Setting up Email Callback Services



General configuration of callback services

Modify voice application settings

Add a new email callback trigger instance

Configure the instance parameters

Create a tariff for end users

Enter rates

Create a product

Create a customer

Generate accounts




Email callback is a variation of the web callback. However, instead of entering a web page, an end user sends an email with the account credentials (login and password) and two phone numbers: a phone number where the user can be reached and the destination number he wishes to be connected with. He then receives the call and is connected with the destination number provided in the email.


The advantage of this type of callback is the availability of making calls in places where users are not permitted to browse the web, but can still send and receive emails (e.g. in some office environments).


This chapter demonstrates how to configure and use email callback.


Consider the following example:

A user from Poland needs to call his relatives in Germany. He sends an email providing both his phone number and that of his relatives. He receives a callback and is connected with Germany.


Print the following page and use it to mark the operations you have completed while performing the system setup according to the instructions in this chapter. Please make sure that you perform all of the operations in the order designated (all of the boxes should be checked), otherwise the service will not work.




General configuration


Perform the general configuration of callback services

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Voice application configuration


Modify voice applications settings

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Add a new Email callback trigger instance

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Configure the parameters of the Email callback trigger instance

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Rating configuration (Customer)


Create a tariff A, which will be applied to the end users for using callback

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Insert rates in tariff A for the destinations the callback will be initiated to (legA,) and to which your customers will make outgoing calls (legB)

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Create a product for callback services

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In the rating list (of the callback product) include an entry that will contain the PortaSIP® node and the tariff A containing the callback calling rates

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In the rating list (of the callback product) include another entry associating the Voice calls service, tariff A and the CALLBACK_FAIL access code

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Account provisioning


Create a retail customer who owns the accounts for callback services

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Generate a batch of accounts (PINs) for this customer

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Send an email and make a test callback call

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General configuration of callback services

Follow the steps described in the Setting up Callback Services. General Configuration handbook that describes the initial instructions for configuring callback services.

Modify voice application settings

Email callback means that users can send emails to a special email address (e.g. with the domain name of the PortaSIP® Media Server.


_Hint_ExclamationMark Make sure you have created an MX (mail exchanger) record for this domain name.

Add a new email callback trigger instance

1.      On the navigation menu, select Infrastructure, then select Voice calls processing and go to Voice applications.




2.      On the Create voice application panel, fill in the following fields:

·       Name – specify the name (e.g. Email callback).

·       Application type – choose Email callback trigger.


Create a Voice application


3.      Click Save.

Configure the instance parameters

1.      On the Voice application panel, go to the Entry point panel and specify Callback email address. This is the email address for the web server where end users send emails to initiate callback calls in this format: callback-request@<host> where host is a domain name of your PortaSIP® Media Server.


Specify an Entry point


2.      Go to the Authentication, Authorization, Accounting section and configure the following parameters:

·       On the Accounting panel, specify the access code that will allow the PortaBilling® to use a special tariff for callback charging. For email callback the default access code value is EMAILCALLBACK.


Enable the Special charge if LegB fails option to use a special tariff to charge for legA if a call to a destination number (legB) cannot be established (e.g. if the destination number is busy or not answering).




·       On the Translation rules panel, put a cursor into Account ID translation rule field and specify the translation rule as a Perl expression that will convert the number of the calling party. This rule will be applied to the number if the option Use account ID as ANI is selected.


 Specify the translation rules


3.      On the Prompts & notifications panel, go to the Prompts customization section and specify the folder name with your custom IVR prompts. These prompts will be used instead of the default ones. Please refer to the How to… section for a detailed description of how to upload and use custom IVR prompts.


 Configure the Brand prompts


4.      On the Application specific panel, enable the Use account ID as ANI option to show the account ID (i.e. PIN) as the calling number.


 Enable the Use account ID as ANI option


5.      Click Save.

Create a tariff for end users

Now it is necessary to create a tariff according to which your customers will be charged for using the callback services.

A callback call consists of two parts (call legs): a call to the calling party (legA) and a call to the destination number (legB), therefore this tariff will be used to create charges for both call legs. The total charge for the entire callback call is the sum of charges for call legA and call legB.


 Create a tariff 


1.      On the navigation menu, select Service catalog and click Tariffs.

2.      On the Create tariff panel, fill in the tariff details:

·       Name – Type a short name for the tariff object; this is the name you will see in the select menus, (for example, Callback).

·       Currency – This indicates the currency in which you charge your customers.

NOTE: The currency for the tariff is chosen only once, and cannot be changed later.

·       Service – Select Voice calls.

·       Applied to – Select Customer as this tariff will be used to charge your customers.

·       Managed by – Select Administrator only here, since we are setting up a service without the involvement of resellers.


