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FAQ's

What are the most compelling reasons for choosing Q-CallShop in preference to the conventional Call Shop application software?

There are many good reasons for choosing Q-CallShop service for starting up and running a Call Shop operation. These are

  1. it is an all VoIP-based CallShop solution – this ensures the lowest per minute cost for call termination to any Directory Number anywhere in the world with the VoIP traffic carried over high quality network
  2. it has the lowest per line start-up cost – typically it costs about US$150.00 per line for all hardware and software required.
  3. incremental cost is in most cases less than US$125 per line
  4. it offers the most complete and powerful functionality for CallShop operation at all levels – be it the operator, the manager or the owner.; the software offers facilities for enormously productive operation and management and various other good reasons.

But the most compelling reasons for recommending Q-CallShop are that it offers

  1. virtually unlimited expansibility or scalability  with great ease and at minimal cost - you pay only minimal incremental cost  for additional hardware required as you grow
  2. the freedom and mobility to the owner and/or manager of the Q-CallShops in managing a large number of Q-CallShops sited in geographically dispersed locations from anywhere in the world where he/she has access to the Internet; it makes remote management with the highest efficiency in operation and administration an affordable reality.

Is there a start-up cost to pay for setting up Q-CallShop besides the cost of buying the VoIP gateway or VoIP Phones?

Ecocarrier charges a one-time fee for setting up the Q-CallShop. This fee covers all the labour costs involved in providing on-line help to install and configure the VoIP gateway or VoIP Phones for operation with Ecocarrier’s Q-Regime, Q-Bill and Q-CallShop servers  and for building and loading the Sell Rate for the Q-CallShop operation.

I'd like to own and operate the complete integrated server system for building a Q-CallShop service platform on the Internet as an ITSP (Internet Telephony Service Provider) and then set up the individual Q-CallShops anywhere in the world with access to the Internet myself and/or promote the Q-CallShop business to others to open Q-CallShop anywhere in the world with access to the Internet. What kind of equipment do I need for building such a service platform?

We would propose that you invest in a comprehensive solution that satisfies all your requirement now and allows you to build on it additional functionality so as to be able to offer other revenue generating services in future. 

We'd advise that you acquire an integrated system consisting of

(a) Q-Regime

(b) VoIP!Billing Q-Bill-R

(c) Q-Manager and

(d) Q-CallShop server

With such a system you can offer VoIP-based Prepaid Calling Card service and Postpaid telephone service as described at Q-ITSP and CallShop service provided by the Q-CallShop server.

Please read the application note for Q-CallShop and the description of the functional and operational and management features of a Q-CallShop and also a powerpoint presentation of the User Interface of Q-CallShop and its operation.

Q-CallShop solution/service is a proven technology. We have more than 500 Q-CallShops in operation in more than 35 countries worldwide. 

For more information please send email to qcallshop@qiiq.com and one of our sales representatives will respond to you.

As a Q-CallShop owner can I set the rates at which I want to charge my customers?

You can set the Sell Rates for each destination yourself and the minimum charge per call based on a minimum charge for 30 seconds, 60 seconds or even 3 minutes and incremental charge based on 6-second increment  or 1-minute increment.

I like the functionality of Q-CallShop want to know if it also has the facility to support one working as a reseller of the Q-CallShop service. The thing I would like it to be able to let me do is described as follows:
Promote the Q-CallShop service to the many business associates that I have to urge them to open up Call Shops based on the Q-CallShop service as my customers operating in a level under me so that I can set the per minute rates that they (the individual CallShop owners/operators) will pay as their cost rates (these are their Buy Rates or my Sell Rates to them) and they can set the per minute Sell Rates at which they charge their customers, the End Users.
Can Q-CallShop service provide such money-making facility? Can Q-CallShop show me the accounts I have with my customers, the individual Call Shop owners/operators – in other words how much money we have make as the operation goes?

Q-CallShop solution/service is designed to have the functional capability to support such desired features described by you that are important to a service reseller who may not have to be a Call Shop owner at all. He/she needs only be a good promoter of the Q-CallShop service.

Here is how the features work with respect to the requirement above-stated:

Consider the structure diagrammed as follows and the description of the Buy/Sell relationship between Ecocarrier and Reseller and that between Reseller and Call Shop owners and that between Call Shop owners and End Users.

End User 111 and End User 112 make calls.
Call Shop Owner 11 charges End Users for the calls using Call Shop Owner 11's sell rates.
Reseller 1 charges Call Shop Owner 11 for the calls using Reseller 1's sell rates (Call Shop Owner 11's buy rates).
Ecocarrier charges Reseller 1 for the calls using Ecocarrier's sell rates (Reseller 1's buy rates).

Reseller 1 pays Ecocarrier, and Reseller 1's usage is limited by its reseller account balance.
Call Shop Owner 11 pays Reseller 1, and Call Shop Owner 11's usage is limited by its reseller account balance.

