The legally mandated slashing of interconnect rates across the mobile sector had many industry pundits claiming the full and final death of least cost routing (LCR). But, while the shift in market dynamics certainly changed the way the telephone management game was played, the recent release of low-cost bundle offerings means the death of LCR has turned out to be very exaggerated.
“Before one even gets to recent pricing shifts, it's important to note that LCR will always be an important cost management tool,” says Kevin Greig, Sales Manager at SS Telecoms, one of South Africa's leading telephony solution providers.
“Pricing in the market is variable, so there will always be a least cost route to follow. Granted, in certain phases, the savings may be more marked than in others, but LCR will always be an important cost management tool for most organisations.”
General telephony cost management theory aside, the recent releases by various operators of low-cost bundle offerings has without doubt significantly improved the immediate savings on offer via LCR.
“Businesses should be taking advantage of this. The dynamic could change at any time, of course, so the long-term priority should be on ensuring the organisation has the permanent ability to analyse all costs, and automatically route via the cheaper option,” says Greig.
Greig also points out that LCR technology is not overly complex, or expensive. The LCR device or Premicell, for example, attaches easily to a standard company PABX switchboard. It contains a SIM card with a cellphone contract, and any calls made to a cellphone number are routed from the PABX via the optimum mobile route, instead of through the Telkom landline network and on to the cellphone.
“Yes, LCR is back,” concludes Greig. “But, honestly, it never went anywhere. With so many different providers and cost structures out there, LCR must be a fundamental part of any organisation's telephone management set-up. It really is as simple as that.”