Call barring

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Call barring allows you to prohibit outgoing calls to specific destinations for all customer accounts as well as for an individual account. The main difference between call barring and blocking destinations in a tariff is that the latter applies to all customers using a given tariff plan, while call barring can be activated and configured for an individual account. Another difference is that only the administrator can manage a tariff plan, while call barring can be provisioned by end users themselves (e.g., parents prohibiting calls to a dubious premium number on their child’s phone or a small business owner blocking outgoing international calls on a public phone in his coffee house).

When the call barring feature is activated, as part of normal call authorization the system checks whether a dialed number matches any pattern specified in the call barring classes. If it does, and if call barring has been activated for that class, the call is rejected.

Call barring rules are ignored for calls between accounts of the same customer. Thus, if PBX phone lines start with a 1206 prefix and 1206 is added to their call barring rules, the calls between the accounts will still go through.

The call barring rules don’t block emergency calls so if the call barring pattern includes emergency numbers, e.g., 112, the users can still reach the emergency center.

A call barring class covers a specific set of phone numbers that the customer should potentially be denied access to. In this regard, a call barring class is very similar to a destination group. The difference is that while a destination group can only contain pre-defined destination prefixes, a call barring class operates with a mixture of patterns (e.g., 448% – any number starting with 448) and actual phone numbers (e.g., 44810010099). This lets you fine-tune call barring options without creating excessive destination prefixes.

Various barring classes (for example, “Mobiles” or “International”) are defined on the Call barring classes page. Specific barring classes can then be turned on or off for individual accounts.

Priority levels

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You can apply call barring feature to a product, customer and/or account. If these entities have different call barring rules defined, the following priority order applies (from the highest to the lowest):

  • Account;
  • Customer;
  • Product;

Therefore, when an account makes a call, PortaBilling first tries to apply the account’s call barring settings. If these are not defined, PortaBilling applies the customer’s settings. If the customer’s settings are not defined, then the product’s settings are applied.

Note that, by default, an account inherits a customer’s call barring rules and product settings (enabled/disabled).

Consider the following example:

The US company, TopFashion, produces clothes and distributes them all over the world. The company hires many employees from Mexico. For this reason, the customer asks a PortaBilling administrator to prohibit this destination in order to prohibit the personal use of office phones. So the administrator creates a call barring rule that includes Mexican destinations and assigns it to the TopFashion customer. This way, no one in the company can call Mexico.

Later on, however, TopFashion contacts the administrator and asks that sales managers only be permitted to call Mexico. The administrator goes to the sales managers’ accounts and cancels the rule about Mexican destinations. Now sales managers can call Mexico with no restrictions.

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