Reseller 1 is a reseller. It has no call shop itself in www.qcallshop.com. Its customers (Call Shop Owner 11 and Call Shop Owner 12) below it have call shops.

Reports accessible on line
- payments to the upper level reseller (to the charging reseller)
- payments from the lower level reseller(s) (from the charged reseller) - this report is for call shop resellers only
- buying account balance
- selling account(s) balance(s) - this report is for call shop resellers only
- buying CDRs for a specified date range
- buy rate table
- sales minus cost = profit for a specified date range

Reseller 1 can see the data of all the call shops below it.
Call Shop Owner 11 can see the data of only its own call shop(s).

How much money do I need to have to start and operate a Q-CallShop business, and what is the ROI (Return on Investment)?

You may start a Q-CallShop with as little investment as US$1,500.00. This is to cover the following costs:

US$148.85 for one Q-1FXS+56K, a single port VoIP gateway with built-in 56 modem for dial-up access to the Internet
US$30.00 for a regular single line analog telephone
US$400.00 for a used Notebook or Laptop PC
US$100.00 for a telephone line to the local telephone exchange
US$50.00 for a monthly subscription for a dial-up account with a local ISP
US$300.00 for a one-time set-up charge for opening an account, installing and configuring Q-1FXS+56K and loading your Sell Rates in Ecocarrier service platform for starting to provide Q-CallShop service for making international long distance telephone calls
US$500.00 for Prepayment of credit amount to cover the cost of usage to be incurred.

But consider also the following typical business case for a properly organized Q-CallShop business that can make you US$120,000.00 - US$200,000.00 per Q-CallShop with 8 phonebooths in a year.

Today there are more than 500 Q-CallShops (a call shop may have 2-8 phonebooths) in operation in some 35 countries and 10-20 Q-CallShops are being opened from week to week. All the Q-CallShops are supported by Ecocarrier who owns and operates the Q-CallShop service platform in its switch room in Toronto to provide the operation and management services to the individual Q-CallShop and to carry calls made at the Q-CallShops to the dialed destination numbers.

The total cost of equipment and one-time set-up charges (supplied by Ecocarrier) to the customer for setting up a fully equipped 8-phonebooth Q-CallShop is approximately US$3000.00.

Other costs including ISP installation service and furniture and simple leasehold improvement amount to US$3,000.00.

Monthly operating expenses including cost of ISP service and wages of call shop personnel and premises rent amount to US$3,500.00.

All figures are conservative with lots of safety allowance.

The capital required for starting up and operating an 8-phonebooth Q-CallShop is typically less than US$12,000.00.

Typically in the initial 3 months the revenue from minutes sale at retail rates is approximately US$623.00 daily or US$18,690.00 in a month; this level of revenue of an 8-phonebooth Q-CallShop represents about 55% of the revenue that can normally be derived from an 8-phonebooth Q-CallShop with each phonebooth being in use for 6 hours per day.

The monthly carrier cost for the minutes that generate the retail revenue amount US$18,690.00 would be approximately US$4952.00. The gross profit margin is US$13,738.00.

The monthly net before tax profit of the operation is US$13,738.00 – US$3,500.00 = US$10,238.00 or
US$10,238.00/US$18,690.00 x 100% = 54.78% of retail sales revenue or
US$10,238.00/US$4950.00 x 100% = 207% of the wholesale costs of the carrier service provided by Ecocarrier.


Thus within the first 45 days, the start-up investment will all be recovered with the profits generated by the business. It is a very profitable business to the Q-CallShop operator. It is even more impressive when you consider that the calculation is based on a business volume that is 55% of its norm.

The above-mentioned profit figures are based on an operation of an 8-phonebooth Q-CallShop in a city in Africa.

Clearly, it is a highly profitable business proposition.

Do you offer competitive rates and reliable high-quality service?

The wholesale rate that Ecocarrier offers the Q-CallShop owner for any one particular dialcode (area code of a Telephone Directory Number), is not necessarily the lowest rate, but it is a competitive good rate that ensures that you have the best facility for carrying the call through to its dialed destination number.

Ecocarrier service platform has available for use 5 carriers for each dialcode. The selection of a carrier to carry a call is decided on the per minute rate charged by the carrier. Provided that it meets certain minimum ASR (Average Seizure Rate - the number of connected calls per 100 attempts) and PDD (Post Dial Delay) requirement, the carrier offering the least cost is used to carry the call under our Least Cost Routing regime.

Currently Ecocarrier supports some 500 Q-CallShops in more than 35 countries daily. In a CallShop operation you cannot cheat, nor can you get away with lousy service because if the call does not go through or the service quality is bad, the customer is in the face of the call shop owner or operator. We are therefore very particular about maintaining very high standard of service quality and reliability. We give extremely good value for the money that our customers pay us for the carrier service.

