In our last posting, we discussed a non profit organization that deployed SIP trunks as an inexpensive means of utiliizing D.I.D. SIP was a perfect solution in this case - the end user got big company capability without resorting to the expense of a T1/PRI circuit. But what about the business case for SIP trunking in general as a replacement for either analog phone lines or T1/PRI circuits?
The answer is: it depends. In my view, the key criteria for even considering SIP trunking as an alternative is the availability of a broad band connection such as Comcast or Verizon FIOS at your office. I would not even consider it if the only options for internet access are a data T1 (for cost reasons) or a DSL line (just a poor medium for any VoIP application). An internet connection is just one component of what is required to implement SIP trunking – the other is the monthly service cost from an Internet Telephony Service Provider (ITSP), commonly referred to as a SIP phone company. ITSP’s are companies that put voice over internet connections, and they typically charge about $12.00 per month per SIP trunk for unlimited local calling and approxiamtely $30.00 per month per line for unlimited local and long distance calling. So much for the common misconception that SIP trunking is free because it’s over the internet.
Let’s do some simple math for an office needing 10 phones lines – $120-300.00 per month for the SIP service plus $300.00 per month for a data T1 as the internet connection. SIP in this scenario will cost between $420.00 and $600.00 per month. A PRI line for voice communications is a much better deal in this example, and the relative value of a PRI will increase as the number of phones lines increase. PRI’s from quality service providers such as Paetec or Comcast typically average about $500.00 per month for 23 lines.
Now, the value dynamics of SIP trunking change dramatically if either FIOS or Comcast is available. The monthly cost for a high speed internet connection for SIP trunks from either of these companies is well less than $100.00, and can make SIP trunking worth considering from a cost perspective. It is important to note; however, that for offices of 10 lines or less, full featured analog phone lines with unlimited calling are available for about $25.00 per month.
SIP trunking does offer a couple of functional benefit besides the potential for reducing monthly telephone bills. The first is that SIP is the most viable option for a small office that needs only a limited number of D.I.D. lines, such as the non profit we discussed in our first posting. The other big benefit is that SIP trunking allows you to have a phone number from any area code or exchange ring into your office, and can do so with any remote call forwarding or foreign exchange charges. This is a perfect application for organizations that wish to provide a multi location presence from a marketing perspective, but in fact have only one physical location.
Power 3 Communications serves as an ongoing resource for our customers by providing this type of information and analysis on an ongoing basis. The Samsung OfficeServ 7000 series converged communications system we distribute provide the flexibilty necessary to allow any office to select the type of phone line - SIP, PRI or analog – that best addresses their specific requirements.