SIP Trunk Pricing – How Does it Work and What Affects it?

Posted on: 2019-03-19 | Categories: SIP Trunking

Demand for SIP trunking is on the rise as more businesses deploy them to cut costs. SIP trunks can offer a lot of savings but it depends on the price you can get. No business wants to pay more than necessary for a product or service. At the same time, you don’t want to select a vendor based on the cheapest price. After all, what if they can’t meet your needs?

Comparing Apples to Apples

Unfortunately, finding the best prices for SIP trunks is more difficult than it should be. For one thing, the numbers advertised by vendors on their website doesn’t tell the whole story. Prices can range from $25 per channel to $70 per channel. It all depends on what features are included, bundled pricing, outbound call rates etc. You cannot assume that vendor A is better than vendor B based on a single number!

Another thing to consider is your own infrastructure. Certain features may require you to purchase additional hardware or software. What if you don’t have the required bandwidth or speeds for Internet calls? Do you have to upgrade older equipment to support SIP? All of these things will add to the cost of deployment.

For the most part, they remain the same regardless of the vendor you select. These are costs you incur for deploying SIP trunks for the company.

Factors Affecting SIP Trunk Prices

SIP trunk pricing depends on a few different things:

  • Subscription or monthly service fees
  • Call rates
  • Set up fees
  • Add-on expenses

Other costs you might have to pay – unrelated to the SIP trunk itself – are:

  • Internet connectivity costs
  • Purchasing a PBX
  • Phones
  • Number porting fees

Subscription Rates

After the initial set up, you will have to pay a monthly fee to the SIP trunk vendor. Quite often, this is a flat rate based on the number of channels, DID numbers or even users. The more channels/users, the more expensive it is for the business. This number will change if you add/remove channels as per your needs. Some vendors will also include basic features like emergency calling in this rate. SIP channels in the US can cost up to $15 per month, with unlimited channels being more expensive than that.

Add-On Expenses

These costs depend on the extra features you might need. Features like conferencing, call recording, IVR, and others are often billed separately. In most cases, the monthly subscription fee simply provides a dial tone for your business. Other features cost extra.

If you’re using separate systems for such features, you can save money by bundling them with your SIP trunk instead. Suppose a business uses a conferencing service for remote meetings. Generally, adding this feature to your SIP trunks is cheaper. The business can save a lot of money this way.

Set up Fees

Some vendors have eliminated set up fees from their plans. But their monthly charges may be higher to compensate. Quite a few business class providers charge a fee for provisioning the SIP trunks. Typically the fee covers consultation and quality testing as well. But you should confirm with the vendor before making a commitment. You don’t want to find out later that you have to pay extra for certain services.

Calling Rates

The call rate is one of the major factors affecting the cost of SIP trunking for your business. Call rates will differ based on the provider and country. The charge for a call will depend on both the origination and termination country.

Additionally, the rates per minute are always changing. Providers want to charge competitive prices while also covering their costs. If you are not locked into a contract, you may shop around periodically for better prices.

However, quite a few providers offer discounts for long-term commitments. You may also get better rates if you commit to using a certain number of minutes per month. Depending on your calling needs, you may even opt for unlimited calling bundles. If your company makes hundreds or thousands of calls to a particular country, these bundles are very cost-effective.

Call rates in the US can range from $0.005 – $0.03 per minute to a landline. Calling mobile phones is slightly more expensive at $0.025 – $0.11 per minute. Some providers also offer per second billing, so you are not overcharged.

The total costs of deploying SIP trunks will vary from organization to organization. For example, a business that has no prior experience with VoIP may have to hire experts to maintain the system. You should shop around for the best price but make sure you don’t sacrifice quality in the process. The right provider will offer the services you need at a price you can afford. Choose a vendor who will be your long-term business partner, rather than the service with the cheapest price.