Today's business communications require dedicated voice services, which can mean comparing call origination and termination separately. You've come to the right place if you're searching for the information you need to make an informed decision about your VoIP service needs. Today we cover VoIP termination 101.
We're in the first quarter of 2022, and the world continues to adopt virtual communications at an astonishing pace. While some speculated that the surge in demand for hosted voice in 2020 and 2021 was a temporary market shift, companies worldwide continue to embrace modernized communications. In global companies, the hybrid work model is working better than anyone could have (confidently) predicted.
It isn't to say that the global migration to the cloud has been easy. It can be difficult to integrate new VoIP services or technologies into your operations, whether you are replacing a legacy PBX system or trying to optimize your current business phone setup. It's especially true if you're setting up a dedicated voice termination service for the first time!
We want to equip you with the knowledge you need to make confident, competent choices about voice termination. We're going to simplify a few complexities of global telecom today so you can make informed choices about your voice termination needs, starting with call origination and termination 101.
How Call Origination & Termination Work in VoIP
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a method of making telephone calls over the Internet. VoIP is advantageous to users because it requires no special equipment, other than a mobile phone, tablet, computer, mobile network data, and Internet connection. VoIP is generally cheaper and less restrictive than landline-based telephone services.
The traditional PSTN is similar to VoIP in that calls may travel across several networks before reaching their recipients. In order to ensure uninterrupted conversations, traditional telephone carriers accept or pass through calls placed from outside networks.
The same applies to VoIP providers. Together, they connect calls from one location to a recipient number, or destination. Call origination is where the number is dialed from, while call termination refers to the location of the recipient.
What is VoIP Termination?
The process of patching through calls from one VoIP phone to another is called VoIP termination. You might see esoteric definitions of VoIP termination laid out like this:
VoIP call termination refers to the procedures that route telephone calls from one provider to the next provider until the call is routed to the last telephone company and received by the recipient.
That’s a mouthful! You can think of VoIP termination as telephone carriers mutually agreeing to connect callers around the globe so calls can connect people between any location.
So, a VoIP termination service provider is a type of carrier that ensures your outgoing calls are connected to your recipients via their network and/or partner networks. VoIP termination services are also responsible for security, audio quality, and least-cost-routing for those calls, as well as any other solution standards laid out in their service level agreement.
Now, this is telecom we're talking about here, and it wouldn't be telecom without acronyms. Common terms you'll see in this article or others as you continue your research include:
- A-Z VoIP Termination: A-Z VoIP termination is normally used in reference to a provider's complete list of rates for outbound calls to all available countries, beginning with Afghanistan and ending with Zimbabwe.
- SIP Termination: SIP stands for Session Initiated Protocol. SIP is one method of VoIP call connection, although "SIP" termination is usually used interchangeably with "VoIP" termination in online content.
- SIP Trunking: SIP trunking is the connection between your phone system and an external voice service. SIP trunking can be used for VoIP origination, termination, or 2-way voice services.
- VoIP Origination: While VoIP termination services are concerned with the delivery of your outbound calls to your destination, a VoIP origination service refers to the inbound phone numbers and service used to manage incoming calls.
Who Uses Voice Termination Services?
There are several types of organizations that benefit from a reliable voice termination provider. The most common use-cases include:
- BPOs & Call Centers
- Partnered Services & Enterprises
- Embedded Communications
BPOs & Call Centers
Business process outsourcing, or BPO, is outsourced call center service that handles aspects of your company's operations that your staff is either unable to complete or can't execute efficiently. A successful sales or service call center requires major time and investment, so BPOs handle those operations so that your company does not have to worry about the dozens of tasks involved in setting up the technologies, negotiating prices, staying compliant, hiring & training agents, etc.
Considering that BPOs manage call center operations for multiple companies or sometimes a single enterprise, it's easy to see why dedicated call termination providers are needed. A BPO's operations suffer from dropped calls and poor call quality, and even a small difference in VoIP termination rates can significantly affect your bottom line when your agents make thousands of outbound calls each month.
Partnered Services & Enterprises
VoIP termination providers are frequently partnered with enterprises and medium-sized businesses with international calling needs. There are similar reasons for this in a BPO - when you have that many agents on the phone, making thousands or even millions of outbound calls per month, any lags in your QoS standards are devastating, and even a small reduction in call termination makes a significant difference. Dedicated voice services are usually integrated into existing systems using SIP trunking. A common example of this is when companies use Microsoft Teams as their virtual phone system, but opt for Direct Routing with a partner like AVOXI rather than settle for limited Calling Plans.
