Wholesale/Metered trunk providers?


#1

Hi,

Not sure if we can discuss other carriers and pricing on this forum, but I am looking to install a small business setup of freepbx in NYC for a client and i need a wholesale/metered connection with no cap on channels but origination and termination per minute fees. The office has 30 employees but low call volume so I want to have the ability of multiple calls but not pay per trunk/call path.

I do this only as a side gig and only have a handfull of clients. My current deployments have ISP provided sip trunks (TWC/Spectrum) which have SLA and QOS bandwidth delivered onsite and another deployment has two T1/PRI provided along with their enterprise fiber (Lightpath/Altive) so I don’t have much experience with BYOB voip carriers.

I have a test account setup with FlowRoute and i have an existing trunk setup with Digium Cloud at home, but i cannot find digium clouds website and i think Sangoma discontinued selling under digium cloud.

Can any of you here recommend any providers bandwith, twilio etc. What is the most used around here and who is NOT GTG?

Thanks.


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(Matthew Fredrickson) #2

SIPStation (from Sangoma/Digium) is alive and well and might fit well with what you’re looking for. Additionally, if you’re looking for more wholesale style connection, VoIP Innovations (also recently acquired by Sangoma) might be an option as well.

Another good part about going with the above is that by using SIPStation/VoIP-Innovations and other Sangoma products, you help to support the FreePBX and Asterisk projects.

Hope that helps a bit, and good luck in your search!

Matthew Fredrickson


(Avayax) #3

We are using both Twilio and Vitelity (now Voyant) and can recommend those.
Voyant requires a monthly minimum of $300 (amount may be different now) and call rates are good.

Twilio has a very convoluted setup procedure but the service is fine. A wholesale agreement with them gives you much better prices, otherwise they’re a bit expensive.


#4

Thanks Matthew.

So Voip-Inovations is Sangoma’s new wholesale provider? I think digium was aquired by sangoma so digium cloud is not a thing anymore i guess.

I have used sipstation trunks as a fail-over before on other systems and probably will setup a single one on this system as well. I usually prioritize it with a 911 outbound route to utilze the e911. Works well but it is cost prohibitive for me to setup multiple trunks with only 3000-5000 minutes per month company wide, but with 30 extensions onsite, we need the available call paths.

Thank you. I will look into Voip-Innovations.


#5

I think your needs can be met by many providers you will find through straightforward search methods. The ones already mentioned are fine.

My only advice is stay away from the ones who have web sites that look like they haven’t been updated in 15 years. Your senses will let you know to stay away. Some of them are good for hobby purposes but are not really professional-grade.


(Scristopher7) #6

We use VoIP Innovations for wholesale, they are awesome. My only complaint is their API for the back office could be a little better, and the fraud monitoring leaves something to be desired, but all in all they are great.


#7

VoIP Innovations has a minimum monthly commitment that likely exceeds what your customer would spend. I believe it’s $100 but they removed all pricing info from their website, so you’ll need to call or write.

Here’s my opinion on some others you might consider:

There have been several complaints about Flowroute’s support degrading after they were purchased by West (who also bought Intrado and renamed themselves Intrado). However, their damn reliable SIP trunking has not degraded; if you can work most problems out by yourself, they are still a viable choice.

Telnyx has rates considerably lower than Flowroute’s and IMO is as reliable. Their portal is superb, including SIP traces per call.

Lower cost providers you might look at are SignalWire and AnveoDirect. They are not carriers and use Bandwidth for US numbers. Savings would be significant if you want your 30 extensions to be directly reachable (30 DIDs).

The above three give a small credit at signup, so you can explore and test without a payment or commitment.

Telnyx and SignalWire support SMS and MMS. AnveoDirect has SMS but not MMS.

I can provide more details if you are interested in any of these.


#8

Thanks all for the comments.

Thank you Stewart1 for the detailed response. I will look into these. If i have any other questions, ill let you know.


#9

Voip.ms might have what you are looking for. Not the most reliable though…


(Jared Busch) #10

I think you have no idea what you are asking for.

While all wholesale is metered, you are not going to get wholesale rates for a tiny solution with 30 users.

Many, many, many providers exists that can charge you metered rates, but those will not be wholesale rates.

Across the cost spectrum you have the high end of basic metered at around $0.01 per minute.
At the low end of basic metered you can get closer to $0.004 per minute for some of the calling.
Beyond that, you can get better pricing from at least one carrier if they feel you won’t be adding to their support costs.

After that you are in to volume commitments.


