Questions People Should Ask Their SIP Provider, But Don’t

sip providerIf you read this blog, you know we love a good FAQ post. As a SIP trunking provider we are very familiar with the questions that people ask most frequently. However, there are a few questions that we believe aren’t asked frequently enough by people considering SIP. Here is a list of questions that you should ask of every SIP vendor you consider.

Do you use a Tier-1 Network?

Asking about the provider’s network tier is a good way to get an understanding of the performance and reliability of the solution without getting into the weeds of telecommunications networking. Only Tier-1 carriers are directly connected to the structure of the internet. Tier 2 or 3 network providers can sometimes offer a lower price, but the added complexity increases the risk of poor audio quality, loss of dial tone and jitter.

What Fees Can I Expect to Pay?

It is normal for SIP vendors to advertise the monthly price per SIP channel, but be aware that there are usually additional fees for porting phone numbers, direct dial lines, e911 and international long distance. You can also expect some regulatory fees and taxes. Be sure you understand everything about how a vendor charges before you make your decision. SIP.US is very transparent about how we price.

What is the Term of My Obligation?

Some vendors require customers to commit to the service for a period of time. You’ll want to understand your obligations as well as any renewal terms, which are sometimes automatic. In order to give our clients the most flexibility possible, SIP.US does not require any long-term commitment. Our customers can cancel anytime.

Do I Have to Purchase Bandwidth from You?

Some SIP providers require that customers purchase internet connectivity from them. This may mean that the customer pays more for less reliable service. If you are going to purchase bandwidth from the vendor, make sure that performance can be validated. Another option is to choose a SIP vendor like SIP.US that allows clients to bring their own connectivity, giving you the ability to select the service with the best price and performance in your area.

How Do You Service and Support Customers?

The level of support available to businesses who use SIP varies greatly from one vendor to the next. It is a good idea to ask about the tools and resources that will be available during your initial set up and beyond. This is especially important if you don’t have a telecommunications technology professional on staff.

Can I have a Free Trial?

The single best way to determine whether a SIP service will work for your business is to test it on your equipment with your internet connection. It doesn’t need to be a long test, but you should get the opportunity to experience the set up process and validate call quality from your location.

Asking these questions up front will help you get off on the right foot with your SIP experience. If you’d like to discuss them in more depth or if you have others, we’d be delighted to chat.