You know of course that if a VoIP call fails to go through to its dialed destination, not only do you make no profit on the call but also you get a very unhappy customer.

All Q-CallShop owners are doing very well - continually growing their very profitable call shop business with the very effective and efficient support services of Ecocarrier.

I would like to be able to use Q-CallShop solution/service to build a telephone communication facility in parts of a country where there is no existing wireline network or data communication infrastructure. Can you propose a solution for this kind of application?

Indeed we can. In a remote country with no existing wireline (fibre) network for voice and data communication we would propose the following kinds of integrated systems for building CyberCafe for data communication and Q-CallShop for VoIP-based telephone communication service:

(1) For a single-site installation, a satellite-based system consisting of 

(i) satellite ground station equipment 
(ii) PC hardware and software for CyberCafe operation
(iii) VoIP gateways and telephones and a PC with Internet Explorer for building Q-CallShop for VoIP-based telephone communication service

Such an integrated system is depicted in the following network diagram: 



Note that the diagram shows a low-cost integrated compact satellite ground station unit providing bandwidth for Internet access to a Q-Callshop and CyberCafe operation.

The VoIP call traffic and data from the Q-CallShop and CyberCafe are beamed up to the transponder of an appropriately situated satellite and are beamed down to a satellite teleport owned and operated by a strategic partner of Ecocarrier from where they are sent over the Internet to the service platform of Ecocarrier in Toronto consisting of QiiQ's Q-Regime, a softswitch, Q-Bill-R, a billing server, and Q-Manager, a server that serves out web-based services to authorized parties logging on to it from a browser to view data and to do remote management of the softswitch and the billing server and QiiQ's Q-CallShop Server.

VoIP calls originating from the Q-CallShops are routed and switched by Ecocarrier's service platform through carriers' networks and through direct routes to destination city/country for call termination to the called telephone directory numbers.


(2) For multiple-site installation in a campus environment, a Fixed Wireless System integrated with Satellite Ground Station Equipment

Such an integrated is depicted in the following diagram:



Note that the Fixed Wireless System consists of a Head End and multiple CPE (Customer Premises End). At the Head End there are 6 units of 60-degree antenna mounted on a rooftop to give 360-degree coverage. At the CPE a single omni-directional antenna is mounted on a rooftop in a Line-of-Sight orientation with the Head End antennas.

At the CPE, the equipment required for setting up a Q-CallShop are a small VoIP gateway with FXS ports, each of which is connected with a single-line analog telephone (ordinary telephone), and a PC running Internet Explorer for a browser. Instead of a VoIP gateway, multiple IP Phones may be used.

At the Head End there is a QoS System which is a server that manages the signals between the many individual CPEs and the Head End to ensure secured and clear channels for communication between the Head End and the CPEs.

Additionally, at the Head End there are the following essential components:

(a) QiiQ's Q-Regime, a softswitch implemented with H323 Proxy, IP-based IVR server and a RADIUS Client for generating Radius-compliant CDRs

(b) QiiQ's Q-Bill-R, a billing server 

(c) QiiQ's Q-Manager, a server that serves out web-based services to authorized parties logging on to it from a browser to view data and to do remote management of the softswitch and the billing server and 

(d) QiiQ's Q-CallShop Server 

These components together form a service platform that provides complete switching and billing and remote access management for telephone communication originating from and terminating to the telephones that are installed in the Q-CallShops at the CPEs, thus providing a telephone communication system/network for the campus community.

For calling to telephone directory numbers anywhere in the world, the telephone communication system/network for the campus community will have to be integrated with 

(i) a VoIP gateway/switch with interface to the local PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) if one is available or

(ii) through a connection to a broadband network if one is available.

In the absence of a local PSTN or local broadband network, telephone communication will have to be achieved through access to the Internet via a satellite ground station as depited in the diagram. The Q-Regime at thh Head End is used to switch or route the VoIP call traffic from the individual Q-CallShops to the satellite ground station.

The VoIP call traffic from the Q-CallShop is beamed up to the transponder of an appropriately situated satellite where it is beamed down to a satellite teleport owned and operated by a strategic partner of Ecocarrier from where the VoIP call traffic is sent over the Internet to the service platform of Ecocarrier in Toronto consisting of QiiQ's Q-Regime, a softswitch, Q-Bill-R, a billing server, and Q-Manager, a server that serves out web-based services to authorized parties logging on to it from a browser to view data and to do remote management of the softswitch and the billing server and QiiQ's Q-CallShop Server which takes over the functions of the local Q-CallShop server at the Head End making it unnecessary to have the local Q-CallShop in such an application.

VoIP calls originating from the Q-CallShops are routed and switched by Ecocarrier's service platform through carriers' networks and through direct routes to destination city/country for call termination to the called telephone directory numbers.

