Paging concentrator boosts profits for paging resellers
Using TNPP networking and a paging concentrator, resellers can maintain their own systems and trunks, allowing additional revenue from subagents and the providing of voice mail services.
With the rapid development in wireless communications, the paging industry is experiencing quick growth. At the same time, competition is on the rise and profits to resellers are going down. A paging and voice mail concentrator can provide a solution for those looking to increase profits and to lower monthly costs. It also provides the additional bonus of voice mail at no extra cost.
In the traditional arrangement as shown in Figure 1 below, the paging reseller acts as a broker for the paging carrier. The end user purchases a pager from the reseller. The reseller activates the user’s number on the carrier’s system by dialing into either the carrier’s paging terminal or the carrier’s billing system. When the user sends a page, the phone call gets connected to the telephone trunk on the carrier’s paging terminal. The terminal gets input from the user and sends the page from the terminal through the transmitter controller to the transmitters.
With Telocator Network Paging Protocol (TNPP) networking as shown in Figure 2 at the bottom left, the reseller becomes a “virtual” carrier by having a paging and voice mail concentrator with the reseller’s own telephone numbers. The concentrator is located at the reseller’s location and is TNPP-networked to the carrier’s terminal over a leased phone line. The reseller sells pagers to the end user and activates the pager phone number on its concentrator. When the user sends a page, the phone call gets connected to the concentrator. The concentrator collects the page and sends it to the carrier’s terminal over the TNPP link. Once the carrier’s terminal receives the TNPP package, it in turn forwards the data to the transmitters.
TNPP networking gives resellers total control over their customers. Because resellers maintain their own systems and telephone trunks, the carrier is only providing the page transmission. Therefore, it is not unusual for a carrier to reduce its air time rate by 50%. By using a paging concentrator, the reseller can gain two additional sources of revenue: subagents and providing voice mail. Because the reseller can purchase air time for less, air time can be resold to smaller agents at a profit. With an integrated voice mail in the paging concentrator, the reseller can provide voice mail without having to pay the carrier.
For example, assume that a reseller is currently paying $3 per month for air time and voice mail. With as few as 1,000 customers, the monthly savings is about $1,500. With the additional revenue from voice mail and subagents, a paging and voice mail concentrator can pay for itself in as short a time as one year.
Using a paging and voice mail concentrator, further revenue can be created for the reseller from other value-added services such as alphanumeric transcription. With the numbers belonging to the reseller instead of to the carrier, the reseller can move its pagers to another system without changing the pagers’ telephone numbers. The reseller has gained control over its destiny and is no longer locked into a carrier. As the reseller’s volume increases, it can negotiate for better prices in the future. Value is added to the client base, because the reseller is no longer captive. If the reseller desires, it can route its pagers to multiple carriers, or, in the future, it can choose to establish its own transmission system and move its existing accounts to it. Upon resale of the business, the value of the customer base would be dramatically increased.
The carrier also benefits from the TNPP networking arrangement. The costs for the carrier are reduced, because the carrier no longer needs to pay for phone numbers and circuits. Additionally, all programming and customer service are supported directly by the reseller. The only responsibility of the carrier is to provide paging transmission for the reseller. The carrier can also use the paging concentrator to bring in phone lines from remote locations, thereby consolidating telephone company expenses.
To create these networking benefits, Linktronics Systems designed a paging and voice mail concentrator, the Infolink-2000. The system is designed to expand from four to 128 trunks, and from 5,000 to 1 million users, with from 60 to 3,000 hours of voice mail storage.
To select a paging and voice mail concentrator, the following areas should be considered:
* Ease of use
* Technology and upgradability
Functionality in a paging concentrator includes the ability to support different types of phone lines such as DID, Loop Start, T1 and ISDN, advanced features in voice mail, the support for agents access, alphanumeric transcription and multiple TNPP and TAP ports.
A paging concentrator based on computer technology provides an alternative for companies lacking a dedicated system engineer to take care of the system. With the Windows-based user interface, any employee can work with the system.
Expandability allows the system to grow as you grow. A system that expands to over 96 trunks, with in-cabinet upgrades and voice mail storage, can expand to several thousand hours as an advantage.
Technology and upgradability are very important. A paging concentrator with a Windows-based graphics user interface (GUI) and DSP-based digital signal processing will be beneficial. Ease of upgrades to accommodate emerging electronics and computer technology, and software, is an important factor.
Regarding cost, make sure that you get the most features, functions, expandability and technology from a concentrator for the most affordable price. Consider the cost of a future upgrade. Future expansion expenses may negate any savings from a low-cost startup