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 Post subject: Major fix 4 least cost routing using multiple providers
PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:16 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2006 3:13 pm
Posts: 123
Location: English Indiana, USA
As of now A2billing does not support a true least cost routing by a simple import of multiple provider’s rates. This is a serious shortcoming for the common a2billing user and still difficult even for more advance users.
The only way A2billing supports true least cost routing using multiple providers is when each provider’s data have the exact same length prefixes for each area. But most (probable 95%) of the time this is not the case so just importing providers rates and expecting a2billing to find the least cost route will give one a very sad disappointment. Many providers will have many of the same prefixes but almost all will have many that are different length for same areas.

I will list an example to show this.
I have 3 USA major providers that sends me their rates.
Provider A gives USA rates by Area code 812 which is three digits. = 270 rates records
Provider B gives USA rates by Area code and prefix 812739 which is six digits. = around 250,000 rates records
Provider C gives USA rates by Area code and prefix plus one Digit 8127392 which is 7 digits. = around half a million rates records

So say I import all three providers under same or different ratecards. It doesn’t make a difference long as the ratecards are assigned all to the same call plan assigned to the client

Provider A Rate 812 = 0.015
Provider B Rate 812739 = 0.01
Provider C Rate 8127392 = 0.03

When a call is made to 812-739-2260 the call will go out Provider C even though its double the rate of Provider A and three times the rate of Provider B. This is because A2billing looks for the longest prefix which is what you want if you using just one provider.

This issue is not as big in the USA because rates are closer the same and many providers use just the area code. Unfortunate for me I have few USA providers that are routing my NPANXX plus additional digit.

As for international the voip market is still so undeveloped with so many providers and prefixes and prices varying so much that the least cost routing in a2billing is useless when you just import the rates as your providers give them to you.

The only way at the moment to use the A2billing least cost routing is by converting all the Prefixes for all the providers to match the longest used prefix of the cheapest provider for any giving area. This is a painstaking process and not at all easy to do. It requires good amount of Sql statement AND DATA manipulation SKILLS which the common user does not have.

I believe the simple solution is to have A2billing group by providers. This way it will use cheapest rate provider and still use the rate of longest prefix matching the number being called but only on a provider level.

Instead of grouping by providers which will require additional programming one can just put each provider in a separate ratecard. The ratecard screen would need an extra option to tell a2billing to use the longest prefix for that ratecard even if it’s prefix is shorter than the prefix for the another ratecard assigned to the same call plan.

This will allow any A2billing user to quickly import rate records from 2 to infinite number providers selling termination to same areas but using different prefix length. The A2billing user will just need to make sure he-she puts each provider under a different ratecard.

A2billing will them always return the cheapest rate based on provider instead of based on longest prefix of all the providers combine.

 Post subject: Re: Major fix 4 least cost routing using multiple providers
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:08 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2006 3:13 pm
Posts: 123
Location: English Indiana, USA
I retract my last statements about a2billing not having true least cost routing. If rates are not entered correctly no telecom program can automatically determine every factor and always make the best choice in routing calls. There too many variables and what is right for one user might not be right for another. I spent several hours trying to rework the sql statement a2billing uses to make improvement in the least cost routing area and finally come to the conclusion it’s not possible to cover all the possible scenarios.

The bottom line is your rate-data has to be entered correctly regardless of what type least cost routing software one might be using. I spoke too soon without first doing a little research. Trying to cover too many possible scenarios could and most likely would greatly reduce performance such as speed and this is aside from the fact it still wouldn’t be right for everyone or every situation.

Attached is a tool that can help modify your rate-decks rates so they can be organized properly for the least cost routing to work. It consists of sql statements and some code for mysql triggers. It’s not the best written code or easiest to use and might not fit all everyone’s needs but for the most part it can be a real time saver for many common rate-deck issues

I accidently posted it on the wrong part of the forums and not going to repost it again here other than to attach a file. To read more about it go to. viewtopic.php?f=4&t=6892

least_cost_routing_tool.txt [28.86 KiB]
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