10 Things to Consider When Selecting a SIP Trunk Provider

Apr 12, 2019
10 Things to Consider When Selecting a SIP Trunk Provider

Businesses increasingly turn to SIP trunking, where a company’s voice calls are transmitted over the internet rather than telephone lines, to save money and improve communications capabilities. The popularity of SIP trunking has brought many providers into the market, which complicates the picture for CTOs, IT leads, and others responsible for choosing a partner.

To make the process of choosing a SIP trunk provider easier, consider these 10 factors:

1. Voice quality
Without facilitating high-quality communications, the other benefits of SIP trunking fall flat. SIP trunk providers need to ensure that users can make and receive clear phone calls efficiently. Look for a provider that works with Tier 1 voice carriers to establish your calls while avoiding those who use least-cost routing (LCR), which compromises quality and optimizes for cost. Also, look for a SIP trunk provider that has at least one point of presence (PoP) in each of the regions you want to reach to ensure low latency and high call clarity.  

2. Coverage
SIP trunk providers enable companies to expand their VoIP infrastructure without having to negotiate with new local carriers. Look for a provider that can facilitate outbound calls globally while providing local numbers across countries to facilitate inbound calls — for example, a SIP trunk provider that offers a US organization a local number for customers in the UK to call so they don’t have to call long distance. Some SIP trunk providers offer local, national, toll-free, and mobile numbers, thereby facilitating client convenience while allowing organizations to choose their preferred inbound areas codes.

3. Reliability
If calls don’t consistently go through, SIP trunking loses value. Look for providers with redundant infrastructure and multiple carrier connections across geographies to ensure reliability. Zentrunk from Plivo, for instance, promises 99.95% uptime and is interconnected with several Tier 1 carriers in each region to maximize connection reliability.

4. Cost
One of the main benefits of SIP trunking is cost savings. Long distance calling, including international calling, tends to be cheaper over SIP trunks. Plus, pay-as-you-go pricing models give you the flexibility to pay for only what you need versus paying upfront for channels or bundles of service you may not need. In addition, when it comes to scaling, you can move to SIP trunking and easily add capacity to your existing VoIP system without investing in additional infrastructure. Different SIP trunk providers offer different costs and pricing models, so look for one that provides the most cost savings based on the level of service your business needs.

5. Interoperability
If your business has already invested in a phone network, you want a provider that offers interoperability with your existing infrastructure. A good SIP trunk provider should provide interoperability with standard softswitches and IP PBXs.

6. Security
Security is always a concern for businesses, and that should extend to communications networks as well. Consider how different SIP trunk providers protect your network so that calls don’t get intercepted. Zentrunk, for instance, provides IP authentication to protect access to your SIP trunks and encrypts trunks using Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Real-time Transport Protocol (SRTP).

7. Scalability
SIP trunking is easy to scale up or down as business needs change. However, SIP trunk providers differ in terms of how they scale alongside your business. Look for one that can meet your needs and fit your budget when you’re adding connections in different offices around the world.

8. Flexibility
Similar to scalability, SIP trunk providers offer different levels of flexibility that can help your business. For example, some providers offer flexible contracts, allowing you to adjust services as needed rather than being locked into undesirable terms. SIP trunk providers can also offer flexibility in areas such as the ability to change phone numbers, adjust services, add IP access control lists, and configure softphone compatibility.

9. Expertise
Before signing up with a provider, explore the depth of their knowledge of the technology and complex ecosystem behind SIP trunking, as those factors can impact your success during complex installations, troubleshooting, and scaling. Think about it in terms of whether you’d want to see a doctor who can recognize symptoms and prescribe a medication versus a doctor who understands the causes of the symptoms and how the medication addresses the underlying issues. The latter’s expertise can make a difference, particularly when a situation takes an unexpected turn.

10. Simplicity
Lastly, using SIP trunking should simplify your communications and IT landscape rather than adding complexity. Look for a SIP trunk provider that makes installation, administration, and maintenance easy. While SIP trunking is relatively straightforward, you may have implementation questions or need to troubleshoot, especially if you’re adding a SIP trunking solution onto your existing PBX system. Look for a provider that offers free support to customers 24/7, and one that offers an intuitive way to manage and configure trunks and to view call detail records (CDR) so you can monitor usage at any time.  

By considering these 10 factors, your business can find the right SIP trunk provider for your needs to help you realize the full benefits of this technology.

To learn more about SIP trunking and to see how Zentrunk can help with your communications needs, get in touch with our team.

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