Setting up an Internet Telephony Service Provider (ITSP) business requires choosing suitable technology and equipment. There are lots of open source software solutions available that can make your life easier. But choosing the right hardware solely depends on whether you are going to target the residential or business market. It also depends on what features you want to offer to your customers and what number of subscribers you want to support.
Digital telecom services eliminate the costs associated with traditional phone services and allow individuals or companies to make substantial cost savings with no loss of quality. With a general knowledge of ICT it is a relatively straightforward manner to set-up an ITSP business.
Road map to establish an ITSP business
There are three stages to consider when setting up as an ITSP. These are certain choices over which VoIP platform or switch to use, which VoIP carrier to choose and the selection of end user equipment.
1. VoIP Platform / Softswitch
Firstly, you will require a VoIP platform or switch. A lot of companies today customize an open source solution such as OpenSER or OpenSIPS. These solutions provide scalability and fault-tolerance. Under the hood, you can use any media server of your choice e.g. Asterisk or FreeSWITCH. The cost associated with using these open source solution is dependent on what type of customization you perform. If require extensive customizations, then you may consider hiring a dedicated professional. Another important cost related decision would be that how space and processing power you need. For this purpose, you may have to rent some space at a data center. You may need to consider redundant servers for 24/7 availability.
2. Choosing a VoIP Carrier
Next, you would want to develop partnerships with different VoIP carriers and negotiate rates for terminating calls through their network to PSTN/GSM network. With the large number of VoIP carriers in the market it is worth spending sometime comparing the features and support packages that come as standard.
3. Web Interface / End user equipment
If you are providing online services to your customers such as voice broadcasting or fax blasting, then you are not required to buy or bring any device (BYOD) for your customers. An IP-phone or Soft-phone is enough to give access to all the telephony features directly from the phone unit. You can build a nice clean web interface so that customers can access all the information over the web such as account and billing information.