Replacing Conventional Phone Trunks with SIP Trunks
Many businesses in today’s environment have taken advantage of the advancement and convenience provided by VoIP services to suit their telecommunication needs. With using VoIP software, regular phone trunks connected to PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) no longer satisfy business needs as trunking needs to connect the phone system to the Internet.
This is done by using SIP trunking systems, which are virtual telephone lines, establishing the connection between VoIP and a PBX system. In order to implement SIP trunking, companies need a PBX systems in place, a gateway and a subscription to a SIP provider, which needs to be carefully selected.
How to Choose a SIP Provider?
Finding the right provider isn’t always easy, since the market is full of competitors, offering various plans on different prices. The good news is that since new and new SIP providers started to emerge, prices per SIP trunk lowered due to the intense competition. Business owners should carefully research suppliers before selecting one SIP phone.
Market Inspector has selected important factors that can help you find the right SIP service.
SIP trunks send voice and data packets over an Internet connection and as every information exposed to the Internet, it is not risk-free. Making sure that your SIP provider protects your business’ data is crucial before signing with them. Suppliers offer some different options for better security such as SIP firewalls. The security options of the provider are important to look at, so business owners are aware of what level of protection they can expect.
- Support and customer service
SIP trunks are vulnerable to power outages and Internet connection disruptions. As the company will not be able to fix the problem themselves, they would need to contact the provider to resolve it. Fast and responsive customer service is of extreme importance for the customer and their communication flow, so providers, who offer service at any time and in many different ways are the best choice.
Prices of SIP trunking include two major aspects- the initial and the regular monthly cost. Both highly vary on the provider but can range from £15-30 per trunk. But monthly prices aren’t an accurate estimate since providers offer different things included in this price. Some will have unlimited call minutes and others may appear way cheaper, but charge a fixed fee per minute. It is also a good idea to see the installation cost per SIP trunk and the fees for adding additional trunks. Adding more would generally be at a very low or no cost and some providers, like Nextiva has no setup fees as well.
- Quality of service (QoS)
Business owners should understand the term QoS since it is crucial for the quality of their voice communications. Since SIP trunks are able to process and transmit both voice and data signals in a single trunk, the prioritization of them has a huge impact. If the same SIP trunk is transmitting a call and an image exchange at the same time, if QoS is not defined, it may by default lose the phone call and focus on the image data. This can also result in a bad quality call or interruption, which isn’t efficient for VoIP communications. This is why business owners should ask SIP providers about QoS standards that prioritize voice signals to make sure that they’re in for a good quality service.
SIP trunking is a rather new concept that hasn’t been introduced in some markets and in the ones it already exists in, more and more providers offer SIP trunks. However, not all of them have the same level of competence in unified communication networks. Business owners should look for a provider who has been established in the market for some time and has positive customer feedback. Experienced providers are able to more adequately assist businesses and provide solutions, tailored exactly to their needs and qualified support.
The network that the SIP providers offer is also important for the quality of the calls and overall service. There are 3 levels of Internet network, called tiers. In broad terms, every tier has different access to the Internet, where 1st tier networks are directly connected to it and don’t have to pay IP transit to access its full potential. They also have the highest quality regarding VoIP communications and provide the quickest access. The quality of the network decreases with the other tiers. Business owners should definitely research what type of network the supplier offers since some low-fare subscriptions use 2nd and 3rd tier networks and many people are deluded by the low price and end up with bad quality service.
Many SIP providers will offer to connect a SIP trunk to the business PBX system for free, so the company will be able to evaluate the performance and see if this is the right provider for them.
Sometimes even the trial period won’t make a business fully sure of their provider, so money back guarantees and contract clauses are also important. Business owners need to know what are their options if they aren’t satisfied with the service or wish to cancel their subscription for any other reason. Some providers allow this within a month or two and others anytime with little or no applying fees.
Those are the primary factors that businesses need to consider before choosing a SIP provider. Further research can be regarding their geographic coverage and reporting tools, which are important for the efficiency and transparency of the service. Overall, by choosing the suitable SIP provider, businesses can improve their communication and customer service at a low cost.
If you want a tailored solution for your business, just fill in the form on this page and Market Inspector will guide you through some suppliers. This service is totally free and will help you find the best investment for your company.