In this feature we will discuss some of the benefits regarding purchasing wholesale SIP termination as well as some of the potential pitfalls. As the individual responsible for managing vendor accounts at VoIP Innovations I have had the pleasure of working with a variety of different carriers in the VoIP wholesale SIP space. Through these experiences I have learned a great deal about the VoIP market and some of the things to try and avoid.
The challenge is building a system that leverages the benefits and security of solid, conservative players while at the same time augmenting those providers’ coverage with ones that have more aggressive rates. It is through this blend that you can establish a termination platform that completes all calls and does so while keeping margins in the black.
Research is often timing the most important and challenging of the four steps because sometimes it is hard to differentiate legitimate providers from those who are less capable. Fortunately, I have had the privilege of working with a handful of great providers with our sister company, Global Pops and have been able to leverage those relationships for VoIP technology Innovations. When you start exploring the market, what you will find is that many of the large players from the traditional wholesale telecom space are also the top of the list as far as SIP termination today. Outside of those familiar names there are also a good amount of solid, emerging companies that may not be household names.
Once you’ve established that the rates from the provider are worth using in your LCR it is now time to test the connection and the service. This testing period is called “interop” which is the act of interconnecting the two switches. Typically, the carrier will provide an interop form to complete which gathers certain switching info such as an IP Address or CODEC. Once the interconnection has been established, testing can begin. Although there are a number of tests to ensure proper functionality, nothing beats live traffic. Unfortunately, if there are issues when using live traffic, your customers can feel the pain.
That leads us into the last part of RATA which is accountability. When a new carrier is added, they need to be held accountable for underperforming. It is important that you are able to check for completion percentage, PDD (post dial delay), and many other performance metrics. In general, if a provider gives you a rate deck, they should be able to complete the vast majority of the routes in that deck. We like to work with our providers to resolve any issues after integration, but performance is paramount and a string of failure is generally an indication that you should disable the vendor and potentially end the partnership.
Managing a wholesale SIP termination platform requires daily care and feeling and careful interpretation of performance data. Without that data at your disposal you will feel like you are driving a car without being able to see over the dashboard. Rates change on a weekly basis and the market is in a constant flux so staying on top of vendor cost and performance is incredibly important.
Andy Khodr, Sip Systems sales department