SIP • Last Updated 9/29/2023

The Key Diff Between a Telephony Reseller and Operator

Operators own and operate the infrastructure and means of connectivity, resellers rebrand and bundle other businesses' services.

By Josh Whitaker

Telephony operator graphic

It’s important to understand the key difference between a telephony reseller and an operator. An operator owns and operates the infrastructure and the means of connectivity that its service relies on. Operators sell a significant portion of their service to telephony resellers who rebrand and bundle it for their specific market.

For straightforward use cases or cases when that reseller brings a specific value-add, a provider that resells operator services might be the correct choice. Resellers also have specific disadvantages, however, that prevent them from delivering the service that innovative applications, mission-critical services or global brands require.

Reliance on intermediaries

A telephony reseller by definition relies on intermediaries to deliver their service. Keep in mind:

  1. Higher potential costs—Reliance on another telecom’s infrastructure means inflated rates with no guarantee. They could fluctuate based on the provider-carrier contracts that govern your service.
  2. Lower reliability—The same issue relates to overall reliability of service. Your provider is at the mercy of other carriers’ outages and service degradation.
  3. Worse support—Troubleshooting connectivity issues or hashing out configuration details through a third party takes longer and introduces greater possibility of error.

However, if you were to opt for an operator, you would benefit from lower costs, and operators can carry out troubleshooting themselves, ensuring a more reliable service. Since they’re managing their own infrastructure, operators can better negotiate bundled contracts or volume discounts.

In addition to being able to better service connectivity, operators have the organizational capacity to pursue direct access to telephony assets like phone numbers and routing metadata.

Access to telephony assets

Because they don’t meet the standards required, telephony resellers rely on operators to distribute assets like phone numbers and access to telephony databases.

Buying phone numbers

Choosing an operator with owned telephony assets means better access to:

  • Vanity numbers
  • Particular needs like repeating digits
  • Blocks of consecutive numbers

What’s more, a telephony operator can work with local regulators to procure specific numbers they don’t already have.

Accessing CNAM, LRN and switch data

Operators typically provide better access to metadata like caller ID names or local routing numbers. You might want to identify mobile numbers prior to sending texts or see information about incoming calls or prospects. More direct and reliable access improves those functions.

An operator has the capacity to maintain access to source-of-truth databases of routing metadata, and they can fortify that access with direct connections to the organizations that maintain them via their owned infrastructure.

About Telnyx

Telnyx delivers voice, messaging, and more for applications and next-generation communications companies. Telnyx services numbers across 20,000 North American rate centers and 60 countries. Telnyx boasts a global infrastructure that delivers the best in call quality and security.

Share on Social
Jump to:

Sign up for emails of our latest articles and news

Related articles

Sign up and start building.