SIP Trunking – What Are You Waiting For?

by Jennifer Cuellar

There is very substantial savings to be had in replacing traditional analog and digital PRI lines with SIP trunking.  IP-based communications is dramatically less expensive for the provider to deliver than traditional telephone circuits and much of the savings is passed on to the customer.   

SIP trunking got its start in the mid 1990’s and was used primarily for international phone calls as a way to reduce costs.  In 2013, that same savings can be achieved by businesses on all of their telephone calls.  The technology is now proven and the providers are reliable.

Following is an overview of some of the more important savings aspects of SIP trunking:

Unlimited Calling:  SIP trunk providers typically offer calling plans that include unlimited domestic outbound and inbound calling.  This can provide substantial savings, especially compared to traditional analog lines.  It’s not unusual to find existing carriers charging an outrageous five to eight cents per minute for analog lines. It doesn’t take many phone calls to equate to a large monthly phone bill.  

If you have a digital PRI circuit, the cost per minute is lower than analog lines, but you are paying for a full PRI circuit that supports 23 simultaneous voice calls. SIP trunking comes in increments of one so you can order the exact quantity of voice paths needed versus the PRI one-size-fits-all approach.  This again equals savings.

Features:  SIP trunks have Direct Inward Dial (DID) and Caller ID (Calling Line ID) as standard features at no extra cost.   Depending upon your area, Caller ID on an analog line costs from $3.50 to $7.50 per line per month.  Also, Caller ID on analog lines doesn’t appear on the screen of your phone until after the second ring, while it appears immediately on a SIP trunk.

Housecleaning Benefits:  When converting to a new communications provider, you must inventory and identify all of the circuits that are being billed to you, so you don't leave anything behind.  Nearly always, you’ll find unused lines for which you are being billed.  It’s a surprise bonus when converting to SIP trunking.

Eliminate Dedicated Voice Circuits:  Analog lines and PRI circuits are dedicated solely for voice service.  Not only are they expensive today but the price will continue to go up as the telephone companies continue to raise prices.  It's public knowledge that the carriers want out of the traditional phone system business as it’s bad business for them.  So, help out your local phone company and eliminate those burdensome lines!

No Hardware Cost:  SIP service is provided as a service on your internet connection rather than as a physical connection. SIP trunks do not require a line or trunk card.   And hardware that doesn’t exist, doesn’t break.

Multiple Location Savings:  Companies with multiple locations can share SIP trunks, pooling the resources to increase efficiency.

No More Call Forwarding Costs:  Traditional telephone lines are tied to your geographic location.  In the past, if you relocated and wanted to keep your phone number, you had to use a feature called remote call forwarding.  If you have that service, you are paying monthly for the feature plus several cents a minute for each inbound phone call to that number.  I've seen bills where call forwarding costs run into the thousands of dollars monthly

In summary, there are many ways in which SIP trunking can save an organization a substantial amount of money in converting from their traditional telephone service. After 50 years of “plain old telephone service (POTS as we call it in the industry), it’s time to be put out to pasture.  Don’t be the last business out there getting the savings and convenience of SIP trunking.  

Guest article by Randy Kremlacek. Randy is the owner of Teledynamic Communications and is an authority on IP business communications. Follow Teledynamic on Google+.

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