Next Time Call A 'Plumber'

Posted by Ryan Guthrie on Aug 21, 2018 11:00:00 AM

Tell me if this story sounds familiar. You have an idea, a hunch, a theory that you'd like to 'flush' out. BUT, in order to do so, you need access to data from last month, maybe it's CDRs, billing data, smart meter data, etc. The emails, conference calls, and requests you'll have to make to get your hands on that data are daunting at best. But it's your data right? Why should you have to jump through so many hoops to get access to it? By the time you can even figure out who "owns" the data, you're onto the next task and your great idea is wasted, yet again.

Over the years, I can't tell you how many times the 'data access' issue has delayed or even completely stopped a project we've been involved with. Not because the idea didn't make sense or the business case didn't prove out, simply because getting the data from 'Point A' to 'Point B' was going to take too much time and effort. This is the definition of a 'data plumbing' issue. Big data tools are getting better, faster, cheaper, and more available every day. But the challenge of extracting and integrating data from a variety of sources has become an issue that organizations simply can't ignore. It's the ugly truth behind data analytics - it often takes more time and energy to extract, clean, and integrate the data than it takes to do the analytics itself.

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Topics: Data Plumbing, ESAP, Big Data, BigQuery, Telecom Data Analytics

Case Study - USF Traffic Analysis

Posted by Ryan Guthrie on Aug 14, 2018 12:19:51 PM

In February 2018, an up and coming VoIP service provider contacted us about performing a USF traffic analysis before their next quarterly filing. With the 'Safe Harbor' rate set at 64.9% and the quarterly contribution factor increasing to an all time high of 19.5%, D3 Unified Communications decided it was time to explore the option of performing a traffic study.

Within 1 week, we had a data sample from D3 and provided a free high level estimate of what their actual PIU would be if we completed the traffic study. Our quick analysis on the data estimated that their actual PIU would be less than half of the 'Safe Harbor' rate of 64.9%. The decision to perform the traffic study became an easy one to make as the savings were very evident.

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Topics: USF, FCC, Case Study, Regulatory

Will Nationwide Number Portability Be Easy to Implement?

Posted by Ken Babcock on Aug 10, 2018 12:02:03 PM

The general feeling within the telecom sector appears to be that Nationwide Number Portability (NNP) will be the greatest thing since the telephone was invented.

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Topics: national number portability, PORC, GUBB

Chalk Talk: Burstable Circuit Billing Accuracy

Posted by Ryan Guthrie on Aug 7, 2018 11:45:01 AM

Burstable billing, also known as 95th percentile billing, can present a variety of challenges if it's not regularly tested and monitored to ensure accuracy and completeness. While this type of billing arrangement is a nice benefit for customers and is often used as a marketing incentive, it can very easily lead to substantial revenue loss if any of the systems or procedures used to collect, mediate, and ultimately bill the customer are not functioning properly.

In this chalk talk video, CTO Peter Mueller discusses how ATS' stamper box solution and data analytics help ISPs ensure accurate and complete billing for enterprise customers with burstable circuits.

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Topics: Chalk Talk, burstable billing, 95th percentile billing, stamper box

How Open-Source is Reshaping our Business

Posted by Peter Mueller on Jun 29, 2018 1:09:10 PM

Being in the software business for 20+ years, I’ve both feared and admired open-source.  On the one hand, we’ve benefited from it so thoroughly that it’s easy to overlook that we’re standing on ‘shoulders of giants’ every morning from the moment we boot up a Linux VM, to whatever PERL or Python module we’ll download or upgrade during the day.  We’ve made modest contributions along the way, but we’ve never taken the plunge of actually open-sourcing our own wares -- even though, economically and technically, our own customers have benefited from indirectly from them. After all, building our apps around open source has - over the long-term - kept our own customer’s total cost of ownership down, and kept openness and reliability up.  In this post, I’d like to explore an often-overlooked aspect of open-source:  it’s ability to help you close more sales by including an ‘infrastructure call option’ for your prospects.

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Topics: Cloud Storage, Fraud Prevention, Workflow Automation, SS7, Inter-Carrier Billing, MapReduce, Telecom Data Analytics

ATS and EGC International Announce Global Partnership

Posted by Randy Guthrie on Jun 19, 2018 10:45:00 AM

Advanced Technologies & Services, Inc. and EGC International, Inc. have announced a Global partnership to expand their service offerings to Central and South America.

The partnership will allow the two companies to leverage their combined experience, business relationships, and technologies to expand business activities across Central and South America. It is expected that the partnership will generate new revenues for both companies and support growth plans in new geographies.

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Topics: ATS

What Are 'Intermediate Providers' in the Rural Call Completion World?

Posted by Ken Babcock on Jun 19, 2018 10:25:18 AM

The Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act of 2017 (“RCC Act”) was signed into law by President Trump on February 26, 2018.

The primary thrust of the Act was designed to focus attention on the quality and reliability of communication services provided to rural areas of the United States by entities referred to as Intermediate Providers.

The new law defines Intermediate Providers as follows:

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Topics: Rural Call Completion, FCC, Regulatory

FCC Strengthens Rural Call Completion Rules & Enforcement

Posted by Ken Babcock on May 18, 2018 11:36:26 AM

*** Ken Babcock will be hosting a free webinar on the new rules and impacts of the Rural Call Completion order on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at 1 PM EST.  Click Here to sign up for the webinar ***

Changes are here for Rural Call Completion reporting and compliance.  The good news is that the FCC has ruled in FCC18-45 that, effective immediately, Covered Providers no longer must submit FCC 480 – Rural Call Completion Reports to the FCC on a quarterly basis. Thus, the report that was due May 15, 2018 covering the 1st Quarter, 2018 does not have to be submitted.

However, there are new and increased FCC regulations as spelled out in the Second Rural Completion Order that was published in the Federal Register on May 10, 2018 and that goes into effect on June 11, 2018.  Covered Providers, as defined in the previous Rural Call Completion Report regime, must now implement an internal contract management and monitoring process that is far more stringent than anything experienced previously.

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Topics: Rural Call Completion, Regulatory, FCC

National Number Portability - What Can We Do?

Posted by Ken Babcock on Apr 17, 2018 10:56:40 AM

In my last blog, I made what I consider to be a clear statement of what can be done and what will happen if we do not do something.  We need to face reality and meet it head on.

The first thought that comes to my mind is that we will need one world-wide database that will be populated with unique Geographic User Building Blocs (GUBBS).  Initially, the thought is to make the concept work within the existing North American Numbering Plan Area (NANPA) and if successful expand the idea to the rest of the world.

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Topics: national number portability, Regulatory, LNP

Should the Government be in Charge of the 5G Rollout?

Posted by Randy Guthrie on Mar 30, 2018 10:23:54 AM

In the Trump era we have come to expect a decrease in telecom regulation but the deregulation policy hit a snag recently when the US National Security Council announced a plan that would result in the government building and owning a national 5G wireless network. 

5G networks are of great interest because of the speeds that the technology will make available and the security those networks offer.  The new speed capabilities gives the Internet of Things (IOT) a real push forward and in an age of increased hacking, 5G will be a welcomed technology.

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Topics: wireless, 5G