Alternatively, partnered services may also include resellers or "channel partners." These are other voice services and unified communication platforms that partner with one or multiple call termination providers to improve their own service offerings in regions where they lack a network. Cable providers even offer similar arrangements, which bundle VoIP service with their Internet and broadcast/cable media products to provide their commercial and residential customers the convenience of purchasing everything they need in one place.
Apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, or Apple's FaceTime make use of VoIP termination services to carry out their calling functions. The calls placed from mobile apps typically travel through several networks before reaching their destination, especially if the recipient resides in another country. As part of the data packets traveling through the cloud and reassembled at their destination device, many of these apps come with additional features -- video chat, file sharing, SMS.
These programmable voice APIs can also be used by partners to embed products in their own platforms or shopping carts. If you are looking at an international voice provider's shopping cart, there's a chance some of the numbers being displayed are actually from AVOXI's shopping cart and being displayed via phone number API!
8 Reasons Organizations Use VoIP Termination Services
The business cases for a great VoIP termination provider are endless, but we've filtered our list down to 8 no-brainer reasons to take advantage of these services. Below are some common business benefits when partnering with a dependable call termination service:
1. Outbound CLI (Local Voice Termination)
Are you looking for more people to answer your phone calls? Make your outbound caller ID a local number! Sounds easy, but international telephony is never that straightforward. The ability to use local caller ID in target markets is a top priority of most companies when choosing their VoIP termination providers. The reason is simple: companies that do not display a familiar caller ID may miss out on more than 75% of answered calls. For instance, recipients in China are 10x more likely to answer calls from companies using local numbers!
Call termination service with guaranteed outbound caller ID is known as local voice termination. Local caller ID service features like AVOXI TrueLocal prevent poor answer rates in your target markets, especially during international calls. You can learn more about guaranteed CLI during outbound calls by attending our free webinar Look Local, Sell Local. Get the full webinar & slide deck →
2. Expanded Call Coverage
Vanity numbers are usually available from VoIP providers rather than from traditional phone companies. VoIP provides greater access to phone numbers in hard-to-reach places, such as app-based numbers, PBX-based lines, or unified communication accounts (like Teams).
Companies that partner with a global voice termination provider like AVOXI or several local vendors in their target markets are able to provide worldwide call coverage, also known as A to Z termination. These arrangements typically extend the coverage of your inbound numbers as well. For example, AVOXI partners have the ability to provision inbound virtual numbers from 170+ countries within minutes, all from one intuitive user interface. There are a number of rare types that other providers do not have access to in Australia, India, Nigeria, the UAE, and many more.
3. Friendly User Experience
The benefit of partnering with reliable call termination providers is that you no longer need to worry about maintaining your telecom network, allowing you to concentrate on the daily operations and goals that drive your business. With a reliable provider like AVOXI, you don't need additional IT staff and you get live phone support 24/7.
4. Price Reduction (Wholesale Call Rates)
In practically every scenario companies may encounter, VoIP termination rates are more affordable (and easier to work with) than PSTN-based services. Wholesale voice termination rates are especially advantageous for qualifying businesses. As well as reducing headcount requirements and saving time when using a VoIP termination provider, wholesale VoIP partnerships enable vendors to offer industry-leading rates. Learn more about flexible voice origination and termination partnerships with AVOXI→
5. Automated Work Flows
When your business opens a new office, goes remote, or sends representatives overseas, your VoIP network follows you. No new hardware or configuration is needed. Take advantage of unified communications and integrate your voice service with your CRM and other technologies to automate tasks and free up your agents to communicate with customers. See our ever-growing list of CRM, helpdesk, and business tech integrations →
6. PSTN Replacement
If your customers and business are all within your local area - meaning you could rely on the local telephone network for all your phone needs - then you might still benefit from signing up with a VoIP termination provider. VoIP providers could offer a full range of business call services that local phone vendors cannot match, and at a more affordable price!
7. Consolidated Technology for Unified Communications
There is some level of unified communication integration offered by most VoIP termination providers. You and your employees can continue to use the systems you know without losing productivity.
Looking to upgrade your system or plan a rip-and-replace migration to a cloud-based phone system? You got it. Your VoIP provider will handle those changes for you. You can upgrade your technology online too. Therefore, a simple update and a reboot of your computers puts your phones back on the same page.
