South African corporates that negotiate excellent savings on call “bundles” from their various cellular service providers could be doing themselves a disservice – they can end up paying more than the regular retail rate for their calls.

This is the word from Graeme Victor, CEO of voice-based telecommunications solutions company Du Pont Telecoms, who says Du Pont’s analysis of local corporates’ overall telecoms costs consistently reveal that businesses are paying far more per call than they realise.
In one instance, Du Pont found that a company which was delighted at having had negotiated a 15% discount on the standard call rate offered by a large service provider for a least cost routing (LCR) package, was in fact paying 4% more than the retail rate per minute.
This was because at most branches, all the minutes available in LCR bundles purchased for each branch were not being fully utilised. At other branches, call volumes were exceeding the number of minutes included in the bundle, resulting in higher rates being charged for “out of bundle” calls.
“The result was that there was an almost 20% variance in call charges on what the business thought it was paying and what it was actually being billed. In today’s tough economic climate, no business can afford that level of wastage,” Victor says.
The problem, Victor explains, lies in the way conventional LCR solutions are implemented. Traditionally, each branch in the organisation will have a LCR unit hosting SIMs for the different cellular networks. Each SIM is linked to a specific bundle of call minutes. Minutes not utilised in a specific month are usually forfeited.
He says the solution lies in hosting the LCR SIMS centrally, effectively allowing for the bundled minutes to be aggregated across the entire organisation. Every SIM is available to every router and minutes are therefore utilised across all SIMs. This ensures that all “free” bundled minutes are utilised every month prior to out-of-bundled minutes being used.
In this way, small branches that in a conventional LCR set-up would probably have utilised a smaller (more expensive) bundle or wasted a large number of minutes on a bigger bundle, can benefit from the same big bundle charges are larger branches.