We’ve put together a list of the best SIP trunk providers to help your business grow and provide great customer service.
With companies turning to VoIP service over traditional telephone service, SIP trunking is becoming more and more important. If you have no idea what it is or why you should worry about it, find out below.
- What is SIP Trunking
- How Does SIP Trunking Work
- Top SIP Trunk Features & Advantages
- Top 7 SIP Trunk Providers
What is SIP Trunking
Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking connects old school phones with today’s technology. The term trunking is leftover from the olden days of telephone service. Operators connected groups of users using wires called trunks.
Old telephone lines allowed our voices to travel along wires from place to place. Today, SIP trunking systems help businesses leverage cutting edge communications technology.
Plus, SIP trunking services combine all communications into one stream. You no longer need separate voice calls, data, and SMS, for example. Instead, everything can travel along the same pathways. When everything works together, you get integrated communications.
How Does SIP Trunking Work
SIP trunking combines voice, video, and data into a single stream of data and then connects that stream to the phone lines. In this way, SIP trunking lets you access the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) using your internet connection.
Unless you know a lot about communications technology, you may still feel confused. So let’s start with traditional telephone technology. Our voices were turned into electronic impulses that traveled along those copper telephone lines to reach their destination. Telephone operators used wires to connect one call to another. And groups of calls were connected with wires called trunks.
Today we need to send much more than voice calls around the world. And we want to use something more advanced than a telephone wire to do it.
In analog phone systems, most businesses have a PBX (Private Branch Exchange) for voice calls that then communicates with the outside telephone lines. With VoIP, your business uses an IP PBX system to do the same thing using your internet connection.
Then that data needs to get onto the phone line. Some businesses use PRI connections, but these are costly. SIP is a more cost-effective way to transform those digital impulses into data that travels along existing phone lines. And it works for all kinds of data.
SIP trunking is your company’s on-ramp to the telephone highway.
Top SIP Trunk Features and Advantages
SIP trunking solutions are trending for sure. And that’s because they offer businesses of all sizes a wide range of features and advantages over traditional business phone systems. Here are some of the top advantages and how they can help you grow your business.
SIP Trunking is much more cost-effective than traditional phone systems on so many levels.
First of all, your infrastructure investment is a fraction of the price. You won’t have to install expensive phone lines throughout your office. Instead, you’ll use your existing internet connection. You know, the one you already pay for. And you reduce or eliminate the need for on-premise IT staff.
As for fancy telephones and phone systems, you may still invest in those if it makes sense for your business needs. But your options open up considerably. Most systems allow for you to use a regular telephone with an adapter or smartphones. Talk about cost savings!
Not only are costs lower, but costs are also often far more predictable. All VoIP calls are local calls. So, no worries about long-distance calls. And international calling opens up, too, with various plans by different providers.
SIP Trunking is much more flexible than traditional phone systems. Just as less infrastructure reduces your costs, it also makes it easier to make changes and upgrades. Adding additional lines is often as easy as purchasing additional user licenses.
When your system grows organically with you, you’ll have fewer costs associated with changes and upgrades down the road. You won’t have to wait around for the phone tech to install new lines and you won’t have to relearn system after system. This makes it perfect for small businesses
Finally, SIP trunking services offer many different plans and features. Maybe you just a few reps to make phone calls. Or maybe you need service for a call center. You can find the right plan for your business.
And because the technology overall is growing fast, you can expect companies to develop more solutions to solve the problems you face every day.
Traditional phone lines are highly susceptible to unpredictable weather or other external events. Depending on your physical location, you may experience frequent outages with your phone lines.
However, now your communications travel along your internet connection rather than your phone line. Plus, if you do experience interruptions in your internet service, just hop on your mobile phone or work from home.
Although this technology is far more reliable than traditional phone service, quality varies by provider. Make sure they have redundant networks built in just in case. And be sure to check downtime stats at DownDetector.com.
4. Keep Your Number Everywhere
Internet providers allow you to keep your number when you switch to their service. This is called number porting. The same thing happens when you move to VoIP with SIP trunking. Take your number right along with you. Of course, some providers will charge a one-time fee for this benefit.
But SIP services can also take your phone number with you beyond number porting. You keep your number across devices. Plus, the number is no longer tied to a location. So your team can work from home or from a remote office overseas. SIP trunking enables global communication possibilities.
5. Supports Traditional Calling Features
Traditional phone service offered important features like caller ID, 911, voice mail, fraud prevention, and toll-free numbers. Some consumers worry they’ll lose access to those features with VoIP and SIP trunking solutions.
