls is an effective way to reduce your usage rates and have redundancy and disaster recovery in case your primary carrier were to fail. But what you may not know is that LCR is also available for toll free traffic as well. The technology has been around since 1993 but hasn’t been widely adopted in the past but savvy carriers & call centers have realized the value of putting in other carriers that are not Tier 1 providers because the call quality is so close among most Tier 2 providers that the risk has been removed.
Last September CenturyLink was down 15 hours or longer, call centers had to wait for CenturyLink’s porting person (only one person) to point toll free numbers to another carrier while their entire network was down. Their network was down because they were forced by the FCC to convert all customers toll free using TDM to SIP. Something went very wrong in the update to the new platform. The call centers on CenturyLink had move all toll free numbers to another carrier toll free carrier and that carrier might only have one person doing their porting too. It was very frustrating to say the least. Before this happens to you, your call center must prepare and diversify your toll free carriers and empower you to fully control your toll free numbers.
You can implement LCR for toll free numbers by becoming your own RespOrg, but it can require hours to manage so if that is not an expense you want to invest in there are a few specialized providers who will provide the LCR for you at a very nominal charge which is more than offset by the savings in utilizing their multiple carriers. Even if you are under contract and have a commitment of minutes, you still should be utilizing LCR for some of your Toll Free traffic for redundancy reasons. Is it worth the effort for setting up LCR for Toll Free? It all depends on your situation. If your mix of usage is some USA and mostly International it might not be right for you, but if your usage is mostly USA or the portion that is USA traffic is in the thousands of dollars per month then the ROI of the time & effort is a fast payback. You can typically expect 20% to 30% savings with toll tree LCR. You should add a second carrier, the new carrier can only take 33,000 NPA/NXXs in the Resporg system.
Call Center Pros™ arranged an Independent Resporg that has affordable tiers for call centers, so your call center is no longer dependent for a single carrier and trapped on that carrier’s Resporg ID. CCP can also introduce you to a reliable AT&T reseller that delivers toll free via SIP better than AT&T can deliver SIP. Everyone loves AT&T’s zero trouble tickets, but do not like AT&T’s big company mentality. Once you have an independent Resporg, CCP can help develop a template, these are the most common templates (simplified):
- Keep your current toll free provider but have an AT&T reseller taking your AT&T landlines and AT&T wireless traffic.
- Keep your current toll free provider but have an AT&T reseller taking your AT&T landlines and all wireless traffic.
- Another template for the call centers might have AT&T as their current provider, our AT&T rates will be lower or CCP can bring in another carrier to split the traffic for redundancy and cost savings.
The way this works, you will have toll free redundancy from two SIP carriers; your Resporg will be under your company’s control, and through your Resporg interface your company can repoint the NPA NXXs which are down, to the other carrier. For those of you who are a call center and are still utilizing PRIs there are solutions to take advantage of the lower cost of SIP Trunking for your Toll Free traffic by using a SIP gateway interface which will convert SIP to PRI signaling. Any carrier CCP recommends with not charge a monthly SIP fee or any hidden fees. SIP technology has been around for years and is very reliable. The most important component is having a stable ISP providing enough bandwidth and low, stable latency. So whether you are still using PRIs, looking to move from PRI to SIP Trunking or are already using SIP and your toll free usage is several thousand dollars a month, then you owe it to yourself to look into LCR for toll free.
For a free analysis & evaluation of your call center voice traffic please call +1-404-936 4000.