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Rate Card Overview

Rate Cards are an important ConnexCS feature because they organise the majority of the information.

Rate Cards define both the routing and billing of customer calls.

When a dialled number comes in, it hits the customer's card first.

You can associate the Customer Card with one or more Provider Cards, each of which will have different means for routing the calls and billing the call.

We can also say that Provider Cards create Customer Cards.

Rate Card Terminology

Several terms in ConnexCS are interchangeably used when talking about Rate Cards:

  • Provider = Carrier
  • Provider Rate Card = Parent Card
  • Customer Rate Card = Child Rate Card

The ConnexCS Control Panel has the following four sections for Rate Cards:

  • Provider Cards govern routing and rates based on the carrier. You can find the Details under Provider Rate Cards.
  • Customer Cards are typically derived from Provider Cards, and allow for additional customer management. You can find the Details under Customer Rate Cards.
  • Routing gives an overview of the routing for customers and links to configure customers.
  • Global Search provides a way to search for routes and rates based on the Provider and Direction.

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Code and Billing Accuracy

It's always sound practice to base Rate Cards on the information in Provider cards.

Code accuracy is perhaps one of the most important of these benefits.

In any system with card-based profiles, code accuracy is one of the means to ensure the accuracy of the whole system.

It also increases the reliability of all data passed or collected.

Rate Card Compilation Engine

ConnexCS features a comprehensive rate card building engine that can import several carrier rate cards (Parent Rate cards) in either NPA-NXX or single-cost (column) and output NPA-NXX or single-cost. These can take the minimum, maximum, or average values.

Different Length Prefixes

The ConnexCS rate card engine handles arbitrary length prefixes and understands the strict rules required to merge them.

Why do I have so many long prefixes?

To ensure accuracy, it may be necessary to normalize rate cards when combining them.

The process may add prefixes to make all cards comparable. (These changes are safe, but included to increase granularity; they won't introduce errors.)

After compilation, you need to run additional scripts to make the rate card smaller; but, the primary goal of the engine is accuracy.


Between Cards

If you have multiple carrier cards and you want to compile them into a single card, pay attention to the Rate Compact variable. It forms the strategy we use to output a cost per destination.

For instance, use Min if you are dealing with cost-sensitive routing or Max if you are looking at quality-driven prices.

What happens when the Min route fails?

The cheapest provider receives calls first if you use Min as the default setting. But if that provider doesn't take the call, it will failover to a more expensive provider. Keep in mind that this provider's costs may exceed your profit margins.

You can enable Profit Assurance to help ease this, but be prepared: Profit Assurance can't protect against different billing pulses or connection fees.

Different Card Types

If you wish to transform an NPA-NXX price into a single cost-per-code, you will need to collapse your rate card.

This takes similar settings to Rate Compact, but you can apply this when picking out a single cost per prefix per provider.

It's joined with other providers AFTER this process has taken place.

Why should I Use Rate Card Building

Example 1

You may want to provide UK landlines to your customers and decide to add 441 to your rate deck. Your carrier may charge more to deliver calls to Gurnsey, so they would have a higher cost for 441481. Building your own rate cards might make discrepancies like this less visible.

One possible consequence is that your carrier will charge you more in these instances.

Profit Assurance can protect you against this sometimes, but not if your carrier bills on 60/60 and you are selling at 1/1, or if your carrier has connection fees.

Also, customers might expect to connect calls to prefixes that aren't included if you rely purely on profit assurance.

Example 2

If you sell NPA-NXX but also have some flat rates (and allowed cherry-picking) with just one prefix, you can combine several cards to generate the most competitive pricing. Then, you can place the margins at 20% once a carrier issues you a new rate card.

Click regenerate and the system will deal with all 200,000 prefixes on each and generate new pricing.

Example 3

Take the following cards, each with a different Rate Compact.

Prefix Destination Cost
Provider Rate Card A
441 UK Landline 0.01
442 UK Landline 0.01
Provider Rate Card A
441 UK Landline 0.0075
442 UK Landline 0.0075
Provider Rate Card A
441 UK Landline 0.02
442 UK Landline 0.02

After merging the 3 providers, we would have the following 3 cards output:

Prefix Destination Merged Cost
Merged Cost (min)
441 UK Landline 0.0075
442 UK Landline 0.0075
Merged Cost (max)
441 UK Landline 0.02
442 UK Landline 0.02
Merged Cost (avg)
441 UK Landline 0.0125
442 UK Landline 0.0125