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What is Bursting for VoIP

What is Bursting for VoIP?

Preston McNair

Bursting for VoIP is a feature that our CloudPBX and SIP Trunking customers can use. As this is not a standard term or option offered by other providers, we often get questions about what it is and why you want to use it.

What About Bob?

Our customer Bob is in the construction industry. Recently, he switched from a four-line analog phone system to a VoIP PBX. On his old analog four-line phone system, each call in or out would tie up one of his lines from the local phone company. If a prospective customer tried to call Bob and all four lines were in use, they would receive a busy signal leading the prospective customer to find another company that would take the call and its business. Likewise, Bob’s employees would not be able to call if all their lines were in use. The lost profits from missing just one call can pay for Bob’s telephone service for the whole year, so Bob decided to switch to VoIP.

Bob’s on-staff IT Guy was tasked with upgrading their antiquated phones. He did some research and then purchased ClearlyIP Appliances and Phones. He then went online and signed up for SIP Trunking Service for his shiny new phone system.

ClearlyIP services can be purchased through our regional partners or directly from ClearlyIP via our website. When creating a service, you can choose which type of billing you want to subscribe to. To understand what Bursting is, you first need to understand how our standard SIP and cloud service plans work. Customers buy SIP trunking services that provide voice/telephony services to their telephone systems. We also offer additional services, such as FAX, SMS, Failover, Redundancy, International Calling, Toll-Free, and more. SIP Trunking Subscriptions:

  • SIP Trunking – Call Path Subscription
    When you purchase services by adding Call Path subscriptions, each subscription you add to your account provides a call to or from your phone system with the outside world (PSTN). Each Call Path Subscription includes an external call (which means we do not care if you make or receive a call externally; you get one at a time). Each subscription call path includes up to 3000 minutes of calling to the US48 and Canada with no per-minute charges.
  • SIP Trunking – Metered Call Paths (also known as Minutes of Use Plan).
    If you choose a metered option, there is no charge for Call Paths (we don’t care how many calls you make at once). You pay a low per minute rate on each call.

Bob chose a three-year term to maximize his discounts on the monthly service. Bob’s monthly payment for the call paths is $71.96 (17.95 x 4 call paths). It includes four simultaneous external calls and 12,000 minutes of calling each month.

Alternatively, Bob could have chosen to sign up with a Metered Call Subscription. With Bob’s team using about 10k minutes each month, It would cost Bob $90 per month for the same service if he chose the Pay as you go subscription. However, if Bob’s people talked less, he could have chosen the Metered Call Subscription. By choosing a Call Path Subscription, Bob’s saving a couple of hundred dollars each year.


So, Where Does Bursting Come In On This?
Bob’s eight employees average about 8 hours or so per day on the phone, which is about 10,000 minutes of calls per month. Most of the time, the four concurrent calls they have in their plan cover their needs. What if a weather-related event suddenly increased Bob’s Call Volumes? Or a seasonal fluctuation of people wanting Bob’s services?

Elastic Call Path Capacity
By enabling Bursting on his account, Bob is given access to additional call paths beyond his purchased four Call Path Subscriptions. Each additional call path is metered and charged at a per-minute rate, ONLY when it is in use. This helps ensure Bob has enough call paths for customers, so the phones will ring and not hit voicemail or a busy signal. It also adds that extra calling capacity for all eight employees to take and make calls simultaneously if needed.

Additional Minutes of Use
Bob’s monthly subscription gives him 12,000 minutes of usage. Suppose he has a busier than average month and goes over those minutes. In that case, Bursting enables him to continue making and receiving calls beyond the included minutes in his plan without having to purchase an additional Call Path Subscription. He just pays per minute to “burst” above his included calling.

  • If Bob purchased the additional call paths for each employee, his annual cost on the same plan would be doubled! ($1727.04/per year). With bursting, his base rate stays at $863.52 per year, and he only pays for extra calling or capacity if he needs it. Bob has peace of mind that He isn’t going to miss calls. And he also has the security of having complete control of how many extra call paths or how much extra usage is beyond his included minutes.

Call Bursting works in the same way for our CloudPBX offerings. CloudPBX is a complete product offering that includes the phone system functionality, as well as all things like Chat, Video Conferencing, Calling Queues, and so much more.

  • CloudPBX – With our standard offering, you purchase services by the user seat. Every cloud seat purchased includes one “user” and enables one external call path to the outside world. So if you purchased ten seats, you would have ten external call paths on that system.
  • Bursting on CloudPBX allows you to receive additional calls beyond those licensed by your included user count. So if you are queuing calls or maybe doing conference calling to external callers, you can ensure you’re like Bob and not missing out on business with busy lines and missed calls by enabling Bursting.

Bursting allows Bob to focus on his business, building and making money, not managing his phone service and rate plans. Bob gets maximum value from his telecom solution and ensures his staff can always communicate with his customers.

To learn more about our SIP Trunking and Cloud PBX offerings, please contact our sales team or one of our regional partners.