As more and more businesses begin their journey into the cloud, many are concerned about the added costs and the overall price of their new VoIP-enabled system. Those with SIP trunking needs are no different.
If you need a SIP trunk to connect your legacy PBX to the cloud, you may find yourself asking, “how much does SIP trunking cost”? To help make your transition to the cloud smoother, we’ll answer this question and explain how SIP trunking can cut calling costs and help you protect the investment you made in your existing phone system.
How much does SIP trunking cost?
SIP trunking costs are dependent on several factors, including equipment and setup costs, monthly required costs and the provider you decide to use.
SIP Trunking Setup Fees
Some providers charge an upfront setup fee, while others recover those costs by charging a higher recurring monthly fee. If the provider you’ve chosen charges setup fees for SIP trunking, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 – $250 in upfront costs.
Local Number Portability and Additional Needs
Additional upfront SIP trunking costs include local number portability and the purchase of new numbers. If you decide that you want to keep your old numbers, you’ll need to move them to your new SIP trunking provider. Typically, the fee for porting a number ranges from $12 – $25 per number.
If you choose to purchase new DID (direct inward dial) numbers so that everyone in your office can have their own phone, you’ll need to pay to set up each number. Usually, setup fees for DID numbers are just that: one time fees. However, you’ll still want to budget for this expense.
Configuring Your PBX
Depending on the nature of your existing PBX, your SIP trunking implementation costs trunking may vary.
If you have a legacy PBX, you’ll need to purchase or rent a VoIP gateway that allows you to modernize your existing phone system by connecting it to the cloud. This gateway, which is also known as an Integrated Access Device (IAD), is connected directly to your PBX. It is the only piece of hardware that you’ll require to take advantage of the benefits of SIP trunking.
If your PBX is already IP-enabled, you won’t need to purchase any additional equipment or hardware. You’ll only pay for the channels and minutes that you use.
Ongoing SIP Trunking Costs
Monthly SIP Trunk Fees
Your monthly SIP trunking costs will vary depending on how many SIP trunk groups you have. Providers typically charge anywhere from $10 – $50 per month for each channel, although some will bundle these expenses into the monthly calling costs. For example, you might find a provider that offers unlimited outbound calling to certain countries as part of the monthly fee.
A SIP trunk comes with 24 channels, and you can choose to use as many or as few of these channels as you need. If you only need 8 channels, you won’t have to pay for the remaining 16. And if you require additional channels, you can simply add another SIP trunk. If you’ve used a VoIP gateway to route your calls through your SIP provider, the same logic applies.
The more SIP channels you have, the greater your concurrent call capacity will be; if you experience high call volume during particular seasons, you can add more channels, and then remove them once your call volume returns to normal.
The ability to add and remove SIP trunks and channels as needed allows you to scale up and down and manage your communications costs efficiently.
SIP Calling Costs
Depending on the provider you choose, you’ll have different options for how you pay for calls placed over SIP trunks. Some SIP trunk providers offer both metered plans and channelized plans, while some only offer one or the other.
Metered plans allow you to pay by the minute for all inbound and outbound calls. This type of SIP trunking plan usually works well for businesses that require more flexibility in calling from week to week.
Channelized plans, which are often labeled as “unlimited plans,” are best for businesses that prefer a consistent and predictable monthly bill. These usually cost a little more than metered plans, but they often include perks. For example, some SIP providers may offer free and unlimited outbound calling to the US and Canada as part of the flat monthly fee.
As you determine how much SIP trunking will save your business, it’s important to remember that SIP trunking providers charge significantly less per minute. In fact, most providers charge 10% – 30% less for international and long distance calls than traditional carriers. If your business makes or receives a lot of long distance calls, you’ll see immediate cost savings when you connect your phone system to the cloud with a SIP trunk.
SIP trunks are essentially virtual phone lines, which means that all calls placed through your SIP provider are routed over the Internet. Depending on how many SIP trunks you need (and how many concurrent calls you need to support), you may find that you require additional bandwidth.
Your Internet provider can help you determine how much additional bandwidth you’ll need when you connect your legacy PBX to the cloud. You can also approximate how much bandwidth your business requires using this simple equation:
Number of Concurrent Calls During Peak Business Hours x 85 Kilobits per second = Bandwidth in Megabits per Second (Mbps) Needed to Support Communications
Although there may be some additional costs associated with higher bandwidth, it’s important to note that providers are offering consistently cheaper Internet and Ethernet service year after year. (And it’s certainly less expensive than relying on traditional phone service.) This is just another way that you can experience cost savings with SIP trunking.
Cost Savings with SIP Trunking: A Brief Case Study
A five-star resort chain in the Caribbean needed a quality VoIP provider that could deliver the level of service that guests would expect from a resort offering luxury accommodations and services.
To meet the needs of this resort and its guests, the team at AVOXI implemented multi-port VoIP gateways, which were integrated with the existing PBX hardware. This solution allowed the resort to protect the investment that it had made in its existing PBX and phone configurations and simply route all calls over the Internet, rather than through a traditional public switched telephone network (PTSN).
By connecting their existing phone system to the cloud with a SIP trunk, this resort was able to offer free, unlimited calls to their guests without incurring additional telephony costs.
Reduce Your Communication Costs with SIP Trunking
Because of the popularity of VoIP, providers are now offering many options and price points to help businesses modernize their existing phone systems. Numerous calling plans, calling features and SIP trunking options are now available at extremely affordable rates.
As you can see, a SIP trunk can drastically reduce your monthly phone bill. The cost of migrating to SIP trunks is a small price to pay for the flexibility, scalability and low cost options you’ll experience while taking advantage of new VoIP technologies.