SIP Trunking Costs Explained
There’s a good reason that SIP trunking is gaining popularity as the pipeline for business voice communication needs.
That reason is cost.
SIP trunking represents a large cost savings compared to Ma Bell carriers who have made it all too easy for their own customers to loathe them. Local telephone companies may not have a monopoly anymore but it can sure feel like with their inflexibility to your needs, high rates, questionable customer service, and so on.
I’m preaching to the choir though if you’re here researching the cost of SIP trunking.
Did I mention that SIP trunks will save you money?
If you want to swap out your existing business telephone lines read on for some SIP trunking cost considerations.
Consolidate and Simplify Your Infrastructure to Save on Telecommunication Costs
You can search the Google all day long and find SIP trunking prices ranging from $14 to $60 per seat (user) depending on how many monthly minutes you need and how many employees you have.
But a more true explanation of SIP trunking costs includes mention of various other charges such as:
- Set-Up Fees, Surcharges, and Taxes
- Directory Listing
- Phone Number Porting
- DID (Direct Inward Dialing)
- Configuration Costs for PBX
- Call Paths
- International Calling Costs
- Toll-Free Usage
- 911 Service
Be aware that all of the above services can add to your overall monthly SIP trunking costs.
However, with SIP trunking there are some things that you don’t necessarily need depending on what and when you upgrade. For example, here’s a list of won’t’s – things that you won’t have to pay for:
- Won’t…have to pay for more than you need
- Won’t…have to buy in bundles
- Won’t ..have to maintain a physical PBX and other pieces of hardware, which reduces the number of possible failure points in your system
- Won’t…have to move your entire business to SIP all at once. Start with one office that has the most outdated technology and build from there on your own time schedule – this saves you from a large upfront expense
One of the main SIP trunk benefits come from consolidating and your telecom and data onto one simplified network.
If you have more than one location, a satellite office across the country or employees who work remotely, you only have to buy one SIP trunk that they access as opposed to paying for multiple PBX’s with your PRI system.
If you’re not ready to go full SIP yet, meaning you don’t want to incur the cost of upgrading to a SIP capable IP PBX and would prefer to use your existing PBX, you’re still in good shape for cost savings.
You new SIP trunk will connect to your old PBX just like your PRI. You’ll just need a gateway which oftentimes can be tested by your service provider to make sure it works with your system before you install it – because avoiding headaches when you’re setting something up and trying to get it to work is a good thing, right?
Now that we’ve agreed that it’s better to avoid hassles, that bring us to a very important question:
Is your network SIP-ready?
Is Your Network SIP-Ready?
Do you know if your network can handle making phone calls over the internet?
It’s better to find out ahead of time what your network is capable of, before you sign up for a SIP trunking service, so that your business can take full advantage of all the SIP trunking benefits. Or, at the very least you’ll have managed your expectations.
Some things may need to be upgraded or, not. As previously mentioned you may need or want to get a SIP capable IP PBX or, your existing PBX may work just fine with the addition of a gateway that will translate your new VoIP traffic.
If you go with an IP PBX your existing firewalls may not be capable of handling security threats in which case, you’ll want to deploy a Session Border Controller (SBC) that’s designed specifically to guard against toll fraud, Denial-of-Service (DoS) and Distributed DoS attacks, and eavesdropping.
Remember, anything sent over the internet can potentially be hacked into. Even your phone system.
Whatever your needs may be, your SIP trunking provider should help you answer these qualifying questions about your network capabilities to make sure your communication system runs smoothly:
- How much bandwidth do you currently have?
- How many users do you have / how much bandwidth will you need?
- Does anyone in your company work remotely or do you have more than one office?
- Do you have an IP PBX or do you need a SIP Gateway?
- Are your phones SIP enabled?
The basic requirements for any SIP trunking application are an IP PBX or SIP gateway and a reliable broadband internet connection.
Interoperability can be one of the biggest hurdles when you’re deploying SIP trunks.
Get all the facts and specs first to avoid any surprises. Because you don’t want to stumble into an unexpected upgrade cost if, for example, your building isn’t Ethernet ready and you’re going to need more bandwidth than what you currently have.
Side (Cost Saving) Benefits of SIP Trunking
This may not be advertised as much but there are some other cost saving benefits of SIP trunking that you may not have thought of.
First, energy savings.
VoIP networks use less energy than legacy phone networks running on TDM switches and PBX’s. So good for you for making the switch to SIP trunking; you’re not only saving money on your phone bill but your utility bill as well and you’re being nice to the environment.
Another savings comes in the form of time.
What if your IT department wasn’t tied up managing your old complex telephony system all day? Think about all the other projects that they could work on that would truly impact the success of your business.
SIP trunking converges your data and voice into one simple, streamlined network.
The costs involved with switching to SIP trunking doesn’t have to be mysterious when planned properly. Do your homework, ask questions, lean on your service provider for guidance and stop paying so much for your old phone system already.