The phone number is far from obsolete! Wednesday 09 October 2019 @ 11:00

 TNZI - Virtual Numbers


The use of the humble phone number is changing. It is the building block of new growth industries as we see the movement of phone numbers away from the physical network and into the cloud.

Years ago, the advent of mobile phones presented a new conundrum, where the prefix would no longer tell the network where the user is located. To solve this problem, new techniques such as lookup-based routing were developed, with equipment such as “intelligent networks” and “location registers” being developed.

Skype also started providing a range of services to bridge the real and virtual world, providing phone numbers for your non-cloud contacts so they can reach you via the cloud. Merge Skype and Microsoft and you increase the app eco-system, the world of phone numbers and usernames blurring even further - all with no infrastructure.

Despite this, when social networks like Facebook want to reach any user in the world, they default to phone numbers. Why? Because phone numbers are the link between cloud-based apps and the legacy world of the PSTN. Even next-generation applications like WhatsApp use a phone number, as they are both versatile and a global unique identifier.

From the physical network onto the virtual network

Phone numbers are being disassociated from physical networks and slowly moving onto virtual networks. Today, you can already port your real-world PSTN number to the cloud, accessing and controlling that number via an app. In the future, service providers will deliver voice over the top of ubiquitous access networks and customer value will be delivered direct from the cloud to the user.

DIDs enable fast expansion into new markets or prestigious business locations at a lower cost than establishing a physical presence. Organisational efficiency can be increased by routing calls made to DIDs to (overseas) locations which have the knowledge or technology to answer those calls.

A hosted PABX is a great example of this. Hosting services purchase the numbers which may be located in a dial code outside the region of the actual user. If a customer needs, say, 50 numbers all SIP trunked to a destination, then calls are SIP trunked from the PSTN to the hosting service, and then onto the phones themselves. The local user is not associated with the local number at all.

Local geo numbers can make a business appear local when it is not. A range of businesses need these numbers, as the calls are more likely to be answered and thus more likely to be called back if they look local to the end-user. One big advantage of this approach is that a caller does not incur the cost associated with the call being answered in another country.

How are virtual numbers being used?

Avoiding the need to share personal information, such as private phone numbers, is critical for some business models. Uber and other ride share services use virtual numbers to create a separation between the driver and passenger. If a passenger clicks 'call' they are connected directly to the driver's phone number through a virtual number. This adds security for the passenger and driver, plus allows for the reporting of calls and communication. AirBNB and Airtasker also use a similar model to separate the customer and supplier.

Phone numbers are unique in that they provide any-to-any connectivity in real time. Increasingly the phone number is becoming part of the virtual realm. On one hand, we see the disassociation of phone numbers from physical networks and on the other, the emergence of a plethora of new uses as a virtual building block for innovation.

Find out how TNZI can help you access virtual numbers in Australia and New Zealand.



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TNZI announces support for Télécoms Sans Frontières Tuesday 13 August 2019 @ 09:22



TNZI is proud to announce our support of Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF), committing to bi-annual donations to help support their critical work.

Since being established in 1998, TSF has been providing technology and telecommunications in times of humanitarian crises. Given our history in supporting our Pacific neighbours - such as restoring vital international phone services to Tonga after a major storm and submarine cable break earlier this year - we recognise the importance of what TSF does and look forward to continuing to find new ways to support the telecommunications industry in the future.

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TNZI launches Open RTP! Friday 19 July 2019 @ 11:30



It's exciting to be growing. After 6 months of testing we have already found new revenue opportunities and are looking forward to bringing more customers / suppliers on board. We've built Open RTP connectivity into our existing international voice services and have over 200 carrier relationships to leverage.

Our second trial was also a success, again proving all the call records matched, and we found we needed more capacity which we are currently working on. Open RTP disrupts the normal business model by sending the actual phone call media (RTP) directly from origination to the termination point, without as many hops between carriers along the way.

Contact us if you want to buy or sell using Open RTP connections.


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TNZI at ITW 2019 Monday 01 July 2019 @ 10:20



Another great ITW event - thanks to everyone we met this year in Atlanta. TNZI are proud to sponsor this annual event that brings 2,000+ companies of the global telco industry together. We hope you enjoy our photos from the event!

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TNZI at PITA 2019 Wednesday 12 June 2019 @ 15:08



Thanks to everyone who met us in Fiji at the 23rd PITA AGM and Annual Telecommunications Conference.

As a founding member of the Pacific Island Telecommunications Association (PITA), TNZI has a significant shared history with the Pacific Island region. The Pacific has always been a very important part of New Zealand's social fabric and we are strongly committed to supporting and facilitating business in this region.

It proved to be a valuable and rewarding time, with the TNZI team connecting with our partners in the region and delivering key insights on fraud detection and premium rate numbers. We look forward to supporting the region moving forward.

