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Why in-country routing is a game-changer for cloud communications


June 5, 2019


April 10, 2023


Have you ever tried to build a local telephony presence for your business in multiple countries around the world simultaneously? If you’ve just broken out in a cold sweat and managed to eek out a ‘yes’ through gritted teeth, all I can say is I feel your pain. For those of you who haven’t experienced this particular joy, would you know where to begin?

Do you choose the compromised quality and reliability of international calling services, or the absolutely mammoth undertaking of effectively establishing your own network of carriers (hiring legal experts to negotiate contracts with regulators and incumbent providers in every market, as well as telco people to manage capacity and run the thing)? Rock, meet Hard Place, your new best friend.

What if there were a better way? I’m here to tell you that there is. With in-country routing from the cloud, it is possible for you to create a fully localized two-way calling solution for your business that is indistinguishable from those offered by incumbents.

The best part is that you can do it across multiple markets with a single contract and one configuration using software and APIs. Read on to find out why in-country routing is such a gamechanger for cloud communications.

The limitations of international termination

Historically, international termination has been a commodities game characterized by low margins, a lack of transparency and variable-at-best quality. It’s an industry where arbitrage is often the order of the day, with providers offering long-distance calling access at the lowest possible rate, then profiting on the interconnect fees. All other considerations are secondary at best in this model.

Unsurprisingly, grey routes are common, meaning a general lack of regulatory compliance, questionable routing quality and multiple codec conversions – all conspiring to form a compromised service. And that’s without even getting into the limited use cases of international telephony for customers that typically need a more localized presence to do business effectively.

Sure, there are things a business can do to minimize these problems – sticking to bigger providers and paying more for a (hopefully) better quality of service; then actively monitoring quality (easier said than done given the myriad factors that need to be measured, from mean opinion scores (MOS) to caller identification (CLI) and even DTMF tones). But ultimately these can only ever be corrective measures, not a preventive ones.

An earth-sized migraine from carrying your own comms

The other alternative is to invest in establishing in-country interconnections between your network and local carriers in the markets where you do business. This is a surefire way to create fully localized, high-quality call experiences featuring local CLI display and ringtones, the least possible amount of transcoding and no hairpinning – where call traffic is routed unnecessarily out of the country or region in question before coming back.

But it is also very expensive and time consuming. Not just in terms of the equipment required to set up and maintain, but also in the management of multiple contracts in many different languages with local providers and regulators. That’s without even mentioning the need for capacity forecasting in each market and difficulties ensuring compliance against the backdrop of a rapidly evolving regulatory landscape.

A better way forward

If you’ve been following our story over the years, you’ll know we’re a cloud communications provider that came up through the ranks as an inbound play. In 2017 we added international termination to the mix – not as an end in and of itself, but to lay the groundwork for the launch of our fully localized national calling service, which came a year later. In order to deliver this groundbreaking service, we interconnected our outbound services directly into the national networks of numerous high-value markets around the world. This required a large amount of legal groundwork in various markets for us to obtain the required regulatory approvals to do so.

Thanks to the in-country routing capabilities at its heart, we are now in the privileged and unique position of being able to provide true two-way local calling solutions from the cloud that are indistinguishable from those offered by incumbents in 25+ markets and counting, including the US, UK, Germany, France, Australia and the vast majority of the EU.

Now, we can offer a national dialing capability featuring full in-country routing to bring all of these benefits to your business:

  • Full access to national telephone numbering plans, including special numbers
  • Local CLI and ring tones on in-country calls for 4x higher answer rates
  • Access to local Emergency Services for full peace of mind and regulatory compliance
  • Best-possible calling experience for both parties in terms of latency and quality
  • By ensuring that call traffic remains in-country, we also avoid local regulatory hurdles restricting the scope of services telephony providers can offer in situations where this is not the case.

Without delving too far into a sales pitch, coming to Bandwidth for your telephony means you get this fully localized two-way voice presence in the markets you need without the huge overlays I outlined above. Because we’re a fully-licensed local player in 65+ markets with our own numbering resources in the majority of them, you get a unified carrier-grade call experience that fully replicates the functionality of the PSTN including number portability and access to Emergency Services – without the need for multiple contracts and complex pricing.

Whether you want a local presence in one country, ten or 50, we give this to you through one contract and a single SIP configuration. It really couldn’t be easier than that.

Get in touch to learn more about our localized two-way voice services