SIP • Last Updated 9/29/2023

Elastic billing: what it is and why it's important

Many companies enjoy the benefit of channel billing because it’s a predictable expense rather than a fluctuating one.

By Josh Whitaker

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Do you like the sound of having unlimited inbound minutes? Seems like a pretty smart business decision, doesn’t it? Well, elastic billing might just be what you’re after.

What is elastic billing?

It’s an alternative billing method for servicing DIDs and other phone numbers that allows users to pay a flat fee for a specific number of concurrent calls instead of paying per minute. With elastic billing, you’re able to have unlimited calls as long as there’s never more concurrent calls than channels you’ve provisioned. You can set up elastic billing across as many numbers as necessary.

Many companies enjoy the benefit of elastic billing because it’s a predictable expense rather than a fluctuating one based on usage.

In theory, you could have 5 channels shared across 10 numbers and make use of the unlimited inbound minutes on these 10 numbers at no additional charge. However, this means you can only support a maximum of five simultaneous calls across all 10 numbers at any given time.

What is global elastic billing?

Telnyx offersinternational numbers—now you can now easily and independently buy channels from various geographic zones all around the world.

Global elastic billing gives you more control over billing for your international numbers, since you can manage the amount of channels per zone and assign reserved channels of a zone to a number. Each geographic zone will be billed separately.

How do I know if channel billing is right for my business?

There are typically be certain businesses or scenarios that are better suited to elastic billing than others. Here are a few factors to consider when deciding if elastic billing is right for you:

Consistent usage

Let’s take a contact center with a number of agents as an example. Given that these agents spend most of the day using the phone, it will probably be cost-effective to leverage elastic billing rather than opt for a metered billing method.

The contact center knows exactly how many concurrent calls they need to support, based on the number of agents the organization has and how many on-hold calls they need to support at one time.

Number of agents + number of on-hold calls = total number of concurrent calls

Using a channel setup that accommodates this total number, the call center can simplify and reduce their phone bill.

Inconsistent usage

Outside of a contact center, it will often boil down to how consistent that organization's traffic is. Are there peak times where they’ll need vastly more channels to support their traffic? If that’s the case, then channel billing might not be the optimal choice as the organization is paying for those additional channels even when they’re not in use.

What if I want the best of both elastic billing and pay-per-minute?

There will be scenarios when blending both elastic and pay-per-usage billing is the best option. Almost all organizations have a baseline of consistent usage that can be set up as unlimited channels, while more ad hoc calling needs can be serviced by pay-per-minute numbers.

Channel billing setup

If you’re ready to customize your billing methods, head over to the portal where you can switch numbers from pay-as-you-go billing to elastic billing by adjusting the advanced options. Channels can also be managed in the portal just like phone numbers.

Feel free to reach out to our team of experts if you have any questions or need assistance.

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