Changing how we bill UK fixed

 

By Simon Woodhead

We’ve made some changes to how we bill for wholesale UK fixed calls which you need to be aware of. These will be effective in the next rate update on April 14th 2021.

Historically UK geographic (441 and 442 codes, also referred to as ‘UK fixed’) was a single breakout representing all destinations (except Jersey etc.). We’ve now split it into three which’ll have the effect of lowering your costs, potentially substantially if you run an LCR. 

You will now see ‘UK fixed’ traffic across three breakouts, in CDRs and the various reports of live traffic:

UK – Fixed – Full Transit
This is ‘UK – Fixed’ as was, i.e. the catch all for 441 and 442 codes that are transiting our network towards their destination. 

UK – Fixed – Simwood Peers
We’ve been working very hard on BTZero as you may know. It means that we’re able to deliver a large number of calls directly to their destination network, improving security and quality. This crosses over mobile and NGN too but the UK geographic ranges involved will now be captured here. This includes all major operators and you should see a decent chunk of your traffic here. It even includes a high number of BT ranges now we’re in the Secret Club; something others are going to need to wait until 2026 for.

UK – Fixed – Simwood
These are number ranges we host and as one of a handful of networks serious about hosting ranges, there’s a lot of them. In the real world (Ofcom disagrees but the less said about that the better – see our WVMR commentary for more) you will not get a more direct route to these ranges, optimising quality and security. 

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When it comes to pricing, ‘Full Transit’ and ‘Simwood Peers’ will maintain the same current price for most customers. Having a distinct breakout for peers gives us intelligence and makes it really easy for our team to be agile and price abnormal traffic ratios, but generally we wouldn’t expect these rates to diverge. They help you know the traffic is taking the most direct route it can next to you interconnecting directly with the destination network. Amusingly, in the USA they’d call this ‘on-net’ because they’re connected to our network; ‘connected to’ isn’t quite ‘on’ in my book.

When it comes to ‘UK – Fixed – Simwood’, Ofcom decree we have Significant Market Power (SMP). We disagree, as evidenced by BT today sending us a contract amendment dictating these rates are changing; but the less said about that the better. Because of the SMP, we have to offer the regulated rate on these ranges at a nominated point on our network. We’ve always done this for peers of course but are now making it available to all customers, even those connecting over the Internet. This means all Simwood geographic ranges are now priced at FTR (currently 0.0292ppm, i.e. £0.000292)!

You perhaps ought to ask your other transit providers what they do – we suspect you’ll be told it is blended into the rate that hasn’t changed in years – but you do have a right to FTR at a nominated point of interconnect for their own number ranges.

Further, as we tried to persuade Ofcom to require from others, we’ve included all number ranges we host for customers, something we do not have to do but that expands the footprint massively. We’re very happy for customers to LCR these prefixes even if it represents the majority of their traffic. Of course, we’d also love to pitch for the remainder of your traffic that we’re confident we can offer improved performance, quality, security and price on.

Lastly, whilst this covers geographic ranges, we also offered the SMP MTR rate on Simwood mobile ranges for customers (and have done for a while) and our list of BTZero peers includes one major mobile operator presently, with encouragement taking place with the others. 

We’re rapidly growing the volume of traffic that either stays on-net or is one-hop from its destination network. Talk to us if there’s more we can do to help your traffic!