8. Superior Call Quality (Especially Internationally!)
Providers of VoIP termination constantly strive to eliminate the inconveniences of dropped calls, post-dial delays, poor audio quality, and other annoyances that can occur when making long-distance calls. Most providers guarantee a good connection, regardless of the location of the caller. Your VoIP provider is responsible for routing your calls efficiently. Their backup systems ensure that your phone service will continue uninterrupted even if technical errors occur. Learn about the resilient network powering AVOXI's voice services →
Understanding VoIP Termination Providers
A VoIP termination service ensures that VoIP calls reach their intended destination without being dropped and with the highest level of quality possible. There is a greater chance of something going wrong as you rely on more carriers to place outbound calls. In order to address this problem, VoIP termination services continually optimize these outgoing call routes on their network and then pass these benefits on to companies or partners that use them to host outgoing calls. VoIP termination services can also ensure seamless data transfers if you are making a video call or using a UC that allows audience chat or file transfer during the call.
Due to the fact that call termination services are used for such a variety of purposes, the first thing to look for is the type of organization the VoIP service is designed for. Is the provider's primary focus on voice termination routes in the US and Canada but they also offer some international services, or are they primarily focused on international call traffic? Can they offer local VoIP termination, and if so, where can they ensure local caller ID, as well as which destinations are best effort? And of course, are they a Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 voice provider?
VoIP termination companies can be categorized into three main categories, known as "tiers." If you are unfamiliar with VoIP provider tiers, you're in luck! Once we explain them, you will know 80% of what you need to know about a provider's network infrastructure just by knowing what carrier tier they belong to.
The 3 Tiers of of VoIP Termination Providers
VoIP termination providers, or telecom carriers generally, fall into three broad categories; Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3. Tiers of telecom carriers differ in the way their networks operate. Here are details on each tier.
Tier 1 Telecom Carriers
Tier 1 carriers have their own infrastructure and maintain a network consisting of direct connections between all points. The large carriers have peering agreements with Tier 2 and sometimes Tier 3 carriers, but always prioritize their own traffic first. Tier 1 carriers are few and far between.
Tier 2 Telecom Carriers
Peering agreements exist between Tier 2 telecom carriers and one or more Tier 1 carriers. The majority of Tier 2 carriers piggyback off of a Tier 1 network, but some have their own infrastructure in certain regions and/or maintain direct connections with multiple Tier 1 carriers, routing calls through the carrier best suited to handle the call based on when and where it occurs.
Tier 3 Telecom Carriers
Tier 3 telecom providers are startup or niche providers that use one or more Tier 2 carriers to host their customers' calls.
Tier 3 carriers can serve niche use cases, but if you're reading this article, you're probably looking for a Tier 1 or 2 carrier. Why? There are several reasons, but none are as critical as reliable voice quality. The more "handoffs" there are between networks, the more likely you are to experience audio issues, post dial delay, jitter, and dropped calls. Tier 1 carriers don't need any handoffs to connect calls, while Tier 2 carriers minimize handoffs and can even optimize international connections by switching to their own network or a different Tier 1 that's better suited for that particular call.
Interested in how our calls are connected? Learn about the reliable global network behind AVOXI's voice solutions →
The Reliable Choice for International VoIP Termination
Looking for reliable, high-quality voice termination around the world? If the answer is yes, you're in the right place! You are encouraged to continue using our free resources to educate yourself and arm yourself with the knowledge you need to make an educated, confident decision about your voice termination providers. When you're ready to compare carriers, we hope you'll consider our partner AVOXI.
AVOXI is dedicated to providing companies with the highest ROI. No hocus-pocus sales pitches here; if we don't feel that we're the best voice provider for your needs, we'll help you find the best match, even if that means pointing you towards a different solution. Some of the reasons so many organizations choose AVOXI as their voice termination provider include:
- Secure, Reliable Global Voice Network. Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol (SRTP) encryption, plus 24/7 fraud monitoring and live support, helps ensure the highest level of security for calls.
- Exceptional Global Call Quality. Our resilient global network delivers an average MoS score of 4.2 for international traffic, thanks to 50+ local carrier connections and optimized routes for minimum call congestion and packet loss.
- Outbound CLI & Local VoIP Termination. AVOXI's TrueLocal 2-Way Voice Numbers, which include local VoIP termination & origination, are now available in nearly 30 countries!
- Affordable A-Z VoIP Termination Rates. No carrier but AVOXI consistently delivers reliable, high-quality audio at such affordable rates globally. Talk to us today for our latest A-Z VoIP termination rates.
- Unmatched Global Number Coverage. Provision and configure routing rules in minutes for any of our 40K numbers in inventory, all from one intuitive user interface. We provide inbound numbers in 170+ countries, including rare number types in India, Nigeria, the UAE, and many more.
International Porting Expertise. When other carriers say it can’t be done, our world-class porting team finds a way. Our international porting team can transfer numbers in over 100 countries and regions at no cost.