Origin Based Rating (OBR) FAQ

OBR stands for Origin Based Rating. The general idea is to adjust call charges based on where the call originated from. This will typically affect calls being received from international sources. For more information, please see the FAQ's below.

Q). Why is this being introduced?

A). Certain networks have introduced the charges, so we, ultimately, must follow suit. The reasons for the application of surcharges is linked to recent changes in Ofcom's general conditions of entitlement rules. 

Q). How will this affect me?

A). If you place a call from an international number, then you may be subject to a surcharge for that call. The actual surcharge for the call is dependent on...

  1. The CLI (caller line identity) of the caller and
  2. where the call is terminated. 

Calls from UK numbers, for example, are exempt from any surcharges, so the vast majority of calls being made will be unaffected.

Q). How is the CLI of the caller verified?

A). The CLI will be ascertained from the P-A-ID, also known as the P Asserted Identity. This is also referred to as the Network ID. This is a field used within the SIP communication method, which is set by the originating network of a call, listing the original CLI that was presented to them when the call was initiated. The P-A-ID is left untouched during the calls progression through networks, thus enabling the originating CLI of the call to be known to all parties in the call path.

Q). How will we know the surcharges?

A). An additional list of the surcharges and the networks applying them will be added to our published rate cards. This change will affect ALL customers, regardless of what rate card you are on. 

Q). Will the surcharges change?

A). This, we do not know. At this stage, we do not think they will vary that frequently, but we honestly do not know at this stage.

Q). Who sets the surcharges?

A). The terminating networks do. Some have applied relatively "sensible" pricing, whereas others haven't. Please bear in mind, we are simply passing these charges on. No uplift has been applied to the surcharge prices in ANY circumstance.

Q). Can I block/stop calls from expensive sources?

A). We have implemented a system which should detect and remove any incorrect/invalid PAI's that are presented to us. This should alleviate most risk from falling into the top tier "Incorrect/Wrong PAI" bracket. Like most solutions, we cannot guarantee it'll be 100% accurate, but we are fairly confident that most invalid PAI's will be detected and dealt with. In the future, additional options may well be introduced, such as allowing customers to restrict/block certain OBR banded CLI's from calling them. You can also block CLI's on a case-by-case basis already, although we appreciate that in this scenario, this will not be effective.

Q). Why are some UK networks not applying surcharges?

A). Ultimately, the choice to raise these charges are up to the terminating network. There are currently some exceptions, such as Telefonica (O2), who are not raising surcharges for calls into their network. We do not know if this is a permanent position, or if they were just slow off the mark. If and when any changes are made to the networks and/or the surcharge prefixes, this will be updated in our tariff sheets.

Q). What changes are you implementing to facilitate the OBR system?

A). Most of the implementation will be on our core system, so will not be visible to customers. You will notice that UK termination destinations, or zones, are changed and/or removed to facilitate the OBR system. For example, we currently charge 1 rate for most UK Mobile calls. This will have to changed to apply the OBR system correctly, so you will instead see the UK Mobile operators name, such as "United Kingdom Vodafone" rather than just 1 category for all UK mobile calls.

Q). Some Origin Sets are missing from the "OBR Prefix" List. Where are they?

A). Some sets do not strictly refer to a "Prefix". In this instance, they refer to "Incorrect, Malformed, Incorrect or Adjusted" CLI's, or RoW ("Rest of World") sources. As we cannot format this into a prefix, these Origin Sets are left off the list.

Q). What happens if my prefix doesn't appear on the list?

A). In short, it shouldn't, but if it does occur, you will be charged the RoW or "Rest of World" rate. This is typically the highest rated tier in each Origin Set Group. 

Q). I have an inbound/outbound call bundle with you. Will this be affected?

A). At this stage, we haven't decided what we will do or change with regards our bundles. Once this has been decided, we will inform bundle users accordingly of any changes we may be implementing.

Q). Are inbound calls affected?

A). Not directly, no. The only instance in which a surcharge may be added is if a call is terminated in a zone which has surcharges present. An example would be if you received an inbound call into a DDI, such as an 0800 number. If you decided to terminate that call on a mobile phone in the "United Kingdom Vodafone" zone, you may be charged a surcharge for the leg between us and Vodafone. Whether the surcharge is applicable would depend on the original callers number (CLI).

Q). We terminate our calls to SIP/Luna PBX, are these calls affected?

A). No. As these calls are not being sent to a network which raises OBR surcharges, no surcharges are applicable.

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