(Jared Busch) #11

That is your opinion. Anecdotal evidence, usage stats from systems I have work on across many years don’t bear that out.


(Jared Busch) #12

He clearly asked for metered, which SIPStation is not.


#13

I agree with @chrischevy ; I don’t have a warm and fuzzy feeling about VoIP.ms. Termination is stellar, with servers in many cities and AFAIK they have never had a systemwide outage. But for most small businesses, origination reliability is paramount and VoIP.ms does not have a robust architecture – at any one time, a DID is tied to a specific server. If it’s down, incoming calls fail and in some circumstances the caller will hear the dreaded “disconnected or no longer in service” error announcement.

Up until a few years ago they had a bad reputation for reliability. They “fixed” the problem by moving the servers to better data centers with redundant internet connections, SSD RAID storage, proper UPS / generators / redundant power feeds, etc. But server hardware and software can still fail, and when that happens you don’t get calls until either their engineer reroutes the affected DIDs, or you log into their portal and do the same.

Also, they are not a carrier, so the support problems dealing with a middleman are inherent.

On the positive side, the service includes basic PBX features at no extra cost. Very small businesses may not need a PBX at all; for those VoIP.ms can be a good value. But for us here who are buying dumb pipes, it’s not.


#14

I agree with all of that, but disagree on your choices.

If you want the most reliable incoming service, you need a toll free number (and the per minute charges that go with it). If the carrier has an issue, the number can be quickly rerouted to another. You can think of it as porting the number instantly. At higher cost, you can distribute calls among two or more carriers so failover is completely automatic. I recommend VoIP Innovations for a small business needing this level of reliability.

Next step down, get your (geographic) numbers from a carrier with coverage at your location. In a medium or large city, Telnyx, Flowroute and Vitelity are all good choices. In a smaller town, Bandwidth is likely available.

A small business can get better pricing from a provider who is not your carrier. They buy from the carrier in huge volume and get wholesale rates. They mark them up but your rate is less than what the carrier would charge you directly. This choice will likely impact support and possibly reliability, but may be best for those on a tight budget.

Also, millennials automatically assume that a ‘phone’ can receive SMS and MMS messages. If those are relevant to your business, choose a provider that supports them.


(Jared Busch) #15

This is not how anything works.

If the carrier in charge of the toll free number has an issue,s you can’t do jack to reroute calls. this is not any different than a non-toll free number. If your toll-free carrier is different than you normal carrier, sure. but still. If the toll-free carrier has a problem…


(Tom Ray) #16

Also, a big chunk millennial’s (AKA Gen Y) are almost 40 years old. The youngest are in their early 20’s. So there are actually a big chunk that are not like that as they were toddlers when Mtv hit the airwaves and played on the 1st gen Nintendo’s.

Many people tend to forget that half+ of that generation grew up during the innovation of all this.


(Src) #17

For low call volumes, you may want to look at Anveo Direct’s “Per Minute” DIDs. Each number comes with 10 channels for active calls - that may or may not be enough for your use case. For me, it amounts to $0.15/month per number, and very low per minute costs - $0.004 incoming, outgoing is usually half that on average.


(Matthew Fredrickson) #18

Oops, you’re exactly right. Sorry about the confusion on that :frowning:

Matt


#19

If you need more than 10 channels, just open a ticket and ask. There is no additional MRC.

However, I would not recommend AD for a small system. There is no 911 support at all, so you need another provider for that. To have some confidence that it will work when it’s needed, you should send some regular traffic to the second provider. For example, if it’s Telnyx or Flowroute, you could route calls to toll-free numbers there. Most providers don’t support an E911 address on a DID that’s not theirs, which means that you need separate DID(s) for 911. In an emergency, if the dispatcher asks “Is your number 2125551212” (the number on their screen, but one that the user never heard of), it could cause confusion and possibly delay the response.


#20

I use 2 providers for my small PBX. I initially was considering SIPSTATION and others, but it didn’t make sense for me because it was I think $20/trunk. You can have 2 calls on 1 trunk (1 inbound and 1 outbound only). So I initially went with Twilio, which has E911 support and then ended up doing Plivo for my main calls (cheaper than twilio. I believe half the price) and Twilio as a failover/E911 (since plivo does not support E911).

What I like about Twilio and Plivo, you can have 1 trunk and unlimited calls (depending on your PBX resources).
My bill is around $12/month for around 40 hours of calls with the DID costs and all.

Only thing I don’t like so far is the fact I have to have anonymous calls enabled for inbound calls to work but my firewall is strict to only allow calls from certain IPs/subnets.