Many South African businesses that installed least cost routing (LCR) systems in an attempt to reduce their telephone bills, are paying far more for calls than they should because they have neglected to update their LCR contracts regularly.
That warning comes from Graeme Victor, CEO of telecommunications solutions company Du Pont Telecom, who points out that call charges from all network operators have dropped significantly over the past few years.
"LCR devices are installed by businesses to save on landline to cellphone calls. LCR devices automatically route calls to cellphones dialled via the company PBX to the most appropriate cellular network, turning what would be a landline to cellphone call into a cellphone-to-cellphone call," he explains.
No contract review reminder
Because call charges to the same network have generally been cheaper than across-network calls, many businesses opt to install SIMs from the different networks in their LCR devices, with separate contracts for each. However, many businesses neglect to update their contracts once these expire.
"With an LCR contract, there is no two-year, time to upgrade your handset contract review reminder we are accustomed to with individual user contracts. So LCR contracts tend to roll over from month to month for years after they expire," Victor says.
The result is that the prices these businesses continue to be charged for calls to cellphones are much higher than those available on the latest LCR contracts. Du Pont has come across instances where the business's LCR contract is so outdated that they would actually reduce their telephone bills by simply throwing out their LCR and paying standard Telkom-to-cellphone rates."
Only one LCR package needed
According to Victor, businesses should constantly review their LCR contracts as prices are tumbling. "The recent launch of Cell C's new LCR offering is an excellent example of this," he says. "Not only are the costs of calls to local and national landline numbers extremely competitive, Cell C's charges for calls to all the mobile networks are considerably lower than anything else currently available. Importantly, call charges to all the mobile networks are exactly the same, which means there is no need to purchase more than one LCR package."
Victor also believes the new Cell C LCR package offers a viable alternative to Voice over IP (VoIP) for smaller businesses that cannot afford or justify the cost of the high-speed ADSL connectivity required for quality, bandwidth-hungry VoIP telephony.
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