Indirect Access – Simwood termination from PSTN lines

Simon Woodhead

Simon Woodhead

7th January 2014

Indirect Access is the means by which you can dial a short code (ours is 12940) on a traditional phone line followed by the number you want, and the call will be rerouted to the network owning the code rather than completed by the line supplier. Traditionally this was heavily used against BT Retail lines in the days before Carrier Pre-Select which achieves the same end but without the need for a code.

We’ve had our IDA code for many years but have only recently enabled it in the API as a precursor to some very exciting changes coming this year. So now you can enable an ordinary PSTN line for IDA with a simple API call. That will create a trunk on your account here after which IDA calls from that number prefixed with the code will be billed against your account. Your real-time CDRs will include the trunk ID so you can see usage immediately – no more waiting to the following month! Of course, that also means our full suite of anti-fraud measures are available just as they would be for a SIP trunk.

In the Narrowband Review OFCOM removed the obligation on BT Retail to allow IDA or CPS over its lines, so it is possible that at some point in the future it will not be possible from lines still billed by BT Retail. However, presently it works and it will work on WLR lines where the WLR CP (which may well be you) has not requested otherwise.

We mention this as many of our customers manage estates of traditional PBXs and larger ones may operate their own WLR. Migration to VoIP is a logical plan but in the interim the PSTN remains. In those cases the use of CPS is common but IDA can achieve the same ends more directly as an interim, faster or more flexible option. The code can be programmed in to a PBX dial-plan fairly easily and unlike CPS there should be no seepage while BT provision the pre-selection – IDA is instant and per call. Likewise, IDA codes can usually be configured on the lone fax machines your customers may have lay around!

Traffic landing at Simwood is treated exactly like VoIP trunk traffic. The fraud control settings are applied, you can pre-select which tariff calls are routed on, and you get all the other real-time goodness we offer through the API.

Calls will be billed at our standard VoIP Termination rates for the outbound leg which will likely offer massive savings, particularly for international calls. We charge the IDA “access” leg separately so you’ll see the income leg charged at (at the time of writing) 1.4/minute peak,  0.65p/minute off-peak and 0.5p/minute at weekends. The IDA leg will be billed in per minute increments but the outbound leg will be charged as if it had originated on SIP. This is important to note as many CPS operators may offer attractive per minute rates to heavy resellers but with huge connection charges, per minute rounding on all legs, and charges rounded up to the nearest penny.

We’re working hard to lower our IDA rates further and to offer alternative access solutions. Meanwhile, if you use WLR or use third party CPS for your customers, we’d be really interested in having a chat with you.

To read how to enable your end-users for IDA access, please see the latest API documentation.

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