The good news is that you don’t have to trade critical features to save money on costs and infrastructure and get flexible functionality.
With traditional landlines, your location is automatically transmitted to your 911 dispatcher. However, VoIP and SIP disconnects the location from the call. However, the FCC mandates 911 service availability. So VoIP and SIP providers have developed enhanced 911 (e911). You can link your calls to a location so when you’re dialing 911, first responders can find you.
As for the other basic features, most providers offer these with their packages. A few may charge extra but the functionality itself is standard.
Top 7 SIP Trunk Providers
Now that you can see how SIP trunking can support and enhance your business, it’s time to see what the market has to offer. And the short answer is, it offers a lot.
As with other emerging technology, new service providers are popping up every day. So how do you know which ITSP (Internet Telephony Service Provider) to choose?
We’ve put together a list of the top SIP service providers. Check out their key features, and information and calling plans.
- Impressive 100+ features available
- Contract prices with high functionality at reasonable rates
- Volume discounts
- Keep your existing PBX system
Nextiva’s contract pricing is highly competitive.
- Enterprise: Starting at $30 per month per user. Enterprise includes all Basic and Pro features. Plus you get call recording, voicemail to text delivery, and voice analytics.
- Basic: Starting at $25 per month per user, Basic includes Pro features plus text messaging and SMS, Nextiva App, professionally recorded greeting, and unlimited conference calls.
- Pro: Starting at $20 per month per user, Pro includes number porting, local and toll-free numbers, unlimited calling, auto attendant, hold music, and online faxing.
- Instant provisioning
- Pay as you go pricing
- Unlimited concurrent calls
- Phone numbers in over 70 countries
Termination calls starting at $0.0070/minute and origination calls starting at $0.0045. Call for more information on pricing.
Plivo’s voice and messaging platforms enable businesses to deliver customer experiences using pay as you go pricing. Their SIP trunking solution gives companies pay-as-you-go pricing combined with high SLAs for uptime. Plus they have many options for international calls.
- Outbound Calling in 195 countries
- Inbound calling in 70+ countries
- Pay-as-you go Pricing
- No Minimum Commitment
Call prices start at $0.0025 per minute for incoming calls and $0.0065 for outbound calls. Call for more information about their pricing structure. As with any pay-as-you-go-model, you’ll need a good idea of what you’re going to use in order to compare rates with all-inclusive pricing models.
Alliance Phones offers a la carte features with all-inclusive plans. Their metered plans give companies with limited budgets and low call volume access to all the bells and whistles at reasonable prices.
- Nationwide coverage
- Instant Number Provisioning
- Geo-Redundant Servers
- Automatic Failover
All plans offer their full suite of features. So choose the pricing structure that works for you based on your anticipated call volume.
- Metered Plan: Starting at $9.95 per user per month. Metered at $0.0081/min
- Unlimited Tier: Starting at $19.95 per user per month, the Unlimited Tier offers unlimited calls in the US and Canada.
Voxbone offers flat rates for calls with volume discounts. This means you can lower your prices as you scale your business up, up, up.
- Voice & SMS in 65+ Markets
- Global Coverage
- Contract-based Pricing
- Volume Discounts
Contact sales for more information on their pay-as-you-go contract-based pricing.
Bandwidth offers voice and messaging alongside the ability to manage countless phone numbers. Their APIs cut out the middleman and give you a partner in the success of your business communications.
- Guaranteed Service Through a Tier 1 Nationwide Network
- 24/7 Support Team
- Flexible Pricing Options
- Access to dedicated launch teams to get you started
- Baseline plan offers inbound calling at $0.0055 per minute and outbound calling for $0.01 per minute.
- Call for information on Enterprise level plans
1-VoIP offers residential business and personal services that include VoIP and SIP trunking. They claim their uptime guarantee rivals traditional phone services.
- Unlimited Incoming Minutes
- Multiple Available Areas
- Unlimited Simultaneous Calls
1-VoIP’s SIP Trunking bundle starts at $25 per user per month. It includes unlimited incoming minutes, 2000 minutes or customized minutes bundles, and unlimited simultaneous calls. They also have a 99.99% uptime guarantee.
With so many options available, how can you choose the best SIP trunk provider for your business? That depends on your needs.
For example, if your business experiences high call volume, unlimited plans make more sense. If you’re inexperienced with the technology or with your future needs, choose a plan with a variety of features.
All companies will benefit from providers with solid records for uptime and stellar customer service.
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