Should I replace my Telecom provider with VOIP over internet?

Posted on 2012-08-27
Last Modified: 2012-09-04
This is a question i have been kicking around for a while, but need some more facts on before proceeding.

I am considering the cost benefits of switching from my PRI telecom provider (CenturyLink) to an internet VOIP service.  I have read about company's like Nextiva, Jive PBX, and PhoneBooth among others, that offer the ability to use my existing Avaya IP Office VOIP system in conjuncture with their phone service (SIP Trunking?)

What are the pitfalls and requirements of such a switch?  For internet, we currently have 4 T1's for 6Mbps up and down.  We have about 50 internal lines. Call quality and up-time are of the utmost importance to the employees of this company, so if this option is fraught with issues, it won't work.  Is anyone using web based VOIP for their business?  Is it a good option for a small business?

Thanks in advance!
Question by:Nick Daniels
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    web based is not recommended as it depends on your bandwidth , if your bandwidth becomes narrow for some amount of time then you will notice worst call quality , If you are looking for a cost effective solution then you can go with VOIP , take the main lines from and terminate in your ip sip trunks of avaya server.

    Author Comment

    by:Nick Daniels
    Pardon my ignorance, but should I be shopping for SIP Trunking? and how is that different from internet based VOIP like nextiva? It appears that is SIP trunking.  Nextiva.  Don't I have to be located in an area where SIP Trunking is supported?  In other words, just having a good internet connection isn't enough, right?
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    The Nextiva link you provided is for SIP trunks. You dont need hosted PBX just SIP trunks. You will also want to look at what codecs are supported by the Avaya system. If it can trunk g729 you will get more calls per Mb of bandwidth.
    LVL 15

    Accepted Solution


       First, based on your posting I would stay with the PRIs !!!!

       Second unless the T1's are bonded into a single IP presence you may not have the bandwidth you think you do.

       The above responders are correct you are looking for SIP trunking not a Hosted PBX solution, and be sure that you have the correct options in you Avaya for SIP they can be extensive.

       If Call Quality and Availability are the key factors, unless you can get a MetroEther net offering and dedicated service I would not move off the PRI. Fifty active connections over an Internet solution (NO QoS once you leave the building / DeMark) might be asking for gray hair or no hair real quick..


    Author Comment

    by:Nick Daniels
    So it sounds like no one with a business of our size is using SIP Trunking for their phones?  Anyone?

    You guys have given me great info I appreciate it.  I will leave this open a little longer to see if anyone else wants to chime in.

    LVL 15

    Expert Comment


         If you have confirmed that you have SIP trunk support in the Avaya you might want to start by deploying some overflow or test trunks to get you feet wet.  

         There are a number of companies with products called VirtualPRIs that I think fit your model.  Two I can think of off the bat are IPComms and DID4Sale.  

          But be careful, like in any teleco solution, the local loop / Internet connection is the weakest link and can cause the most grief.

          Here is a list of vendors you might talk with.  

    SIP Providers --
         -- With Local loop MPLS.

    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    We have help organizations of all sizes implement (or consider) SIP trunks to replace PRI circuits.  It partially depends upon the configuration and needs to determine if it is the right thing to do, but one client (a major bank with 70,000 phones) is projecting $20 million dollars a year in savings.  A client I met with today is replacing 13 PRI circuits with SIP and will save about $66K per year.  But both of these instances were multi-site clients with distributed PRI trunks being replaced by SIP trunks.  I also have a client that just last month (with a new Avaya PBX) elected to keep their 4 PRI circuits for their one site because it was not cost effective to install SIP.

    In all of these cases and most others, the SIP trunks are delivered over dedicated facilities (such as an MPLS circuit) instead of through the Internet access pipe.  Some of our clients of used standard Internet access links, but they install two - one for data and one only for the voice traffic.  Then they work with a firm like IntelePeer ( or the Internet access loop carrier for the SIP dialtone.  In those cases, you eliminate the random Internet hops that plague the basic consumer level VoIP service.

    Author Closing Comment

    by:Nick Daniels
    Thanks for all the helpful information!  I think i will stick with the PRI's for now.  The cost savings was not significant enough for a small business like ours.

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