Much like 800-numbers are toll-free in the United States, South Africa also possesses a set of general numbers that fall under the toll-free category.
Any 0860 numbers in South Africa function as “Sharecall numbers,” which enable consumers to pay local call rates to get in touch with any business. Now, a least cost routing solution has been implemented as a way to counteract the high costs experienced by businesses footing the bill for the difference.
With Vox Orion’s least cost routing solution, customers can thus lessen the costs associated with 0860 numbers.
In an article, Vox Orion’s managing director, Jacques du Toit, commented: “The problem exists because South Africa’s regulatory environment doesn’t yet allow for proper geographic number portability. If it was possible to have local numbers in Nelspruit and Kimberley and Bloemfontein, that would ring in your Johannesburg office, many businesses would choose that. Until we get there, the 0860 system is an expensive compromise.”
Since Vox Orion has a point-of-presence in most South African towns linked by its own national backbone network, the least cost routing solution is expected to be successful.
“We pick up the call at the local exchange, and then carry it to its destination across our own network,” said du Toit. “The customer saves the entire national portion of the call.”
As reported by TMCnet, number portability has also been an issue in the U.S. as 40 percent of all telephone calls are made to ported numbers. Least cost routing is an important focus here as routing calls based on the dialed telephone number can cause as many as 40 percent of these calls to be misrouted. When calls are misrouted, VoIP service providers find that the quality of service is degraded and termination fees are increased by 15 to 25 percent. This heightens the importance of number portability correction.
To drive an effective solution, operators are seeking to route telephone calls based on the routing number, and not on the dialed telephone number. This least cost routing can deliver measurable benefits.
While number portability has taken effect this year in many overseas countries, including Chile, South Africa businesses must continue to rely on other alternatives, such as Vox Orion’s least cost routing, to save on costs.
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Tammy Wolf is a TMCnet web editor. She covers a wide range of topics, including IP communications and information technology. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Juliana Kenny