What is least cost routing (LCR)?
Where there are multiple ways in which an outbound call can be routed, and different costs associated with each route, then the PBX must send calls via the appropriate channel in order to reduce costs. Prior to the VoIP revolution, the only way traditional PABX’s could achieve cost savings using LCR was to attach cellular routers (often called Premicells), and to configure the PABX so that calls to certain cellular networks (Vodacom, MTN, CellC) were routed out via the cellular routers to the GSM network. Disadvantages of these cellular routers are: • Slow time to establish the call. • Limited number of SIM-cards, with overflow to expensive Telkom routing. • Minimum charges per month per cellular router (typically R700 per month per channel) • Sometimes poor voice quality (like any cell phone) With the advent of VoIP providers, there are now other alternatives to Telkom. Again, the quality and cost of these providers is variable, but it is possible to choose providers which currently save as much as the cellular routers, but do not have the same disadvantages. These VoIP providers also offer substantial savings on national calls to Telkom numbers. As telecommunication deregulation progresses, VoIP routing is likely to overshadow the cellular router industry by undercutting the costs with superior service.