December 1, 2005

2 Min Read
Wholesalers Add OCN Billing to IP Offers

By Khali Henderson



Two leading wholesale carriers announced in October IP services offers with access-based billing schemes for facilities-based carrier customers and similar granular billing for rebillers on the product road map.

Qwest Communications International Inc., for example, announced it will provide operating company number-based (OCN) billing to wholesale facilities-based carrier customers of its IP voice termination services.

Traditionally, customers pay for services using blended or averaged rates. However, with the OCN billing option, they will receive pricing for more than 25,000 OCN-based rates.

Qwest introduced OCN billing for TDM termination this summer. Roland Thornton, executive vice president of wholesale services for Qwest, says the rollout was well-received. Now, the product is available with IP termination.


Theoretically, they should get a more accurate cost structure.
Qwests Roland Thornton

Thornton says Qwest also has plans for an OCN billing offer for rebillers, which he expects to be ready by second quarter 2006. The product will enable rebillers to gain similar advantages of OCN-level billing that facilities-based carriers now get, but Qwest will route the traffic for them. Theoretically, they should get a more accurate cost structure, Thornton says.

MCI Inc. also announced a Carrier IP Termination Solution with OCN-based billing. The SIP-based product is available on a limited basis in 2005 and more broadly in the first quarter of 2006. The product also has a TDM-based counterpart.

Mike Yancy, director of product development for wholesale marketing for MCI, says many wholesale customers are looking at their services in piece parts in order to achieve the most competitive rate structure. For example, he says, customers for which local is not a significant volume of their traffic, will use Feature Group D termination instead of taking advantage of reciprocal compensation rates.

If their local volume is high, he says, they are inclined to use the companys SIP Gateway Service, which offers two-way local or local/long-distance together. While SIP Gateway presently offers postalized rates, Yancy says, OCN-based billing is coming in the first half of 2006. Once we get that functionality, people offering a local/long-distance combination will find the [SIP Gateway] Two-Way Complete service will be better [from a cost perspective], he says.

Currently, both the IP termination product and SIP Gateway are targeted to facilities-based carriers. We are looking at bringing to market a softswitch for pure rebillers targeted at smaller wholesale customers, Yancy says. He did not offer a timetable for such a launch.

Links

MCI Inc. www.mci.com
Qwest Communications International Inc. www.qwest.com

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