Ani, Do carriers still route phone calls by cost only?

Do people still use pay phones to make phone calls? Do people still have the old rotary phones and use them? Do people still carry a digital camera with their smart phone? Unfortunately, the answer to these questions is, “yes” and the answer to the question, “Do carriers still route phone calls by cost only”? is also, unfortunately, “yes”. Voice calls, as we all know, have come down in cost. In 1996, when the U.S. passed the famous (or infamous) Telecommunications Act of 1996 , it used to cost about $0.10 per minute to call from New Jersey to California. Today, that same call costs approximately $0.01 per minute, a 90% reduction! Such a change in the underlying economics of the industry you think would require massive changes to the way industry participants conducted business. But, when it comes to the basic function of routing phone calls, that isn’t always the case. In fact, we are constantly amazed at how many carriers are still routing by Least Cost Routing. Back in 2011, there was an article we helped author that described the “Death of Least Cost Routing”. That was 8 years ago! And still, far too many carriers route their calls by cost only.

Companies like GCS provide carriers tools that allow them to examine call routing as a multi-variate problem and allow carriers to apply business rules and logic to govern how each call should be routed. This empowers carriers to be intelligent as to how they route calls across their network to their off-net partners. In 2019, is there really any reason to not leverage tools like this? I mean, yeah, horseback riding is fun and nostalgic, but it’s no longer the primary means for transportation and, similarly, routing calls by cost only shouldn’t be the only criterion for determining call routing.