Inexpensive Long Distance:
Switched long distance rates are so low that dedicated long distance is becoming a thing of the past. There was a time when there were companies that were strictly long distance providers. I worked for a company called Unidial that built their business by offering long distance for 8.9 cents per minute. The margins are so low now that companies specializing in long distance are a thing of the past. Businesses obtain their long distance from their voice provider and don’t give it a second thought.
With inexpensive long distance comes the loosening of long distance restrictions:
There was a time when businesses had to manage their exposure to large long distance bills. The cost of long distance led to employee theft. If an en employee wanted to save his or herself from the expense of making long distance calls, they would try to place the calls at work. Companies restricted long distance on phone lines and used account codes to marshal their employees’ calls. Now use of account codes seems silly. Long distance rates are low and employees use their mobile phones to place personal long distance calls because the calls are basically free.
Providers can deliver voice and data services more economically and businesses can achieve savings by bundling. Providers offer beefed up circuits, featuring dynamic bandwidth. Integrated circuits can be purchased for less money than dedicated circuits. Converged services make better use of a company’s network capacity because voice is transmitted over virtual not fixed circuits; bandwidth is automatically freed up when voice calls are completed.
SIP Trunks are virtual voice paths over the internet. They allow companies to consolidate their voice communication and take advantage of economies of scale. SIP trunks can be ordered in any quantity, not in increments of 23 like PRI.
It used to be that a business could relocate a half-mile away and still have to change their phone numbers. A business would need to turn to intercept services (recording providing their new phone number) or Remote Call Forwarding (a virtual forwarding phone number to their new number) to receive calls after a move. Now a business can port all their phone numbers, from all their locations, from almost anywhere in the country, and centralize them at their headquarters. Businesses can move without fear of losing their phone numbers and can make existing Remote Call Forwarding phone numbers DIDs on their existing voice circuits, thanks to VoIP.