SIP trunking has become so popular recently that there are a good number of options on the market for businesses. That’s a great thing because demand is high and only growing. But it can also be a problem when buyers are presented with confusing messages and a sea of vendors that all look alike. There are many reputable service providers out there with a variety of solutions and business terms, but there are also (sadly) some vendors that cut corners to keep prices low but fail to deliver reliable, high-quality voice services. How’s a customer to know that they will be getting the best possible service?
Here are a few ways to sort out your options and make a smart comparison of the SIP services you consider.
It’s All About the Network, the Network, the Network
We can’t stress this enough. The quality of your calls and the reliability of the system will be directly related to the quality of the carrier network that the SIP provider uses to deliver calls to the PSTN (public switched telephone network). These networks are classified in tiers, with Tier-1 being the only network that is considered part of the internet itself. Protect your business communications infrastructure by insisting on a Tier-1 network.
Even when comparing two SIP service providers on Tier-1 networks, you will find a great deal of variance in business terms. The most flexible options do not require long-term contracts and allow users to easily add or reduce the number of channels on the fly. You pay for only what you need now and grow your communication system whenever your business grows. This is one of the primary advantages of SIP trunking over traditional PRI lines. Some vendors offer contracts designed to lock you in over the long-term and may require onerous paperwork to get started or change the agreement.
SIP service can be sold in a number of ways and it involves several add-on options and initial set up fees. The most important thing is for any vendor you consider to be completely transparent about all ongoing and initial fees. They should outline all of your options in a way that is easy to understand so that you have no surprises when you get your invoice. The most popular way that SIP trunks are sold is called unlimited SIP trunking. This pricing model means that you pay one monthly fee for each channel, regardless of how many minutes are used to make and receive calls within the lower 48 states and most of Canada. Getting a low-cost unlimited SIP trunk is a smart way to cut your communications costs, but don’t let price be the only consideration. Quality, flexibility, and service are all important.
Speaking of service, some SIP trunking providers offer expert technical support via phone or email and are happy to help you with your implementation and any other questions that come up along the way. Others charge separately for support or connect you with inexperienced agents who aren’t able to offer adequate help. Talk to each vendor you consider about customer support and find out what their other clients have to say.
The number of SIP trunking providers out there is a good news / bad news situation. You can absolutely find the perfect partner for your business, but you’ll likely have to do a big of digging to sort out the duds. Hopefully, these areas to delve into will help you make the right choice.