September 22, 2010
Integrated with Metaswitch, the NGTelsoft call rating platform offers new choice for mediation, rating and billing platforms
ECG, a network and systems consulting firm, today announced completed integration of the NGTelsoft Call Rating platform with Metaswitch Call Detail Records. NGTelsoft gives telecom carriers a new choice for their mediation, rating, and billing platforms.
NGTelsoft is one of the first and only platforms available that supplements a carrier’s, utility’s, or ISP’s existing billing system with complete call-rating capability. Service providers can use the platform for virtually any billing system – including online services. Carriers are no longer fenced-in by telecom-specific billing platforms.
NGTelsoft cost-efficiently provides a precise calculation of the cost of calls while maintaining compatibility with existing billing platforms to provide line-item records, and move the complexity to a modern Microsoft SQL Server database. A standard NGTelsoft server can rate 50 million calls per month and runs on standard hardware.
By simplifying provisioning, NGTelesoft’s web interface supports local, long distance, toll-free and services calls plus trunk-group billing and post-paid calling cards. The NGTelsoft does complete digit-analysis of phone calls, and provides the option for sophisticated local calling areas to be assigned to each rate plan. The platform also makes LATA-wide or state-wide local calling easier. The NGTelsoft database has information about all rate centers, LATAs, states and territories in the NANPA region and the complete local calling area for a service provider’s calling area.
Customers can bundle a pool of minutes onto plans with free minutes plans. For example, a plan may provide 500 minutes of free local and long-distance usage every month, then charge normally after that.
NGTelsoft also handles tandem trunk-group billing where the customer’s telephone number cannot be known in advance. Each trunk group can have a different rate plan, and all rate plan changes can be scheduled to occur in advance.
Carriers may run their own NGTelsoft server, or use ECG’s hosting services to operate a dedicated installation. Normal support includes rate-plan updates and maintenance at no additional charge. The NGTelsoft API allows for extension and modification by a carrier’s IT staff.
September 22, 2010
ECG Applies best practices for VoIP network design and deployment
Three obstacles plague VoIP Carriers. First, the flexibility and complexity of network design options can make network development take many months or years. Second, support for the complex features of SIP Trunking and Hosted PBX create a huge burden on staff. Finally, experienced VoIP engineers and technicians are hard to find, but there are few options for in-depth training.
ECG, a network and systems consulting firm, is changing that. ECG’s experience and speed radically changes the prospects for many VoIP carriers by lowering the costs and delays to deployment, providing access to experts, and enabling staff development.
VoIP networks not only bring amazing flexibility, but also provide unparalleled complexity in network design, quality-of-service, VoIP phone management, Session Border Controller deployments, and reliability. A typical five-person team with a modest VoIP capital expenditure can cost $40,000 per month while they learn and build the system. That home-grown education is tremendously expensive.
ECG shrinks those costs and delays by applying proven best practices for VoIP carriers. Instead of months to deployment, ECG VoIP network design and deployment can take only weeks. One VoIP carrier with services from Michigan to Florida used ECG for just this purpose. ECG analyzed their network and provided detailed assistance improving performance and security.
Once the network is operational, carriers struggle to staff and maintain the network while servicing existing customers. ECG’s solution is to provide on-demand expertise and routine network maintenance. A carrier’s staff can serve existing customers and win new customers, while using ECG for routine maintenance and troubleshooting tasks. A Hosted PBX VoIP carrier based in New York uses ECG for engineering support and technical customer support on a daily basis to free up their staff for hands-on interactions with clients.
VoIP carriers also learn that the skillset for VoIP networks – SBCs, application servers, SIP signaling, QoS Engineering – are not easily found in the job market. Technical staff must be groomed from within. ECG has the only training on industry-standards technology like SIP, MGCP, RTP and session border controllers. A VoIP carrier in Puerto Rico has used ECG’s training to educate Engineering and Operations teams across the company on Network Fundamentals and VoIP Engineering and Troubleshooting.
One of ECG’s long-time clients is Akabis, a nationwide wholesale VoIP provider based in North Carolina. According to Mark Wiles, vice president of engineering, Akabis, “ECG knows their stuff. They are the solution to making all the pieces come together to make VoIP work.”