These are the steps that I use to prepare a VoIP cost analysis for prospective customers. The numbers it generates are very rough but do make a great starting point for further discussion.
Inventory all of your current carrier costs – the number of analog lines, PRI’s, outbound long distance minutes and charges, inbound (toll-free) minutes and charges, and international calling.
Take the number of analog lines and PRI channels and multiply by $12.75 per SIP trunk to get the equivalent SIP configuration. This works for remote offices too because we can port remote numbers across calling areas and eliminate remote office analog lines (this assumes some sort of WAN is in place). Also, since you would be consolidating your carrier services over multiple locations you can probably eliminate some of the analog lines at your remote offices and enjoy some economies of scale. SIP trunking providers bundle and price their services differently, these are just ballpark numbers.
Figure out the IP-Transport mechanism that you feel comfortable with. I usually recommend a separate connection (in addition to the connection used for Internet traffic) if you have over 5-10 lines (unless you go with the QOS-T1 mentioned below). This is because most quality issues are a result of your SIP traffic contending with your Internet traffic on that “last mile”. If your organization is a heavy Internet user, factor in a separate Internet connection. Going with the QOS-enabled T1 allows you to prioritize the SIP trunks over the data traffic. This is an interesting topic. Often times people think SIP trunks are only provisioned over an “open” Internet connection – hence the name “Internet Phone Service”. This isn’t necessarily the case. We deploy SIP trunks over private IP connections for many of our customers. Placing calls over the open Internet versus going with a connection that’s optimized for VOIP is a discussion in itself. Contact us, we can sit down and whiteboard the alternatives – giving you the proper pros and cons needed to make your decisions. Use these rough numbers for determining IP transport costs:
- Basic Internet T1: $300 – $350
- Internet T1 with a private connection to the SIP provider and Quality of Service: $340
- Commodity-grade DSL or Cable: $80
- There are other IP transport options like fiber, bonded services, and Ethernet-over-copper.
- Remember, you can accommodate up to 48 SIP trunks on a T1′s worth of bandwidth (32K per call).
Take your current outbound long distance minutes and multiply by .02 per minute for the equivalent SIP long distance costs. If your organization does a lot of outbound long distance, you might want to consider purchasing trunks at $29.75 per trunk and get UNLIMITED outbound long distance into the US and Canada. Note, you can mix and match the different types of SIP trunks.
Take your current inbound toll free long distance and multiple by .03 per minute for the equivalent SIP costs
Take your current outbound International costs and multiply by .02 per minute for the equivalent SIP costs. (This assumes most calls are to European countries).
Add it all up and see how much you can save.
NOTE: These are very rough numbers – and don’t factor things like geographic location, number portability, installation costs, SIP providers, or further discounts associated with volume commitments. You’ll also need to make sure you’re able to convert your services and you’re not under current contractual obligations. Last, there are many engineering and technical considerations like Quality of Service, bandwidth, call volume, etc. We work with a number of SIP and IP transport providers and have the engineering expertise necessary to architect the right solutions for your company.
If you don’t have time to do this, contact us, we’re happy to assist. Call us at (503) 575-7530 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org