Finding yourself a SIP Trunking Provider for your company can be a troublesome prospect. Some companies define SIP Trunking differently: some may have their own facilities, where others will instead have hardware you can install on your own premises. The lack of standardization when it comes to voice-over-IP (VOIP) phone technologies can also confuse the subject even more. So how are you going to find the right SIP Trunking provider for your business? You just need to know the right questions to ask when you are evaluating which SIP Trunking provider you will be working with.
Does the SIP Trunk Provider Have Their Own Facility?
There are some SIP Trunk providers out there that have their own facilities, while others are just resellers of SIP Trunking services. A SIP Trunk provider’s own facility will have equipment in it, such as session border controllers (SBCs) and voice switching technology, and in their own facility, they will often design their infrastructure with redundancies to greatly minimize downtime due to equipment failure or other crises. When dealing with a third-party reseller of SIP Trunking services, however, you are dealing with a company that does not have control over the hardware, which could result in lower voice service quality, and you will be subject to the price changes of their provider. You should also be looking into a SIP Trunk provider with local facilities, if they are within your city or state; that gives you much better performance and lower latency than if they are based across the country. There’s no reason you should be choosing a provider across the country when you can avoid it.
Do They Have Redundancies in Place?
When you are making the switch from a purely old telephone system on copper wires to services provided by SIP Trunking providers, you need to ensure that the provider you choose has well planned redundancies in place. If the power goes out in an area, you’ll most likely need to have their voice lines still operating, especially in a crisis situation. The provider you choose should have a high-redundant IP network with multiple fiber optic network pathways into their facility so that call routing is never interrupted. As well, secondary power sources, offsite backups, and secondary software are a must in case of a disaster that compromises hardware. Multiple servers to create a load-balance is also necessary; overloading hardware can result in reduced quality of voice services, or even a cut off of services temporarily. Auto rerouting is a great service that SIP Trunking providers should have in their system. That way, if a SIP trunk fails, it automatically reroutes to operational equipment for minimal delay of service.
Do They Provide A Pool of Numbers and e911 Call Routing?
It’s important to have direct inward dial (DID) numbers for your business, and SIP Trunking providers should provide a pool of numbers for you. You can also ask if they can localize the phone numbers, or even provide numbers from different area codes from your business. E911 call routing is also a necessary feature because it will allow emergency response personnel to be able to locate a caller from the register location data of their line. Ensure the provider you choose is compliant to all FCC rules regarding e911 and 911 services.
Can They Provide References?
Like most service providers, you should ask if they can provide client references so you can ask someone who has experience with that SIP Trunking provider to ensure they have the quality that they claim. SIP Trunking providers should have no problem giving you some references; you should ask for ones in similar industries and with similar company sizes.
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