Rating based on the actual dialed number may not be applicable in all cases, e.g.
- You give a flat rate for all calls among subscribers, regardless of whether their phone number is from your country or any other country.
- Different rating for incoming and outgoing calls inside your network, inside your reseller network and for calls among the accounts of a single customer.
- Special rating of all calls made to UM or conference access numbers.
- Each customer should be allowed to define several “favorite” numbers and be charged a special rate when calling any of those numbers.
If a billing engine detects one of the special conditions that may require a special rating – it will attempt to authorize and rate the call according to an applicable special destination. The rates for special destinations can be added into a “normal” tariff alongside traditional “phone number”-based destinations.
This allows you to easily maintain a flexible configuration for any rating scenario.
Special destinations for outgoing and forwarded calls
A rate for this special destination covers calls made between IP phones connected to PortaSwitch (regardless of the actual phone number). Please refer to the Voice On-net Rating section of this guide for more details.
This special destination allows you to create a rate that will be applied to on net calls among accounts of subcustomers that are managed by the same Reseller – so the Reseller can apply this rate in the tariffs that will be applied to the subscribers.
Rate for this special destination covers calls made among a single customer’s accounts (on-net calls among extensions within the same PBX context).
Special destinations for incoming calls
A rate for this destination will be used for an incoming call to an account from any destination – whether it comes from another IP phone or a cell phone/landline outside of the network.
A rate for this destination will be used for an incoming call from another IP phone connected to PortaSwitch.
A rate for this special destination is applied to incoming on-net calls among accounts of subcustomers that are managed by the same Reseller.
A rate for this special destination is applied to incoming calls from other accounts under the same customer (within the same PBX context).
Special destinations for instant messages
A rate for this special destination covers messages sent to an IP phone connected to PortaSwitch (regardless of the actual phone number).
This special destination allows you to create a rate to be applied to on net messages sent among accounts of subcustomers managed by the same reseller – so the reseller can apply this rate in the tariffs to be applied to the subscribers.
Rate for this special destination covers messages sent among a single customer’s accounts (among extensions within the same PBX context).
Other special destinations
A rate for this special destination is applied for calls from IP phones to UM access numbers (e.g., to check voice messages).
UMRECORD and UMLISTEN
These rates can be used to charge your customer differently for recording (when caller leaves a message for him) and listening to messages. For example, to charge the customer for accessing his own voicemail specify a price for the special destination UMLISTEN, and to provide voice message recording free of charge, specify “0” in the rate for the destination UMRECORD.
A rate for this special destination is used for charging your customers for calls to any IVR application (for example, for conferencing, callback calling, balance information, etc.).
A rate for this special destination is used when you offer customers a “call friends & family cheaper” type of service. The dialed number is checked against a list of “favorite” numbers defined for each account. If a match is found, the call is rated according to the rate for the FAV destination defined in the customer’s tariff.
A rate for this special destination is applied to calls that are made to emergency numbers.
A rate for this special destination is applied to calls that are made to the Call Trace IVR access number. End users dial the Call Trace IVR access number to request a trace for threatening, harassing or obscene phone calls in the event that they want to initiate an official investigation.
“|” (“pipe” symbol)
When a rate for this destination is created in a tariff, it would match any dialed number unless there is more specific rate available.
To choose a specific rate to be applied to a call, the billing engine first looks up applicable rates for special destinations and if no rate for the special destination is found, it then looks for a rate based on matching a prefix (destination) with an actual phone number. If there is no match using the actual phone prefix, then the billing engine attempts to find a rate with a “|” (“pipe”) destination. Thus the special destinations (except the “pipe”) have higher priority compared to the “normal” rates. So for instance, if a tariff contains a zero rate for VOICEONNET, $0.02/min rate for 1604 (Vancouver, British Columbia) and a zero rate for “|” and the customer dials 16045551234 – the call will be authorized and billed by the zero rate associated with the VOICEONNET destination.
There is also a precedence among the special destinations themselves – in general, the longer destination names take priority, so the system chooses the most specific one. For example, when an account receives a phone call from another IP phone – potentially both INCOMING and INCOMINGN special destinations are applicable, so the billing engine will attempt to look up both of them. If there is a rate for INCOMINGN it will be used (since it is more specific), otherwise the rate for the INCOMING destination will be applied.
Rate codes for measured resources
Apart from session-based special destinations there are other destinations – rate codes for measured resources.
When charges for consumed resources are calculated and applied to a customer, an xDR is created with a defined service type and rate code and then inserted into the database. These xDRs can be grouped per rate code or service type and used to create statistics reports or be displayed on customer invoices (e.g., an xDR with charges for active calls has the ACTIVECALLS rate code and an xDR with charges for the number of concurrent calls allowed has the ALLOWEDCALLS rate code; both xDRs have the Voice Calls service type).
There is a list of default rate codes that are applicable for available measured parameters:
- ACTIVECALLS – this rate code covers charges for the actual number of concurrent calls made by a particular customer’s accounts;
- ALLOWEDCALLS – this rate code covers charges for the number of concurrent calls allowed for a particular customer.
- PBXEXTENSIONS – this rate code covers the charges for the number of extensions a customer has defined within their PBX environment.
If necessary, an administrator can specify custom rate codes and use them for invoicing customers or for statistics purposes.