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Call Center

  1. Jul 30, 2005 #1
    I am living in Panama (the country), and there are many call centers here. I worked in one, and I couldn't stand the stress, so I had to quit.

    I noticed that in call centers around here all calls come from the US.

    What kind of technology do they use for that? Are the call centers receiving the calls from the US through a parabolic antenna, or are these calls routed the way normal international calls are routed, which means using Panamenian-American phone companies?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 30, 2005 #2


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    Staff Emeritus

    Call centers have moved, if not in the process of moving, to VOIP (Voice over IP). This means that calls are converted into packets and sent over the internet. Then the packets are converted into analog and sent through your local phone company. Basically long distance calls turn into local calls.
  4. Jul 31, 2005 #3

    typically call centers have 0800 free numbers, so what would happen is thus:

    The call center would have some form of digital/analogue trunks coming into your PBX (phone system) (probably a T1/E1 or several depending on call volume). These trunks would have a normal telephone number, with typically a spread of DID numbers (direct in ward dialing) ie for london lets say: 0272 111 0000- (0999) The 0000 -0999 part would be your DID range... Some of these numbers will be mapped to what are called VDM's each VDM is basically a skill set that the people in call center have for example customer support, complaints etc etc...

    Ok now the 0800 free phone numbers in the USA would have destination numbers of one of these VDM's for example +44 272 111 0001 .. so your company would advertise the 0800 number as company x's customer services, and thus when a person calls this number in the USA it will end up in a cue in the call center waiting for the "next available representative".. There is a bit more to it, but thats what happens in a nut shell.

    The calls are routed from Telecom provider to telecom provider, in Europe at least most large telecom providers have partnerships with the other large telecom providers in each country for the very reason you are talking about.

    dduardo- In my experience not may call centers use VoIP over Internet becuase the call quality cannot be controled. For internal use some companies do this, but not for external customers. If a company uses VoIP typically it will use a technology that you can implement end to end QoS so all VoIP packets can be tagged highest priortiy, ie MPLS I think BT in Europe are in a position to do this, but they own like ~90% of all the fiber in Europe

    If you wanted to do what you suggested, you would need a point of presence in the source country, and a very large a costly MPLS backbone down to Panama, it would be cheaper right now, use ISDN 30 (most probably) as you get aggressive discounts on these type of lines for internation calls...

    We use a Lot of VoIP, but in our call centers we only use this technology locally, ie on the LAN, all WAN voice traffic from customers is routed via ISDN E1 lines (or PSTN)

    And yes Call centers are very stressful places to work :grumpy:
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2005
  5. Jan 18, 2006 #4
    I worked for a call center...

    in Panama, too. In fact, I am panamanian. I quit working for them because of the stress. Those call center companies are abusive employers.
  6. Jan 18, 2006 #5


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    I sell the networks to some of these call centers and most have traditionally transfered the calls to the foreign country via point to point private line, usually DS3. They do not use MPLS since they only need 2 points and the problems with latency and jitter with an MPLS/frame network and is not even universally available. Dduardo is correct, some are moving to VOIP, it's all dependant on what is cheaper.

    They would not buy ISDN because they are usage sensitive, due to high call volumes, they want flat fixed rates.

    It sounds like you are discussing local call centers. International call centers operate much differently.

    Don't forget that MPLS is more or less IP enabled Frame, it is an overlay onto existing ATM/frame networks for some carriers. To an end user it is no more than frame with QOS to them. It is my company's default offering and is the same price as frame, so that's what my customers get when they order frame.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2006
  7. Jan 19, 2006 #6

    I was talking about international call centers, at least the ones I have helped implement.

    MPLS is a totally different protocol to Frame. MPLS is not IP based for a start, its a "tunneling" protocol that you can encapsulated IP within. I am not saying you cant use MPLS on a frame relay network, but they are two completely different protocols. So it is not IMO "IP enabled Frame" thats a discredit to the quality and thought behind the protocol.

    MPLS has QoS end to end, and we impliment it with BGP for better Route policies, control over what traffic goes where. I dont see any jitter when implemented correctly. Have you ever tested VoIP over an MPLS network? As an Engineer implementing these solutions, I can tell you that I dont seen any. In Global Companies MPLS is deployed for international call centers, for the exact reason that it is Multipoint... In the comapany I work for right now we have AVAYA GX750's MPLS networks and H.323 tunnels between them, so we can distrubute calls to lots of places round the world.

    You are probably right on the E1 lines, but this was a hypothetical idea. You wouldnt use E1 for point to point between two sites, because as u said it wouldnt be cost justified.
  8. Oct 28, 2008 #7
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