Attracted by the growing popularity of SIP trunking for business communications, there are many SIP trunk providers in the market. At first glance they may all appear to be pretty similar, but if you dig into the details, you’ll find a wide variety of services, pricing and support options available. The offers can be confusing especially if you are not a VoIP guru, so we offer these simple Do’s and Don’ts to help you sort through the lingo as you find the SIP provider that’s the best match for your business.
Provider Selection Do’s
- Select a vendor that uses a Tier 1 Carrier Network – Without getting into the arcane details, a Tier 1 carrier is a provider that has a direct network connection to the Internet and all the other networks it uses in order to deliver both voice and data services. This results in the highest quality voice signal and a redundant, resilient network to ensure performance and reliability.
- Make sure the SIP trunk Provider Supports your PBX – This is especially important if you are using a legacy PBX or Key system in conjunction with an ATA. Not all SIP providers support legacy systems, nor do all support the many free PBX solutions available, such as Asterisk.
- Insist on a Free Trial – You don’t need a lengthy trial, but it is important to have the opportunity to test the provider’s solution with your equipment and internet connection. The free trial will also help you determine how difficult the solution will be to set up and use.
- Get Support – How well you will be supported after you subscribe to the service is one of the main things that set SIP providers apart. Be sure you understand what level of support you can expect, especially during your installation. With some providers, you are on your own, while others, like SIP.US, will configure your SIP trunks for you if given access to your PBX.
Provider Selection Don’ts
- Be forced to buy Bandwidth from the Vendor – Internet bandwidth is a critical factor in SIP trunking success. Some vendors insist that you purchase bandwidth from them, preventing you from finding the best service and value in your area. Instead, choose a SIP provider that gives you the flexibility to choose the best bandwidth for you.
- Get Locked into a Long Term Contract – Business needs change over time, so don’t be pushed into a long term commitment or one that doesn’t let you easily increase or decrease your number of SIP channels. You also want the ability to cancel your service altogether if performance doesn’t meet your standards.
- Get Burned by Telemarketing Surcharges – Heavy telemarketing traffic is not welcome by many upstream carriers and often comes with steep surcharges. Particularly if your company uses automated dialing for telemarketing, makes sure to choose a SIP trunk provider that can connect you to carriers that welcome this type of traffic.
- Become a Victim of International Toll Fraud – International toll fraud is an enormous problem, costing businesses and consumers billions of dollars a year. Be sure to choose a SIP trunking provider with an automated infrastructure in place to protect clients from toll fraud.
We hope you’ll consider SIP.US for your business communications needs, but even if you don’t, following these Do’s and Don’ts will help you find a SIP trunk vendor with the service you need, and the flexibility and support you deserve.