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As one of Canada's leading SIP Trunking providers, ThinkTel has a great reputation serving high profile clientele such as Subaru. It is 100% Canadian owned with over 300 employees, and includes over 90% coverage of the total population. Originally founded in 2003, the company was acquired by Distributel in 2009 and became its business services division.
Though the central focus of the company is providing enterprise-grade SIP Trunking services, other services are offered such as hosted or managed Lync services, and wholesale VoIP services for resellers. Offered solutions serve everyone from small business to large, multi-office enterprises.
The SIP Trunking service is built with reliability in mind, featuring as many as 8 IP addresses to accommodate failover. Multiple codecs such as G.711, G.721, G.726 and G.729a/b are available to allow flexibility for different VoIP network designs. The service also supports VPN (Virtual Private Network) connections for added security and all services from the company are compliant with PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act).
The Hosted Lync plans are a great option for businesses that do not want to deal with building or maintaining an internal IP-PBX or on-premise Lync Servers. Plans start as low as $10 per user per month for the basic hosted Lync features (Instant Messaging, Online Presence, Multimedia Conferencing and Voice services). Note that the basic Lync features are based on a desktop client and therefore is for internal use to your company wide LAN (Local Area Network). Read our article on Microsoft Lync for more information about this service. Plans that include PSTN connectivity voice services (for external calls) start at $32 per user per month.
Small businesses that only need 1 or 2 lines also have the option of using the Digital Line service that is essentially a hosted voice solution. This includes features such as call waiting, call display, call forwarding, 3 way calling and more. Analog Telephone Adaptors (ATAs) are provisioned for this service allowing businesses to circumvent expenditures for IP phones. This also allows your business to enjoy the benefits of a VoIP phone system, like auto-attendants and fax to email, but still using your existing analog phones. Pricing starts at $25 per line per month for this option.
Other services such as Internet access are available for select regions in Canada, including DSL and FTTN (Fiber to the Node). Different tiers are available at different price points and do not require a fixed term contract. Many areas (mostly urban regions) have the option to select FTTN service - this is perhaps the most reliable connection method in the industry today. Businesses in more rural areas may have the option for this connection at extra cost.
A solid knowledgebase is available on Thinktel's website, covering SIP trunking, troubleshooting, provisioning devices, porting, fax services, phone services, Lync support, and FAQs. If you cant find an answer in the knowledgebase you can open a support ticket, or contact via email or a toll free number, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The company's website also displays network status for 6 provinces across Canada (for VoIP, Lync, Fax, Email, and Internet services). This information is also provided via an RSS feed so you can keep notified of any network issues.
If you are looking purely for a hosted VoIP solution then this might not be the best option for your business. This is mainly because this service is based around Microsoft Lync and Unified Communications so you are paying for that plus voice services, making it a more expensive solution. Also, many small businesses may not need the benefits that Lync can provide. A "Digital Line" service offering is available but this is mainly aimed at 1 or 2 line setups.
We could not find any information on how many minutes per month are included in the pricing. SIP trunking and hosted VoIP providers typically set up plans for a given number of minutes to use per month or provide unlimited calling included in the fixed monthly rate. This was not clear on the website. UPDATE: The hosted Lync plans with voice services include unlimited local minutes, but long distance calling is billed per minute.
There is no pricing for SIP trunking services so you will need to contact ThinkTel directly to get this information. There is also no pricing information for the "Enterprise" services.
The broad array of services offered by Thinktel can supply a business with not just valuable communication tools but the Internet service to accommodate these solutions. The companies main strength lies in providing SIP trunking service and Hosted Lync service.
Utilizing Unified Communications (UC) at your business can positively impact productivity often in unseen ways. Canadian companies looking for a reputable UC solution should consider ThinkTel's Hosted Lync offering.
ThinkTel reviews are listed in chronological order.
#1 : APR 3rd, 2010 : Michael
Very happy with my new supplier. I had some very, very specific feature requirements and we already had large volumes of VoIP calls. Applying directly to providers resulting in me speaking to a call center agent who was clueless and wasted my time. With WhichVoip, I was contacted by a very knowledgable sales director who addressed our corporations needs quickly and professionally and gave me everything I was after plus more. This saved me a great deal of time and fustration. Many thanks for putting me in touch!
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