China Telecom Americas has introduced a unique local PSTN access option for its multinational customers, including city-specific DIDs (Direct Inward Dial numbers) in China. The new Microsoft Teams On-Premises Solution eliminates the need for traditional gateway-based solutions. And allows China Telecom Americas customers to enable their end users to make calls to and from the Microsoft Teams® environment to and from the PSTN and mobile numbers.
In short, customers with physical presence in mainland China can now provide their local employees with access to high-quality telephony and collaboration capabilities, powered by the Microsoft Teams Series platform and the unified collaboration experience of the MS teams Work app.
Features of Microsoft Teams On-Premises Solution in China
This new integration with Teams provides multinational customers with the new option to select a local DID number for the city in which they have an office. More than a dozen city dial locations in China are supported, including the major international business hubs and major cities in China.
The service enables the following features:
- Secure SIP trunk interconnected to Microsoft Teams Azure® cloud
- Local media optimization and media bypass
- Simplified Skype for business migration support with advanced routing features
- Legacy TDM PBX and analog device support
- Auto attendant
- Call queue and parking
- Speed dial
- Quiet hours
- Building basic announcements
Below, we answer some frequently asked questions:
Q: How is this new solution different than what China Telecom previously offered?
A: Previously, customers could only purchase China PSTN numbers from local telecom branches. And the services only supported traditional TDM or PRI, rather than SIP or any UCaaS platforms. This new PSTN replacement solution for China supports both inbound and outbound calling, with the ability to terminate calls via the local PSTN such that domestic calls remain in China. Note that only customers with users that are physically located and registered in China can take advantage of these services.
Q: How has China Telecom implemented this solution?
A: Our interconnect in China is within country borders at data centers located in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hangzhou, and includes local media processing, signal adaptation and session border control functions. This provides the local call capacity and resilience necessary to ensure consistent high voice quality and service availability.
Q: Is a customer premises gateway required?
A: No, the solution is 100% cloud-based. This “cloud-first” solution eliminates the cost and complexity of gateway-based services to provide a consistent, agile and dependable means to support both inbound and outbound calling.
Q: How do you guarantee high call quality?
A: Our interconnect in China is within country borders at data centers located in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hangzhou, and includes local media processing, signal adaptation and session border control (SBC) functions. This provides the local call capacity and resilience necessary to ensure consistent high voice quality and service availability.
Q: What are the benefits of the solution?
A: Based on China Telecom call routing, any inbound call that originates in China is onward-connected, without the call leaving Chinese jurisdiction. Similarly, outbound calls from a China-based user to a domestic PSTN number will remain in China, with local caller ID correctly presented. Most importantly, and often a key customer requirement, calls to local emergency services numbers are also supported: (including police @110; fire @119; and ambulance @120).
Q: What type of DIDs are available?
A: The number ranges are geography-specific, corresponding to the main business hubs and Free Trade Zones in China, including from Chengdu in the West, Guangzhou in the South, Shenyang in the North and Ningbo in the East. China Telecom’s coverage includes 300+ cities.
Q: Is number porting available?
A: No. DIDs are for new numbers only. In China, number porting is not a possible option.
Q: Is there a corresponding outbound local call plan for China?
A: Yes, we will customize a calling plan package for our customers based on their China domestic and international usage demand.
Q: How can China DIDs be used for Cloud Contact Center applications?
A: The addition of China DIDs provides a means for calls originating in China to be routed to agents at a customer’s centralized call center location. Conversely, multinational businesses can employ local staff to serve China-specific interactions or customer conversations, where a local, native language speaker is preferred.
Q: What are the implementation requirements?
A: Due to specifics of the Chinese telecommunications market and associated infrastructure deployed by China Telecom, the following restrictions apply:
- Call recordings cannot be supported on Chinese DIDs – this is a regulatory requirement.
- IP addresses for China Telecom’s data center may need to be added to the whitelist for egress traffic in a customer’s firewall settings. This is relevant for China-based end users only and is dependent on the customer’s individual firewall policies.
- Text-to-speech for the auto-attendant function is not available as the service is not accessible from the local network.
Q: Are there any further considerations when planning to add users or numbers for China?
A: China Telecom Americas provides an end-to-end hosted solution and dedicated session border controller (SBC) for customers who order more than 1,000 numbers in China. For smaller demand, we will provide an on-premises solution which may share virtual PBX with other customers or dedicated SBC plus hosted fee model. As such, it’s recommended that the potential roll-out scheduled be reviewed to ensure that the available capacity is ready to accommodate the required system size.
Q: Where and when are these numbers available to order?
A: Please contact our sales team for more information. We will assign a dedicate account team to help you with the solution design, and customize pricing based on your individual requirements. The ordering process is the same as for other DIDs. For the top-tier group of cities (Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen), the guideline lead time for DID provisioning is four weeks. For other cities, lead times will vary, dependent on availability and demand.
Request a consultation from a China Telecom Americas Voice / Unified Communications solutions expert today.