3.      Click Save.

NOTE: You can charge separately for call legs. Please refer to the How to… section for a detailed description of the necessary steps for setting that up.

Enter rates

Since a callback call consists of two call legs, rates for both call leg destinations need to be entered into the tariff.


1.       On your customer tariff’s panel (Callback), click Rates.


 Add rates to the tariff


2.      On the Add rate panel, fill in the rate details:

·       Destination – Select a destination prefix from the list or type it directly, (e.g. 33 for France).

NOTE: You must create an entry for certain phone prefixes in the Destination register before creating a rate for them in the tariff.

·       Rating mode – Select the Flat rate option here. If you want to enter different rates for the peak and off-peak periods, select the Separate peak / off-peak rate option.

·       First interval, seconds – Type a first billing unit in seconds.

·       Next interval, seconds – Type the next billing unit in seconds.

·       First price – Type a per minute price for the first interval.

·       Next price – Type a per minute price for the next interval

·       Off-peak first interval – Type a first billing unit in seconds for off‑peak time.

·       Off-peak next interval – Next billing unit in seconds for off‑peak time.

·       Off-peak first price – Type a per minute price for first interval for off‑peak time.

·       Off-peak next price – Type a per minute price for next interval for off-peak time.

NOTE: Off-peak fields appear only if the Separate peak / off-peak rate rating mode is selected or an off-peak period has already been assigned to this tariff on the General info panel

·       Rate formula – Type a custom rating formula.

·       Effective from – If you want this rate to take effect sometime in the future, you can either type in a date manually, or use the calendar (click on the DD-MM-YYYY link).

NOTE: When using the calendar, you can specify that the date you are entering is in a different time zone than your present one. PortaBilling® will then automatically adjust the time.

3.      Click Save.

4.      Repeat these steps to enter more rates.

Create a product

Accounts for accessing callback services have a specific product assigned to them. Products are powerful tools that define different ways for billing accounts. Product definition is always done using these steps: product type definition, service definition and configuration and creation of a rating list.


 Create a Product 


1.      On the navigation menu, select Service catalog and click Products.

2.      On the Create product panel, fill in the product details:

·       Name – Type an internal product name that will be shown on the administrator interface.

·       Name visible to end users – Type a name of the product that will be shown to end users on their self-care interfaces.

·       Product type – Select Main product here.

·       Currency – Choose a currency the product will be priced in.

·       Managed by – Select Administrator only here, since we are setting up a service without the involvement of resellers.

·       Account default ACL – Choose an Access Control List (ACL) for accounts with this product assigned. ACLs control which objects end users can access to and which actions they can perform.

·       Account role – Select Universal from the list.

3.      Click Save.

Included services tab

Define which service types are included in the product. A service type is a description of the physical service provided to end users.

To add a service type:

1.      On your product’s panel, click Services.

2.      On the Services panel, click Add a service.

3.      In the Select services to add dialog box, select Voice calls and click Add.

 Fill in the product information

Usage charges tab

The rating list has two functions: it defines permitted access points (nodes and access numbers) and specifies which tariff should be used for billing in each of these points.


1.      On your product’s panel, click Charges, then click Usage charges.

2.      On the Usage charges panel, click Add.

3.      Fill in the required information:

·       Service – Select Voice calls.

·       Node – Select the PortaSIP® node.

·       Access code – Type in the EMAILCALLBACK access code here as it was specified in the Email callback trigger instance above. You can also leave this field empty and the system will automatically select this tariff when charging for Email callback services.

·       Tariff – Select the tariff that will be used to calculate the charges for callback calls.

·       Overdraft protection – To configure overdraft protection for this product, consult the Configure Overdraft Protection Section within the Product section in the Overdraft Protection Configuration handbook.


4.      Click Save.


 Add usage charges


1.      Click Add to enter another rating entry. This rating entry will define what tariff should be selected if one of the call legs fails to be established (e.g. the destination number is busy or not answering).

2.      Fill in the required information:

·       Service – Select Voice calls.

·       Node – Select the PortaSIP® node.

·       Access code – Type in the CALLBACK_FAIL access code here.

·       Tariff – Select the callback tariff for unsuccessful calls.

NOTE: You can use a special tariff for this rating entry (e.g. if you do not charge your customers for unsuccessful calls to destination numbers, create a separate tariff and enter a rate of zero for a “|” wildcard destination in it). Find the description of the tariff creation and rates enter in the sections above.

 Add usage charges for access number


3.      Click Save.

Create a customer

A customer owns their accounts. As a rule, Callback is provided as a prepaid service, so invoices are not issued. However, you will still need at least one customer object in order to keep all the accounts organized in one location.


1.       On the navigation menu, select Sales, then select Customers.

2.      On the Create customer panel, fill in the customer details:

·       Name – Type a short name for the customer object; this will be used on the web interface.

