SIP Provider



  • I'd like to dip my toe in with Asterisk and need a recommendation for a SIP provider.

    Thanks.



  • VoicePulse in NYC is pretty awesome. They have a four trunk, $11/mo deal that is really great. I use that for my home line (yes, I have an Asterisk PBX for home use) and a lot of businesses that can work within the four trunk limit use it. They scale up from there but at four trunks they are unbeatable.



  • I've heard lots of good things about VoIP.ms but have not used them (yet) myself.



  • We have worked with http://www.vitelity.com/ as well as http://www.8x8.com/ for a few of our PBX clients and have had no issues and their support in both cases is great if you have questions.



  • Scott, you run Asterisk as a VM, right? What kind of phones do you use? Do you use any wireless/portable phones on this at home?



  • @Dashrender We run it hosted. As far as phones, that's the beauty. Use pretty much whatever you want. Only one I know doesn't work is the 3CX softphone and it used to until they locked it down to 3CX systems only.



  • Also, wireless/portable? Do you mean cordless handsets or softphones on a smartphone? Either will work.



  • I've toyed with the idea of doing what Scott does (use Asterisk at home) as a way to force myself to learn how it work. With that in mind I would require cordless phones at home to work on the system.



  • @Dashrender Ah ok. I know cordless VoIP phones exist. More correctly phones with cordless handsets. @networknerd would have a better idea than I but I'm pretty sure Snom has a couple of pretty good ones, from what I've heard. As far as exact models, beats me.



  • @Dashrender said:

    Scott, you run Asterisk as a VM, right? What kind of phones do you use? Do you use any wireless/portable phones on this at home?

    Combination.... Yealink 3 series, Snom 3 series for physical phones. Linphone for softphone.



  • @ajstringham said:

    @Dashrender We run it hosted. As far as phones, that's the beauty. Use pretty much whatever you want. Only one I know doesn't work is the 3CX softphone and it used to until they locked it down to 3CX systems only.

    The issue there is that 3CX isn't an open SIP softphone, it's just a client of 3CX, not an open phone system. It doesn't work with anything except 3CX.



  • @Dashrender said:

    Scott, you run Asterisk as a VM, right?

    Yes, on Xen and VMware.



  • @Dashrender said:

    I've toyed with the idea of doing what Scott does (use Asterisk at home) as a way to force myself to learn how it work. With that in mind I would require cordless phones at home to work on the system.

    http://www.smbitjournal.com/2013/08/doing-it-at-home-the-home-pbx/



  • @scottalanmiller It used to. But they locked it all down. @networknerd has an older version of the app he never updated and it still works for that reason.



  • I actually really like Broadvox (recently acquired by Fusion and named NBS) in addition to the others that were recommended here.

    One thing to watch out for is that most providers will charge you based on the number of concurrent calls your organization needs. If 10 people need to be on inbound / outbound calls at once, you will likely pay a set monthly fee for 10 concurrent calls. It depends on the size of your organization. VoicePulse is a good one for home as it is dirt cheap. With Broadvox, I have used their GoLocal! plan where you pay a set fee per concurrent call but get free local calling and then pay a very low monthly fee for LD. The phone bill is literally about $400 or less for 4 companies and 15 concurrent calls. That is amazing compared to what it was when we had PRI.



  • Elastix plays really, really well as a VM. I think it likes ESXi best personally, but Scott may disagree.



  • @networknerd I have a feeling @scottalanmiller will agree.



  • @NetworkNerd said:

    I actually really like Broadvox (recently acquired by Fusion and named NBS) in addition to the others that were recommended here.

    The phone bill is literally about $400 or less for 4 companies and 15 concurrent calls. That is amazing compared to what it was when we had PRI.

    $400 a month for basically 15 lines I guess that's good. I think we pay around $500 for a PRI (23 lines) so $400 doesn't seem like such a deal.

    I'll probably get 'modded' for saying this - off topic and all 😛 - but what's killing me is the $850/mth for fiber internet for 6 megs. We moved to fiber 6 years ago for the reliability factor. We used to house our EMR onsite. We needed to make sure we didn't have drops in connection that can commonly happen to cable/DSL provided internet. In 6 years we've had about 10 mins of total unscheduled downtime. Cable on the other hand has had about 50 hours in our area (we know because our satellite office uses said cable internet and in 2012 there were some major issues).



  • I agree a deal to some is not so much a deal to others. The beauty with SIP providers is that you can increase / decrease the number of "lines" (or concurrent calls) when needed to save money and only use what you need. Some bundle LD while others do not. Some providers like Intelepeer have plans where you pay per minute whether local or LD, and you get unlimited lines / concurrent calls. Definitely shop around to find a provider that works for you.

