View Full Version : Outbound CID Name (CNAM/LIDB)

02-06-2012, 07:32 PM
I read a post form VOIPoTim that this feature was going to supported later in 2010. Is this currently supported so that VOIPo can set my outbound caller-ID name?

Thanks, Scott

02-06-2012, 09:34 PM
I'd like to know too. I couldn't find a way to do it.


02-06-2012, 11:26 PM
This is not something we can offer at this time. We'd like to but we can't.

Here's the simplified version of why.

Basically it's not possible for a VoIP provider to just send a name out because it would be stripped away the second it hit the regular phone network. To get Caller ID name on a number, you have to store the name in special telco name databases. Then on all incoming calls providers lookup from this database. Most people think it's as simple as us changing our system to send the name, but that's not how it works. The ONLY way to get it setup is to store it in the telco database.

Now as far as the databases, no one can store something for a number except the actual carrier for the number. It's not possible for us to even deal with them directly unless our carrier partners give us rights to do so. There is no way around this.

There is a ton of administrative work associated with this when numbers are sold to VoIP providers because they have to add entries, clear entries on port, deal with provider changes, etc. So most wholesale providers either don't offer it or they charge a ton of money to do it.

Some of our providers offer it but charge insane fees for it. Some don't offer it. Others offer it but require us to buy special "enhanced" numbers from them which bundle some features like that and that triples our per minute cost. The providers that offer it and charge for it are in the neighborhood of a setup fee of a few dollars and then a monthly recurring fee of $0.50 to $1.

These databases are controlled by the telcos. They charge to store in them. They also charge to lookup. Every time you get a call in, we have to do a lookup with one of these database services and pay a fee for each and every lookup to show the name. It's a huge money making thing for them and if there's no incentive for them to make it affordable or easier for VoIP providers. They make money on all ends and in the end it just makes it harder for VoIP providers to compete.

Since we are in the budget residential market, there's simply not extra margin to absorb fees like that. In most cases adding that would make us lose money on an account as our margin is sometimes only $1/mo.

So it's not that we won't do it or can't do it...it's just that at our current price point there's no way for us to do it without losing money by doing so.

To expand on this...

There are many things that are similar that we'd like to do/offer but just can't due to the low price point we offer service at. One example is SMS. 99% of our numbers are enabled to send/receive SMS. We just can't integrate that into our offering because of the low price point not leaving any room to do so. Another is support....we'd love to expand support hours to weekends and possibly even 24/7 but we can't do so at the current price point without losing money. There are also some features we'd like to add such as a soft phone app for international calling from cell phones, etc.

This is something I've been debating a lot. We want to offer the lowest cost service (and have successfully done it for years), but we also have a lot of cool stuff we'd like to do to improve the service and the low price point holds us back from doing so.

Now that we have a good size customer base we are considering shifting away from the extremely heavily discounted plans this year. This would slow growth some since the discounting (both for new customers and early renewal sales) has been a huge chunk of our marketing budget driving that growth. Obviously those that prepaid in advance would not be impacted by this, but it may slow growth and cause us to lose some customers along the way, but it would allow us to shift from being focused so much on price and instead focusing on providing a good affordable service that has better features and services than the competition. I'm just not entirely convinced that people want better service with additional features..most seem to prefer the cheapest possible service (which is what we've been able to provide for years and still do now).

So it's a balancing act between keeping costs down so we have a profitable, stable business and doing all the things we'd like to with the service.

02-07-2012, 05:01 AM
I guess that might be why Vonage Residential is around $10/month, and their Vonage Small Business is around $50/month
(Although I'm too out-of-touch with Vonage to know if the number gets in an LIDB.)

02-07-2012, 09:46 AM
Tim, I assume you have considered a tiered service concept where people who want the extra services pay for them. While the low price is certainly nice, that's not the primary reason I switched to VOIPo - I liked the features you did offer and that you seemed to be a responsive provider (unlike Vonage, say.) Speaking for myself only, I'd be willing to pay more to get some of these extra features.

07-15-2012, 02:41 PM
FYI, we've finally reached an agreement with our core carrier partners to offer outbound name. Once the new vPanel launches into BETA later this month, you'll be able to submit a name request in it to have the name associated with a number updated in the Caller ID databases.

07-15-2012, 03:01 PM
Do we have to submit a name in case we're happy with the current Caller ID Name? (Mine currently displays my city, so, I am fine with it).

07-15-2012, 05:16 PM
Do we have to submit a name in case we're happy with the current Caller ID Name? (Mine currently displays my city, so, I am fine with it).

No, you'd only submit changes. Anything already there (usually the city/state) will continue.

07-16-2012, 05:15 AM
I believe Vonage is $10 / month for only 3 months just to get you in, then the price goes way up.

07-16-2012, 08:15 PM

(Apparently, "Yeah!" is too short. So I added this line.)

Yeah, again!

(Just in case).

07-17-2012, 12:24 AM
No, you'd only submit changes. Anything already there (usually the city/state) will continue.

I've gotten a few similar questions like this so going to clarify a little further. Since we know a lot of customers do NOT want their name listed, we're not going to do a bulk/mass update for existing accounts. The name will only be attached if you submit the request to have it added. All existing ones will remain as is. If you don't submit a change request for it in the new vPanel, nothing will change and it'll stay the way it is now.

07-30-2012, 09:38 AM
Is this still on track for month-end (tomorrow)?

07-30-2012, 02:22 PM
Is this still on track for month-end (tomorrow)?

Yes, it'll be available by the end of the month.