·       Balance control – Select Postpaid.

·       Currency – Choose the currency in which this customer will be billed.

·       Credit limitSpecify the credit limit value for this customer.

·       Business model – A business model defines what type of service is to be provided to the customer. Select Universal for this customer.

·       Customer class – Customer class allows you to define a policy for automated payment collection. By choosing a specific class here the customer will automatically inherit all of the class properties (grace period, invoice template, etc.).

·       Billing period – Choose a billing period for the customer. A billing period defines the frequency of invoicing for this customer.

·       Billing period time zone – Choose a time zone in which customer’s billing period will be closed and invoices will be generated.


 Create a callback customer


3.      Click Save.

Generate accounts

NOTE: Before generating accounts for a production system, read the Provisioning Prepaid Accounts  section of the Prepaid Calling Cards handbook.

1.      On your customer’s panel, click Accounts.

2.      On the Create an account panel, click Account generator.

3.      In the Account generation dialog, fill in information about accounts.

Initial configuration

·       Account role – The defined usage for the account. Select Universal from the list.

·       Type – Select Debit.

·       Product – Choose the main product, which you would like your account to have.

·       Quantity – Number of accounts (callback cards) to be generated.

·       Batch – Accounts are grouped into batches. If Add a new batch is selected, all accounts will be placed into a new batch. Otherwise, an existing batch should be selected from the drop-down list.

·       New batch name – Type a name for the new batch.


 Initial configuration

Optional configuration

·       Opening balance – The initial balance on the card.

·       Requires manual activation – It is normal practice to generate all prepaid cards as inactive so they cannot be misused before being sold to the dealer or end customer. You can always activate the whole batch of cards or an individual card later. If you plan to assign the cards to a distributor later on, the cards must be generated as inactive. Move the slider to the right to generate as inactive.

·       Generation method – The Random method means that every account will be assigned a unique, randomly-generated PIN.

·       ID prefix – If you would like all of the generated accounts to start with the same digit string (e.g. 1818), enter it here. Thus, if you enter 1818 and an ID length of 10, account IDs (PINs) will look like this: 1818NNNNNN, where N = random digits.

·       ID length – All account IDs (PINs) will be numerical and of the specified length. In order to avoid problems with the prepaid card print-shop, PortaBilling® will not generate account numbers with a leading zero. Also, PortaBilling® will only allow generation of a batch with feasible parameters, e.g. it is impossible to generate a batch of 1,000 accounts with ID length 4 and ID starting at 55.

·       Service password – To improve security, you can use the complete account information, i.e. account ID and password, for authentication in an email callback. Click Auto generated so that service passwords are automatically generated.

·       Distributor – You can assign a specific distributor to this group of accounts.

·       Life cycle:

o   Activation date – The date from which the account is usable.

o   Expiration date – The date that the account expires.

o   Availability period after first usage, days – Defines the number of days the account remains active after its first use or recharge.

o   Availability period after last usage, days – Defines the number of days the account remains active after its last use or recharge.

·       E-Commerce Enabled – If selected, this will allow debit card owners to make online payments via the PortaBilling® web interface (leave unselected.)

·       Web self-care:

o   Credentials – If you choose Auto-generated, your customer will use his account ID (PIN) to login to the self-care pages; a random password for web access will be assigned for each account. If you choose Empty, the account owner will not be able to use the self-care pages at all until a login has been assigned for his account; no password will be assigned, so account owners will be able to login to the web interface simply by providing their account ID (PIN).

o   Time zone – When an account owner accesses the web self-care pages to see a list of his calls, the time will be shown in the time zone most appropriate for him.

o   Web interface language – The language to be used on the account self-care web interface.


 Optional configuration


4.      Click Generate.

NOTE: Account generation tasks are executed every few minutes, and it may take a while to generate large numbers of accounts.

_Hint_ExclamationMark Notification about the generated cards will be sent by email to the user who created them. A .csv file with information about the new accounts will be attached.


A .csv file with information about the new accounts


_Hint_Glasses In case the original email message is lost or accidentally deleted, the file containing generated accounts is stored on the slave PortaBilling® server in the user /porta_var/<Server_IP>/ directory, sub-directory cards.


Create an email and send it to the email address specified in the email callback trigger instance (e.g. 


Test the service


1.      Specify the following information in the email:

·       Subject – Type in Callback.

·       Message – Type in the following information: P AAAA YYYY SN XXXXXXXX DN NNNNNNNN, where

AAAA is your callback account;

YYYY is the service password;

XXXXXXXX is the phone number to which the callback should be established;

NNNNNNNN is the destination number.

2.      Click Send message.

3.      Wait for a call to your phone number.