    Remember you will want 87-100Kbps of upload bandwidth per concurrent call. I can definitely understand having a tough time swallowing ISP pricing, but if it is going to ensure phone clarity,management will pay it. 🙂



  • @NetworkNerd said:

    Remember you will want 87-100Kbps of upload bandwidth per concurrent call. I can definitely understand having a tough time swallowing ISP pricing, but if it is going to ensure phone clarity,management will pay it. 🙂

    What do you mean? ISP Pricing? If I'm using a SIP provider that is not my ISP, don't I simply have to ensure I leave enough available bandwidth open for incoming calls (not really sure how to do that?), Outgoing is easy to handle through QOS, but incoming? Our 6 meg pipe spends most of the day saturated because of our cloud EMR and VPN tunnels to other branches.



  • That's the trick. If you have a high density environment, i'd do either a dedicated network to your VoIP service or get two ISP connections and a load balancer with QoS. Either way, i usually recommend QoS. If your ISP provides your SIP they can provision SIP priority on the delivery side of your pipe.



  • @Hubtech said:

    That's the trick. If you have a high density environment, i'd do either a dedicated network to your VoIP service or get two ISP connections and a load balancer with QoS. Either way, i usually recommend QoS. If your ISP provides your SIP they can provision SIP priority on the delivery side of your pipe.

    I spoke to Cox about SIP, they can provide it, but they will only do so for solutions that they have certified, and it must come over it's own connection outside of your internet connection (which in theory is fine... but you find yourself bound to that specific ISP).



  • Yes. They give it its own "pipe" so they can Guarantee a certain level of service.



  • @dashrender - I did mean ISP pricing, yes.

    I tend to agree with Hubtech about the possibility of getting another connection installed for VOIP traffic (whether it be point-to-point SIP from a telco or just an internet connection and 3rd party SIP provider). Point-to-point SIP does bind you to the provider as you say. So then it comes down to what is more important to management - the guarantee of call quality or the flexibility to get calls anywhere if the worst happens.



  • At my last gig, Windstream was the provider, though it was Nuvox first (before they were bought out.
    Their support staff were pretty good, and there was a team designated for the specific system we used at the time. (which was Shoretel)



  • @NetworkNerd said:

    Elastix plays really, really well as a VM. I think it likes ESXi best personally, but Scott may disagree.

    Xen PV would be my first choice. vSphere second. HyperV third. KVM last.



  • @scottalanmiller Xen over VMware? I'm curious as to why.



  • @Dashrender said:

    @NetworkNerd said:

    I actually really like Broadvox (recently acquired by Fusion and named NBS) in addition to the others that were recommended here.

    The phone bill is literally about $400 or less for 4 companies and 15 concurrent calls. That is amazing compared to what it was when we had PRI.

    $400 a month for basically 15 lines I guess that's good. I think we pay around $500 for a PRI (23 lines) so $400 doesn't seem like such a deal.

    Well you can't just compare lines to lines. Phone lines aren't sold that way. Have to compare DIDs, minutes, lines, etc. Lots of possible factors. And is $500 base or after tax because SIP isn't taxes like PRI is (one is legally phone, one is not.) Generally SIP comes with a lot more features.



  • @Dashrender said:

    @NetworkNerd said:

    Remember you will want 87-100Kbps of upload bandwidth per concurrent call. I can definitely understand having a tough time swallowing ISP pricing, but if it is going to ensure phone clarity,management will pay it. 🙂

    What do you mean? ISP Pricing? If I'm using a SIP provider that is not my ISP, don't I simply have to ensure I leave enough available bandwidth open for incoming calls (not really sure how to do that?), Outgoing is easy to handle through QOS, but incoming? Our 6 meg pipe spends most of the day saturated because of our cloud EMR and VPN tunnels to other branches.

    A saturated link will cause problems.



  • @Dashrender said:

    @Hubtech said:

    That's the trick. If you have a high density environment, i'd do either a dedicated network to your VoIP service or get two ISP connections and a load balancer with QoS. Either way, i usually recommend QoS. If your ISP provides your SIP they can provision SIP priority on the delivery side of your pipe.

    I spoke to Cox about SIP, they can provide it, but they will only do so for solutions that they have certified, and it must come over it's own connection outside of your internet connection (which in theory is fine... but you find yourself bound to that specific ISP).

    Yes, sadly doing this you end up being tied to your SIP provider just as if they were a PRI. It saves on taxes and sometimes adds some flexibility but often you gain little to nothing because all the real benefits of a neutral technology are taken away.