Pricing SIP can be confusing. These are the basics.
It can be challenging to determine the cost of switching to SIP trunking to meet your business communication needs. We in the industry are more familiar with terms than people who don’t work in SIP. Even vendors sometimes use incorrect words, which can make matters worse. Therefore, we thought it would be helpful to outline the components of pricing SIP and their terms briefly. This will help you calculate the ongoing and initial fees for your company.
SIP Trunks & SIP Channels
These two terms are the root of much confusion regarding pricing for SIP. They are often used interchangeably, but they are different. SIP trunk connects your phone system to the public switched telephone network. It is a tunnel that connects to a highway. SIP channels are capable of supporting one incoming call or another. SIP channels can be thought of as your highway. Each call occupies exactly one lane. A SIP trunk can store unlimited channels, so you only need one SIP trunk. The number of concurrent calls your business makes will determine how many channels you require. Sometimes, SIP channels are called sessions, lines, or concurrent calls. In practice, they are very similar to traditional telephone lines.
SIP.US is one of the few vendors that doesn’t charge a trunk fee. The number of channels required will determine the monthly payment. Businesses don’t require a channel for each employee as it is rare for them to all be on the phone simultaneously. You may only need one channel, depending on your business. If your company has a call center or other heavy telephone usage, you may require more. You may need more SIP channels if employees complain or callers complain about busy signals.
Unlimited calling plans
Unlimited is another term that can confuse SIP pricing. This is because SIP trunks can handle an unlimited number of SIP channels. The SIP trunk can’t be used without the channels. SIP.US and other vendors also offer unlimited calling plans. We don’t charge for call usage to the lower 48 US states or parts of Canada. You will only pay your monthly fee per SIP channel as long as you call those areas. There are no long-distance charges or additional long-distance fees, regardless of how many calls and how long you talk. International calls are charged at the per-minute rate.
Direct inward dialing (DID) is required to reach employees or specific employees with a unique 10-digit number. This allows them to be called directly from their primary number. However, there will be an additional monthly fee. In the case of SIP.US, this fee is $1.00 per month for a US number.
Nomadic e911 allows users to specify any address in the United States to be sent to the nearest Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) when they call 911. Landlines do this automatically, but digital lines must be set up for this service. This is necessary to ensure emergency responders get there quickly. This service usually comes with a monthly fee.
Set up costs
SIP trunking will require some initial setup fees. These fees include a price per SIP channel and each DID. In addition, porting fees will apply to all numbers you want to keep, even if you are moving existing phone numbers to your SIP trunk.
Taxes and regulatory fees
SIP services are subject to taxes and fees. The Federal Universal Service Fund (USF) helps ensure that affordable, first-class telecommunications services are made available to all customers, even those in rural areas, where it would be unprofitable for telecom operators to assist. In addition, the Fund offers discounted communications services to certain schools, libraries, healthcare facilities, and schools. All telecommunications providers must contribute to the Federal USF. These contributions are then passed on to customers. The FCC announces a contributing factor, and they can modify the fee.
These are the usual costs for deploying SIP. This should have helped you to understand what to expect. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.
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