Before You Get Hooked, Ask the SIP Trunking Provider These 5 Questions

sip trunking providerI saw an article today with an interview with an “expert” who claims that the infamous Loch Ness monster is actually a species of giant catfish, (which seems appropriate since “catfishing” is a term the millennials coined for using a false identity on social media to try to trick someone romantically). Things are rarely what they seem, whether it’s a mythical dinosaur or a dating profile, it’s hard to tell if you’re getting what you were sold.

To avoid falling hook, line and sinker, for some kind of fisherman’s tale, be sure to ask any SIP trunking provider you consider these important questions.

  1. Do you use a Tier 1 network?

Tier-1 carriers are directly connected to the structure of the Internet and can be considered part of the Internet itself.  A Tier 1 carrier must own or control sufficient portions of its underlying network infrastructure to be able to meet market-leading service level agreements. To be considered Tier 1, carriers also must be organizationally stable and financially viable. Some SIP trunking providers use Tier 2 or Tier 3 networks to keep costs low, but they do so at the risk of quality, reliability and security.

  1. How will I be supported during the installation and afterword?

You do not need to be a telecommunications expert to deploy a SIP trunk. It’s actually pretty easy, but questions do come up and you want to be sure that the vendor you select will be there for you during and after the setup. Look for vendors with a track record of customer success and select only those who are happy to answer your questions and help you get started.

  1. Can I bring my own bandwidth?

The selection of your ISP and your SIP trunking provider do not have to be linked. Although some SIP vendors require customers to buy bandwidth from them, many don’t, so you have a choice. In most cases it is in your best interest to select the ISP that offers the highest speeds, best service and value in your area and make your SIP solution decision independently.

  1. What are ALL the fees?

Some vendors bait the hook with a price that appears very low, but that does not include all of the potential additional fees. (This article explains SIP trunk pricing in depth.) You’ll want to ask about fees for porting, DID numbers, e911, and setup.

  1. Do you have systems in place to prevent international toll fraud?

International toll fraud is a $4,000,000,000 problem. (Yes, billion with a b.) Although it is impossible to stamp out fraud entirely, systems can be put into place that can detect suspicious activity and temporarily suspend international calling to prevent large losses. Select a vendor that cares enough about your business to protect it in this way.

Because most people aren’t telecom experts, I’m reminded of the old saying, “If you don’t know jewelry, know your jeweler.”  The same is true with SIP trunking.  Make sure you pick the right vendor and don’t end up with a catfish instead.

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