After making your mind to adopt SIP Trunking, it is your responsibility to properly examine the SIP Trunk service vendors in order to ensure that the provider whom you entrust your business has a very sturdy setup and comprises of highly advanced features. One of the major things that you need to seek for is the user portal which would help you in properly controlling and managing your account. Before endowing your responsibilities to a provider, it is your duty to make sure that the service provider has a user-friendly portal which is also quite robust. Such an easy-to-use portal will help you in managing your daily chorus of activities in a very calm and facile way. With SIP services, most of your time would be spend in the portal in order to manage activities such as checking the phone bills, checking the call records, placing orders for more phone numbers, and ordering the trunks. A versatile portal would help you in managing all these activities in a very simple way.
Here are some factors that you should keep in mind while choosing a SIP Trunk provider.
1. Provisioning of SIP Trunks should be automatic
Major requirement of most of the business while selecting a SIP vendor is that they must be capable of instantaneous and automatic provisioning of trunks. After switching over to SIP services, you do not want to wait for an expert with your SIP Trunk documents in order to provision the trunks. It should also not be mandatory for you to complete an interoperability form. Each and every step of placing an order must be automated and the SIP Trunks must be furnished to you immediately.
2. Large horizon of DID numbers
Make sure that the vendor on whom you depend for your SIP Trunking services should have numbers belonging to your local area; or if they do not have one, then they must at least be capable of obtaining the local numbers without any hassles and in very less time by placing an order with their carrier. Moreover, your service provider must be capable of porting your telephone numbers as early as possible. Added advantage would be International DID numbers, available throughout the world.
3. Failover Routing
Failover routing is a very essential element in the management of the delivery of incoming calls. It is also a basic element of a reliable system. It is your duty to make sure that your SIP service vendor has the capability of routing the inbound calls to both primary as well as secondary SIP Trunks. It would be an added advantage if your service provider has a PSTN-backup and the feature of call forwarding to PSTN. This will help you in overcoming the situations of downtime or primary PBX failure.
4. Management of Call Detail Records in real-time
In order to maintain the Quality of Service (QoS), and for testing and fixing of faults, it is obligatory for your SIP service vendor to be well-versed with the procedure of observing and analyzing the call records in real-time. All the inbound and outbound calls must be readily available for observation as soon as the call is terminated.
5. Functions equally well with a variety of Codecs
While choosing your service provider, make sure that they are able to support a wide array of codecs including G.711 and G.729. G.729 operates at a bit rate of 8 Kbit/s and is used in situations where the bandwidth is limited. Some users profess that G.729 is far better that G.711. Although this is not always true. G.729 works on the algorithm of audio data compression, which ultimately results in a degraded voice quality. In order to overcome the issues of voice quality, G.711 codec must be used, provided the bandwidth is sufficiently large. Audio calls made via G.729 and G.711 codecs consumes 32 kbps and 85 kbps of bandwidth respectively. Businesses these days have internet connections whose bandwidth range lies in megabits. Such a high bandwidth completely eradicates the need of G.729 codecs.
6. Supports T.38 protocol
For almost all the SIP Trunk vendors, FoIP or Fax over Internet Protocol has been an albatross around their neck. Moreover if sending and receiving faxes is a basic necessity of your business, then you would definitely want that your service provider must provide you fax-to-email facility for its DID footprint. You would also want that all the DID footprint of your vendor must be capable of integrating T.38. T.38 is a recommended protocol from International Telecom Union for the transmission of faxes over an IP network in real-time. This protocol increases the chances of fax delivery.
7. Nomadic E911 service
When you are choosing among various SIP service providers and evaluating each one of them, make sure that the one you choose must extend the service of Nomadic E911 to you. Nomadic E911 service permits you to set any address of your choice based in the United States as the address that would be automatically imparted to the personnel attending the 911 calls. Thus, any call that you make in emergency to 911 will be directed to the nearest Public Safety Answering Point (or PSAP) to your enlisted address. Moreover the registered address would also appear on the screen of the operator who would be handling the emergency services. Your service provider must allow you to update the E911 address on his online control panel whenever you wish to.
Make sure that the service provider whom you choose must be fulfilling the above features. If he does, then you can entrust your business to him. Try your level best to evaluate the vendors before choosing one for yourself.