A Call Path Is The Route Your Call Takes to Connect. And?

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A call path is the journey a phone call travels from the moment you press send until it reaches the person on the other end of the line. 

On the surface, this seems pretty straightforward—your call has to go through a series of connections in order to reach its final destination. However, as anyone who works in telecommunications can attest, the path a call takes can make a huge difference between a good-sounding connection and a choppy, untenable attempt at one. 

Thus, whether you’re a customer experiencing dropped calls or a telecom company striving for excellence, you may find that monitoring and optimizing your call paths matters more than you think.

1. Setting Up Call Paths Is Crucial for Large Teams

Call path capacity has particularly significant implications for growing businesses and teams. 

This is because the number of simultaneous calls that can occur along a given call path essentially determines how many active calls your system can support at once. 

For traditional phone systems, call path capacity is directly tied to the number of physical phone lines, extensions, or user licenses you purchase. For instance, if your team had 10 people, you would need 10 individual phone lines to allow everyone to make an outbound call simultaneously without blocking others. As a result, traditional systems can be quite expensive to scale up. 

But it’s not just the upfront costs that make a difference, as traditional phone lines also require monthly service fees for each individual line. This means a growing business will be hit with both increased installation costs and recurring phone bills each time its employee count goes up. 

2. Monitoring Call Paths to Keep Your Telecom Expenses Low

Linear growth can become wildly expensive for organizations that support hundreds or even just dozens of users at once. As such, if you want to keep your expenses down, you need to monitor your call paths—especially if you’re a growing business. 

For example, try paying attention to your call volume trends and busy signals over extended periods. Consistent high call volumes or frequent busy signals typically mean that your current capacity is maxed out. This is the ideal time to upgrade before service quality starts declining out of the blue. Otherwise, you might not even notice an issue until your customers start to get frustrated from dropped calls and poor connections.

3. VoIP Phone Systems Can Support Multiple Call Paths

Unlike traditional phone systems, VoIP phone systems upend the one-to-one relationship between users and individual phone lines by utilizing SIP trunking technology. 

Since SIP trunks can support multiple concurrent call paths over a single broadband connection, they make more efficient use of bandwidth. For example, a SIP trunk can handle 10 simultaneous outbound calls even though it represents just one internet-based phone line.

This means a VoIP system can provide unique extensions for 10 staff members while only requiring a single SIP trunk, avoiding the need for 10 separate phone lines. As a result, telecom costs are substantially reduced compared to analog systems that would require you to pay for the same number of lines as you have employees. Instead, VoIP providers typically charge based on concurrent trunk usage rather than per-line fees.

In other words, VoIP providers make it easier for you to pay for what you actually use. Of course, adding new staff to a VoIP phone system can still require investing in more expensive PRI lines or SIP trunks to preserve call quality as demand increases, so keep that in mind. 

4. Why VoIP Is More Cost-effective than Traditional Telephone Systems at Scale

Once again, a VoIP system’s ability to maximize call paths per line through SIP trunking offers a far more cost-effective solution than traditional phone lines, which is great for organizations with larger teams. For instance, a business with 50 employees could meet call capacity needs with just 5 SIP trunks rather than procuring and paying for 50 individual phone numbers, which is a huge savings over time.

Of course, this isn’t the only benefit of SIP trunking, as it enables advanced call routing features that are not possible with the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). 

For example, not only can a VoIP system intelligently distribute inbound calls to multiple agents, but it can also direct overflow calls to alternative locations and separate devices like mobile phones. This makes VoIP systems highly scalable and flexible enough to support growing call volumes—and the obvious choice for cost-conscious businesses.

5. Understanding VoIP Phone System Limits and Charges for Call Paths

Before you start blasting your company’s phone budget on whatever VoIP system provider shows up in search results, it’s a good idea to take a look at how call paths and SIP trunk capacities affect their pricing.

To start, carefully review a provider’s rate sheets. If necessary, call the sales team with questions that will help you gain clarity on what pricing would be for your business. Keep in mind that some vendors will charge additional per-path fees if you exceed the number of allocated call paths or SIP trunks included with your plan. Meanwhile, other vendors may have tiered pricing, where higher trunk allowances can incur a premium.

If you truly want to avoid unnecessary costs due to overages or unused capacity, it’s important that you take the time to create an accurate forecast of your expected call requirements. Contributing factors like your employee headcount, call volumes during busy periods, and any seasonal fluctuations should all be taken into consideration as you start to create a ballpark figure for these expenses.

Lastly, keep in mind that you can use real data from past and present phone logs to help you gauge your future needs. 

6. How to Negotiate with VoiP Providers on Pricing

Once you’ve estimated your total VoIP expenses, ask each potential VoIP vendor clear questions about their call capacity capabilities. 

For example, “How many concurrent calls can be supported with different plan tiers or quantities of SIP trunks?”

Understanding the precise call path limits of each offering will allow you to compare apples to apples and select the right provider based on your telecom needs. Not only will this help prevent you from overspending, but it’s the key to maximizing the functionality of your VoIP system. 

Meanwhile, if you have all of this information on hand, you might even be able to convince one provider to match the price of another if you feel that it fits your needs better.

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