Ecocarrier undertakes to design, install and commission complete systems of the kinds described above at low competitive prices.

Together with its strategic partners who own and operate the satellite and satellite teleport, Ecocarrier offers very low-cost bandwidth per kilo bits per second for satellite ISP services including the costs of satellite space segment, teleport service and access service to the Internet.

For details please write to satelliteservices@ecocarrier.com.

Can you provide a display in each booth to show the Elapsed Time, Per Minute Charge and Total Cost of a Call as is a common feature in Call Shop?

Yes. Each phone-booth of a Q-CallShop can be equipped with a Call Display Unit (CDU) that is specially designed for use with the Q-CallShop operator’s workstation (PC). It is based on RS422 protocol which allows the CDU to be installed some hundred metres away from the operator workstation if required. Each CDU measures 274 mm (width) x 79 mm (height) x 34 mm (depth) with  a screen area of 192 mm (width) x 97 mm (height) and has 4 lines of display to show the phone number, start time, end time, elapsed time, rate, and total charge.  See picture below.

Can Q-CallShop service platform be used for routing calls to local PSTN and do billing on such local calls?

Q-CallShop with Local Calls Routed to the Local PSTN

The Q-CallShop reseller can offer local calling service using its own PSTN lines instead of Ecocarrier if the local provider's rates are better.

 The reseller uses a FXO gateway connected to the local PSTN for making local calls.  The FXO gateway is configured as a terminating endpoint in the Ecocarrier system.  The FXO gateway may be installed in one of the reseller's call shops or somewhere else.

The reseller's FXS gateway is configured as an originating endpoint in the Ecocarrier system.  The calls to the reseller's city code or country code are switched to the reseller's FXO gateway, and the calls to other destinations are routed to Ecocarrier's regular terminations.  The reseller is charged a per minute switching fee for the calls switched to its FXO gateway.

Diagram

What equipment is required in the call shop?

You need a VoIP gateway with telephones and a computer with a web browser. Call display units, FXO VoIP gateway, and QCS-IVR are optional.

VoIP!Edge Q-2FXS, Q-4FXS

VoIP gateway for 2 or 4 regular analog telephones, which are the telephones in the phone booths of the call shop
Click here for details

VoIP!Edge Q-2FXS-2FXO

VoIP gateway for 2 regular analog telephones, which are the telephones in the phone booths of the call shop, and 2 analog PSTN lines
Click here for details

VoIP!Phone Q-FONE-DU-X

IP Phone with built-in 56K modem for dial-up access to Internet
Click here for details

VoIP!Phone Q-1FXS+56K

Single port VoIP gateway with built-in 56K modem for dial-up access to the Internet
Click here for details

Computer with web browser

The Q-CallShop server is accessed over the internet from Internet Explorer web browser.

Call Display Unit


Click here for large photo

Each phone-booth of a Q-CallShop can be equipped with a Call Display Unit (CDU) that is specially designed for use with the Q-CallShop operator’s workstation (PC). It is based on RS422 protocol which allows the CDU to be installed some hundred metres away from the operator workstation if required. Each CDU measures 274 mm (width) x 79 mm (height) x 34 mm (depth) with  a screen area of 192 mm (width) x 97 mm (height) and has 4 lines of display to show the phone number, start time, end time, elapsed time, rate, and total charge.

QCS-IVR

If a Q-CallShop is required to also service customers that make billable calls through the local PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network), it will have to be equipped additionally with a small VoIP gateway with FXO ports such as VoIP!Edge Q-4FXO and a QCS-IVR Server with special functions for routing and switching calls dialed by the Q-CallShop customers to the local PSTN and to generate the RADIUS compliant CDRs for billing purposes.

VoIP!Edge Q-4FXO

VoIP gateway for 4 analog PSTN lines
Click here for details

Can you provide Q-CallShop with wireless handsets for added convenience and privacy in a restaurant setting or in club-house or a hotel lobby?

Yes, we can. You can make use of QiiQ-Ecocarrier’s WiFi-enabled Q-CallShop solution. You need to add a WiFi Access Point unit and some WiFi-Fone.  Click here  to view a diagram that shows a Hotspot System supporting a WiFi-enabled Q-CallShop.

Can I easily add a Prepaid Calling Card facility to a Q-CallShop?

Yes, you can. You can make use of QiiQ’s GoldenGate Cell-to-VoIP GSM gateway supported by Ecocarrier’s managed service known as Q-PPCC. Click here for information about GoldenGate Cell-to-VoIP.  Click here for information about Q-PPCC. Each GoldenGate Cell-to-VoIP unit can be configured to receive incoming call from a service subscriber calling in from wireless phone or a mobile phone and route the call directly to Ecocarrier’s service platform for Q-PPCC to provide the interaction that is required for a prepaid calling card service in order for the call to be made by the subscriber to the destination number.

 
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