International or Long Distance calls continue to be a crucial revenue stream for Wireline or Fixed Service Providers. Monitoring the rate and participants in successful call completion is important for ensuring call completion and guaranteeing revenue. In the telecommunications industry, it is important that service providers use accurate and reliable metrics and key performance indicators to measure their customers’ experience as they deliver services. The important thing to note is that regardless of the strategy employed by service providers in measuring customer experience, the main source of these key performance indicators or metrics still remains the service providers’ networks.
This inevitably leads to the question: what should they measure when evaluating customer experience and for what purpose? Service providers can establish the number of successful calls, excluding both terminal and subscriber behavior, by using Network Effectiveness Ratio (NER) and other relevant metrics. In case failures are found in calls made to partner service providers, implementation of corrective actions can be enabled close to real time information derived from NER. This information is useful in maintenance of Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
This is where the volume of terminating or transiting calls in the networks of service providers is used by the providers to bill each other. Furthermore, the information can be useful for determining and controlling the most effective and efficient call routes, using a process referred to as Least Cost Routing (LCR). Least cost routing is, however, not a new process. Nonetheless, service providers continue to push every innovative software company in the industry to come up with applications and tools that facilitate the successful implementation, integration and management of this routing system. Some of the more prolific software company’s in the market have developed valuable products, such as LCR as a Service, that have proven extremely instrumental in the service providers’ quest to provide affordable, high quality services.
In other instances, a service provider may come together with several other partner service providers in order to formulate strategies that ensure the continuity of service in the event that one or more of the partners is met with a debilitating issue. However, it is not always the case that all the stakeholders pertaining to a particular service will agree to underwrite or guarantee the agreed upon Quality of Service. In addition to that, current Service Level Agreements are typically based on the volume of calls completed or routed at particular periods.
Service providers are able to combine the pertinent “cost to complete” SLA information with both volume and quality related metrics, through accurate and detailed analysis of traffic. This, in effect, allows them to begin the call routing process, at optimal times, to the partner service providers who provide the quality of service required by subscribers, while maintaining affordable tariffs for call/cost completion. In summary, in addition to maintaining current revenues while bringing down operational expenses, least cost routing also has a direct positive impact of the bottom line of the service providers.