The following are the infrastructure requirements for setting up a successful VoIP business.
1. VoIP Infrastructure:
The VoIP infrastructure comprises of hardware and software elements which will be hosted in Internet Data Centers. They include Softswitch, Bandwidth Optimization Software and Hosted Servers.
Softswitch is an important component of VoIP business that supports routing, switching, invoice & billing, report generation, etc. As a result, all customer transactions can be effectively controlled with this software application both in prepaid and postpaid business model. The selection of softswitch depends upon various factors such as concurrent call capacity, stability, security, scalability, ease of operations, call connectivity efficiency, call routing mechanisms, billing functionality, etc. Of these, concurrent call capacity and billing functionality are said to be the most decisive factors for opting a particular softswitch.
Bandwidth Optimization Software
Sometimes, the internet quality may not be consistent enough at the customer end leading to frequent call disruptions. In these cases, bandwidth optimization software plays a crucial role in retail operations as its installation on the server side ensures seamless call quality experience to users even if there are any internet connection irregularities.
The above mentioned software is usually installed on enterprise class servers which are then hosted in Internet Data Centers (IDC). As a result, these servers ensure smooth services for your VoIP business with quality bandwidth and 24/7 power/air-conditioning. So, you can choose to lease a server/bandwidth from IDC’s around the world depending upon your target market and quality of service of the IDC required.
2. Client Applications
If you choose to offer retail VoIP services, then you will need to provide all the client applications used by customers to make calls. The following are the software solutions you must secure in order to offer seamless retail VoIP services.
Mobile VoIP Client:
A mobile VoIP client is a software application that can be downloaded on mobile phones in order to make VoIP calls. Though there are many mobile VoIP clients available in the industry, you should choose only the ones that offer extensive branding facility so that you can customize features, look and feel of the client as per your business needs. This will in turn help to build your own brand and bring more visibility to your business. Apart from branding option, the mobile client must have good voice quality, easy user interface, and should support bandwidth optimization requirements.
PC client allows customers to make VoIP calls from their PCs/laptops. It is also a software application that can be downloaded on PCs/laptops in order to make VoIP calls. The selection parameters remain the same as that of mobile VoIP client.
Calling Card Facility:
This facility will allow customers to make VoIP calls even without internet connection on their mobile phones or in places where VoIP is blocked. Hence, this is a very useful option that you must consider to provide customers. For this, your softswitch needs to support calling cards and must have a DID or local telephone number configured with it. After a customer dials the DID number, the IVR will direct him to dial the destination number so that the call will be connected.
Call Shop Facility:
This facility is the perfect way to offer your retail services in many countries where customers go to call shops to make long distance calls. With call shop facility, you can manage the IP configured devices such as iPhones, softphones, etc., with which customers can make calls and later bill them accordingly.
3. Dedicated Website with Payment Methods
You will need a dedicated website with secure payment methods such as Paypal, CashU, etc., to offer VoIP services all over the world. Customers from various locations will find it increasingly easy to pay and use your services.
4. Interconnecting with Terminating Carriers
For termination of your customer calls, you will have to interconnect with multiple carriers around the world who will offer various termination destinations. You must choose a carrier who offers reasonable rates for different termination destinations providing the highest quality of service. Carriers usually offer destination rates in USD/min terms.
5. Customer Support
With growing customers, you are required to have a strong customer support in place to handle various customer queries/issues and quickly fix them. Therefore, a 24/7 support is essential for providing necessary assistance to your customers from any part of the world.