Mike's PBX Cookbook

Meridian BARS Programming:
Alternate Long Distance Carriers

Introduction -

In many countries, alternate carriers can offer substantial cost-savings for international long distance telephone calls.

The PBX can be programmed to route calls via an appropriate route. Trunk access codes (ACODs) can be used to do this, but users must remember to use the appropriate ACOD, depending on the call type. The preferred solution is to automatically route the call by analyzing the digits dialed. This is accomplished by implementing Basic Alternate Route Selection (BARS) feature through the programming of a Special Number (SPN) translation data blocks for each code prefix.

Routing Calls to an Alternate Long Distance Carrier

The following 3-step process will help guide you through implementing programming for an Alternate Carrier on a switch where BARS is already in effect, as indicated by LD 86 ESN, AC1 = 9 (or any other number).

Implementation steps -

1. Identify a unique Route List Index (RLI) for international long distance calling.

First, print LD 90 (NET/AC1/SPN), and look for the SPN associated with international long distance calls (probably "00"). Then, determine whether that SPN has a unique RLI (that is, an RLI not assigned to any other SPN). If so, proceed to step 2. If not, assign a new unique RLI (from the RLB/Route List in LD 86) to that SPN. It will use the same outgoing trunk route as the previous entry.

e.g. In this example from a LD 90 printout, you would make sure that RLI 3 was not associated with other defined SPNs. -


2. Create a Digit Manipulation table in the DGT block in LD 86.

You will need to know the Alternate Carrier's access code and any additional dialing requirements.
Prompts and responses as follows -

>LD 86
CUST   0
DMI    1-255          enter a DMI table number for this carrier
DEL    <CR>           digits to delete, if required by the alternate carrier
INST   x..x           digits to insert, e.g. 101xxxx, 198, or whatever is locally required

<CR> till end of LD 86

3. Associate the DMI with the unique RLI from step 1.

Also done in LD 86, but in the RLB block -

>LD 86
CUST   0
RLI    x              enter RLI number associated with the international dialing SPN
ENTR   x              eg, entry zero
ROUT   x              your outgoing trunk route
DMI    x              the DMI table you created in Step 2
<CR> till end of LD 86

Note, the inserted digits are not visible to the caller.

Following completion of the above, anyone dialing "9" followed by the international access code (presumably "00") should be transparently routed via the inserted digits (see DMI above) to the alternate long distance carrier. Users dialing "9" followed by any local number should still be routed as normal and should not be directed to the alternate long distance carrier. If you still wish to allow an on-ramp to PTT long-distance service, you can build a trunk access code (ACOD) "8" to allow end users to selectively by-pass BARS and intentionally use the more expensive service. See Change an Access Code for ACOD details.

Additional Notes:

Removing Alternate Carrier Programming - Should you wish to remove the alternate carrier provisioning at any time (due to a rate change or insufficient service from carrier), simply change the DMI value of the unique RLI in the LD 86 RLB back to "0". This will stop the insertion of the alternate carrier digits defined in the DMI and calls should once again route to the PTT.

In-country Long Distance Alternatives - Should you wish to use an alternate long distance carrier for in-country, regional, or local cost-savings, a similar BARS approach may be taken. However - this would require additional programming, including SPNs for all in-country prefixes or city codes that would be used.

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