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Are you a business owner who has recently heard the term SIP trunking and that it can help you save? Then you are in the right place to familiarize yourself with the terminology and how to make sense of the associated costs.
Of course, you are in the business to make profits and apply as many cost-effective measures as to minimize your expenses. SIP Trunking is one of those technological tools that may help you save money and enhance your business’s communication aspects, especially if you have an international presence.
So, without further ado, let us dive into the deep end of SIP Truck pricing and how much you can expect to spend on it.
Our Guide to SIP Trunk Pricing
The Concept of Trunking
The term SIP refers to “Session Initiation Protocol” that allows you to make Voice over IP (VoIP) calls. As a business, you can use this technology to make real-time audio and video calls. It is one of the most cost-effective means to organize a virtual meeting with the clients and your employees from anywhere in the world.
The best part is that you can make a traditional two-way audio or video call as well as add multiple parties into a single session.
Think of trunking as a digital phone on your computer. However, this virtual device allows you to connect up to twenty channels for local, international, and inter-state calls using Wi-Fi or mobile internet service.
The Cost of SIP Trunking
As you just read the magic of trunking, the first question that must have popped in your mind would be, “how much does SIP trunking cost?”
The answer is not that complex if you get certain aspects right, which you will learn as you read further. Once you have nailed the costing side of the matter, trunking can be an asset to your company’s communication system. Although it caters to companies of all types and sizes, it is especially helpful if your organization deals with an exponentially large call volume.
That said, the implementation may come at a considerable cost because trunking usually entails an overhaul or upgrade of your business’s entire communication system. This can become even more complicated if you have multiple facilities across the country or worldwide.
Here are certain actions you will have to take when deploying SIP trunking within your company’s communication infrastructure.
- Upgrade your existing PBX system
- Buying and setting up the SIP channels
- Installing new communication devices or compatible phones
- Purchasing new phone numbers
Speaking of the cost, you will also have to take the initial setup fee and monthly subscription cost into account. Depending on the vendor, these charges may vary, so do some research to find the best deals you can get your hands on.
What is SIP Trunking Cost Made Up Of?
Here are all the aspects that contribute directly or indirectly to your SIP trunking cost.
1. The Implementation Charges
There are two aspects to this cost. First, the size of the deployment you are looking at and the vendor you choose.
The setup fee can cost you up to $150, and the best part is that it is a fixed charge irrespective of how many channels you wish to purchase. Therefore, if you are a company with high requirements, you can really benefit from this.
2. Monthly Costs
This is not a subscription-based service; therefore, the monthly charges may vary by the number of channels you are using. If you are not sure about your needs, it is always a good idea to speak to the vendor. Explain your situation, and they will be happy to recommend the number of channels your company may require.
A vendor may want to know the calling history of your company to calculate how many channels will suffice for your trunking system deployment. This precise evaluation can help you prevent any unnecessary overspend.
3. Purchasing New Numbers
This expense is not a part of your setup fee. Instead, you will have to spend an additional amount to buy each and every new number for your trunking. However, you may get some additional features from the vendor.
The more features or options you wish to avail of, the higher the cost will be for each number.
Do you wish to keep your old telephone numbers and integrate them into the new trunking setup?
The good news is that it is possible; however, the vendor will charge you an additional fee for it. This is also known as number porting with a one-time charge, whereas if you buy a new number, the vendor will charge you every month to use them.
The cost varies with each vendor. Thus, speak to them in detail about how much either of the options will cost.
4. The Cost of Calls via SIP Trunking
You generally have two options when it comes to choosing SIP Trunk calling plans:
- Metered Calling Plan – this means you pay by the minute for each call.
- Unlimited Calling Plan – here, you get to enjoy unlimited local and long-distance inbound and outbound calls.
That said, if you are a company that has a high call volume, it a no-brainer that you must opt for an unlimited calling option. That said, if your main communication needs are for international calling, it does not matter whether you choose an unlimited or metered calling plan.
The international calling rates are different than both and vary for each country. However, you may ask your vendor if they provide cheaper or flat rates for certain countries. The best part of trunking is, the numbers used have cheaper dialing rates than a phone or mobile call.
Do not forget to ask your vendor about the e911 calling and toll-free numbers. You can avail of these options for a monthly cost. Some may offer complimentary emergency calling services, whereas others may charge for it.
5. The Hidden Costs
Do not make the classic mistake of missing other state and federal charges, taxes, and penalties.
Typically the vendors charge them by the percentage of your monthly trunking bill. However, these are very low because SIP trunking calls are quite in-expensive compared to the traditional calling rates.
Other Potential Cost to Including in SIP Trunk Prices
1. Purchasing the New Handsets
Trunking requires IP compatible phones, and the scope of deployment of the solution directly impacts your investment costs. You can buy a very basic phone to a high-end state-of-the-art conference calling device.
Moreover, features such as 3-way calling, call transfer, automatic callbacks, call forwarding, call waiting, and more can also impact the cost of the handsets you wish to install.
2. Purchasing the VoIP Gateways
Chances are you will have to buy new VoIP gateways because your old PBX will probably not be compatible with the SIP trunking. However, if your company already has an IP-enabled PBX, ask your vendor to check it for compatibility.
This is an unavoidable cost because VoIP gateways enable you to communicate with employees, clients, and businesses with conventional calling methods.
3. The Internet Bandwidth Cost
The bigger the scope of the setup is, the higher your internet connectivity must be. Therefore, this is one of the unavoidable indirect costs. Think about it, you may get the best handsets and the state-of-the-art setup, but it is all as good as your internet connection.
The SIP trunking works by routing all your calls via the internet service provider. The more efficient and speedy your internet connection is, the better service you are going to enjoy. You can also speak to your vendor for advice on the recommended internet bandwidth you must opt for.
You can even ask for a fiber-optic installation that will come at a higher cost but pay its dividend due to the longer lifespan and reliable internet connectivity. You can even save some money if you can purchase both an internet connection and the trunking setup from the same vendor.
4. The Vendor
Last but not least, the vendor you choose will have the utmost impact on the cost of your trunking infrastructure. If you are a business implementing the SIP trunking for the first time, the setup cost may range from $2000 to $5000, whereas the service charges may fall between $150 and $400 per month.
Thus, you will have to do some homework when choosing the right vendor. Beware if a vendor is offering a lower price because you do not want to compromise on the service level just to save a few bucks.
Discuss all your needs and expectations before hiring a vendor to avoid future disappointments or discrepancies.
The SIP Trunk Pricing Take-Away
Now that you know all the costs, you must use this information to navigate the terrain and negotiate better rates and service terms with the SIP trunking vendors. However, the right vendor will not only offer you quality but also try to provide you a service that falls within your budget range.
Do not be shy to ask the vendors for recommendations and feedback from their previous clients. This will help you gauge their ability to offer impeccable SIP trunking setup, hardware, and services.