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Upcoming Rate Changes for International Calling and Messaging

Posted on December 18, 2017 by JP Shipherd

It has been two years since we last changed our rates at Tropo. At that time we announced reductions in costs for calls and messaging to and from US numbers as well as reducing the cost for most of our international numbers from $10 to $6 a month.

In those last two years, we have seen rates for international calling and messaging change dramatically. While we’ve tried to keep our rates consistent, our primary goal is to ensure that we provide a platform with high reliability and quality. In order to meet that goal, today we are announcing across the board changes for the rates for calls, messages and phone numbers for non-US countries. In many cases rates have gone down, in particular, you will notice that there are now several countries where phone numbers cost significantly less than $6 per month. With that said rates have also gone up in other areas including monthly recurring charges as well as our per-minute and per-message fees.

The new pricing will become effective as of January 8, 2018.

How these rate changes will impact you depends on the countries and regions where you do your calling and messaging. Some of our customers will see their bills go down and some will see their bills go up.  If your traffic is done primarily in the United States you should see no change. Customers that have an Enterprise Contract will not be impacted by this change while their contract remains in force.  

In order to help you determine the impact on you we are providing the following files for download:

Going forward we anticipate that our rates will change from time to time as costs go up and down. When this happens we will blog about the changes in advance so you can plan accordingly.

Thanks for working with Tropo!

Elimination of Non-Secure HTTP traffic on Tropo.com

Posted on December 12, 2017 by JP Shipherd

Over the last several months we have been planning to eliminate the use of insecure HTTP by customers with minimal impact to your applications.  HTTPS is the way to go.  If you follow the relevant security bodies, there is strong agreement from IETF, IAB (even the other IAB), W3C, and the US Government calling for the universal use of encryption by Internet applications, which in the case of the web means HTTPS.

There are two broad elements of this plan:

  1. Redirection:  We started redirecting insecure HTTP requests to http://api.tropo.com to our secure HTTPS endpoints https://api.tropo.com. This redirection itself, while slightly improving the situation, is not a long-term solution,  as keys are sent in the initial request.
  2. Disallow HTTP altogether: As of January 8, 2018, we will stop the redirection.   After that Tropo will no longer honor requests to http://api.tropo.com, and these requests will return a 501 (Not Implemented) status code. All API requests have to be made to https://api.tropo.com

What you need to do:

If any of your applications or processes are making requests to http://api.tropo.com to initiate outbound calls, text messages, or to inject signals into your tropo application,  you must make sure that you update your system to use https://api.tropo.com instead. Developers who take advantage of Tropo’s REST API endpoints for application setup and configuration must also ensure that they are using the HTTPS version of the api.tropo.com as well.

Tropo scripting and web API applications should not need to change.

Thanks to the many developers who have worked with us during the first phase of this project, and your ongoing willingness to protect your Tropo applications.

Easily find Space Available military flights

Posted on April 4, 2017 by Adam Kalsey

Veteran Lawerence Spinetta saw a problem. The US military offers service members and veterans no or low-cost travel on military flights if space is available. If there’s an empty seat, a veteran can reserve a spot on a Space-A (military speak for Space Available) and hop on board. But there’s no central booking agency to reserve these flights. You can’t just head to Orbitz and order yourself up a swing seat in the cargo hold of a C-130 bound for Honolulu. The only way to find out what flights are available is to call your local military base and listen to a recorded message that tells you what flights are available. To make things more complicated, the base only lists its own flights. To check multiple nearby bases, you have to call them all individually.

Often, calling a base results in a busy signal, as the recorded messages only have a single line. Repeat calls can be necessary to get through.

For older veterans that are hard of hearing, finding a Space-A flight was often a frustrating experience, and Lawrence was here to help. Despite not having much development experience, Mr. Spinetta started looking for a way to simplify the process of finding a Space-A flight. He wanted to automate the process of collecting the available flights, and says that “no other service compared to Tropo’s ease of use, features, and price.”

The result is SpaceAFlights.Net, a service that calls each of the flight bases each day, records and transcribes the available flight messages, and posts the flight schedules online. A veteran still needs to contact the base to schedule their flight, but SpaceAFlights.net makes the process of finding an open spot much easier. You can even use a mobile app or subscribe to daily email alerts for your favorite base’s flights as they open up.

As a beginning programmer, Mr. Spinetta appreciated Tropo’s round-the-clock developer support, saying that our support staff was “very responsive [and] answered technical questions in simple, easily understandable terms.”

For his service to the community, Tropo has donated a significant number of call credits to SpaceAFlights.net so that this service can continue to be available to active military, veterans, and their families. Tropo is proud to sponsor SpaceAFlights.Net and looks forward to seeing how it grows in the future.