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TNZI's 'Zero Hop' testing a success! Friday 31 May 2019 @ 11:30



Back in January, we posted about our Open RTP trial between the USA and India. 4 months on, the testing has proved to be very successful and TNZI is now well on the way to productising Open RTP. In addition, we have created a second wave of testing to include new countries and use-cases. For TNZI, productisation is about building the Open RTP connectivity into our existing international voice services. Much like we currently offer connectivity via TDM, Public IP or Private IP, we will introduce Open RTP into that mix. But unlike those 3 options, Open RTP disrupts the normal business model by separating the media and sending that component directly to the destination address, so TNZI only manages the SIP signalling.

What we learned

The Call Detail Records (CDRs) were a very good match, both from customer to TNZI and TNZI to supplier. We measured an almost 100% correlation of CDRs with the differences well within acceptable margins of error, so bill shock is unlikely. It is not that difficult to provision either - fine-tuning our SIP timers settings and other network configs has given us a template to expand. We identified changes to our business and operations support systems (BSS/OSS) to minimise lead times and are working through those currently. We know what architecture will give us the best ability to provide scale and we've learnt a lot about our internal network capability.

Our exploration continues

With the second wave of testing, we want to explore the 'improved quality' claim. Touted as providing better voice call quality because the media is sent directly, we will compare Open RTP to traditional connectivity options where TNZI manages the media. This will be interesting as the Internet uses Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) which works by selecting the best autonomous system path to get to the destination network. It's not optimised for voice, so what BGP picks as being the best path may not be best for latency, which impacts voice quality.

A nice problem to have?

We could not test our fault management processes as we didn't receive any during the trial. While ordinarily this is a good thing, in terms of the testing it means we do not have any live experience to draw from. If we increase the volume and complexity of voice calling with the next wave of testing, we logically should get something not working right. Meanwhile, our Global NOC processes are being adjusted to accommodate what we can and cannot manage.

Get in touch with the team if you can supply Open RTP termination or have Open RTP minutes. Please forward your targets/rate sheets.


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TNZI - America Movil partnership Wednesday 03 April 2019 @ 11:50

TNZI - America Movil


As part of TNZI's expansion into Latin America, the TNZI team were delighted to be amongst a small number of Global Operators asked to attend the América Móvil CSI 2019 Congress in Mexico City in March.

TNZI views América Móvil as a key partner for this region and signed an agreement at the congress that spearheads the way to increase TNZI's direct reach into Latin America.

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TNZI's upcoming events: Fiji, USA, Philippines Tuesday 19 March 2019 @ 12:02

TNZI will be at the following events over the next six months. If you're around, we'd love to meet you - contact us to line up a chat!

TNZI - upcoming events

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Hacker blocked - TNZI's outsource partnership with Bluesky Cook Islands proves its worth Monday 11 February 2019 @ 15:19

TNZI blocks toll fraud hacker in the Cook Islands

In 2018 TNZI and Bluesky Cook islands entered into a partnership where TNZI acts as the exclusive gateway for international voice in and out of the Cook Islands providing 24*7 monitoring of all voice traffic.

In the early hours of Saturday 26th January, TNZI detected and alerted on an attempted hack on the Bluesky Cook Islands network with the hackers attempting to generate calls to Sierra Leone. The hacking attempt was shut down within an hour avoiding large losses. TNZI has seen similar incidents in the past which have cost a Retail Operator tens of thousands a day. We are pleased to be able to work closely with our partners to better manage the growing risk of telecoms fraud.

TNZI is also the exclusive voice gateway for Spark NZ, Telecom Niue, Norfolk Telecom and TeleTok Tokelau.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss our fraud alerting capability further.

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All hands to the rescue - TNZI helps restore international voice services in Tonga emergency Friday 25 January 2019 @ 11:51


All hands to the rescue!

A collective effort sees TNZI helping restore vital international phone services to Tonga after a major electrical storm plunged the island nation into communication darkness on Sunday night.

TNZI is proud to have worked closely with TCC Tonga, Spark NZ and Intelsat to get outbound and inbound international voice services temporarily restored just two and half days after a fault developed in the fibre-optic undersea cable. It may take weeks to fully repair.

Tonga has a population of approximately 100,000 people spread over 30 islands and relies heavily on communications with the outside world for supplies, flight bookings, banking and tourism etc. Some businesses cannot process credit or debit cards, and restricted access also meant serious problems getting money transfers through for families who rely on income from relatives working overseas.

The Tonga Cable System is an 827km submarine cable system, funded by Asian Development Bank and the World Bank. It has cable landing points at Sopu in Tonga and Suva in Fiji.

Re-establishing phone connectivity is the first step in getting Tonga back on its feet during these troubled times. TNZI will keep monitoring the situation.

If you would like to find out more, simply reach out to the TNZI team.

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