FAQ’s – SIP Trunking, VoIP, and SMS

Frequently Asked Questions

What is SIP Trunking?

A SIP trunk is a direct connection between your organization and Flowroute. It enables you to extend voice over IP (VoIP) telephony beyond your organization’s firewall and to the PSTN using an internet connection rather than a traditional phone line. This simpler configuration is easier and less expensive to design, operate, maintain, and upgrade. Flowroute’s services typically cost a fraction of a traditional phone provider so your investment in SIP trunking can give a quick and substantial return on investment.

To use SIP Trunking, what is required?

The components necessary to use SIP trunking is a working internet connection and an IP-PBX, IP Phones, softphones or a mediation server. If you are not familiar with what a mediation server is, it performs encrypting, decrypting, and data translation between an Office Communications Server deployment on one side and the world beyond on the other. Flowroute SIP is compatible with nearly every SIP capable PBX system.

What does Flowroute do?

Flowroute is the first pure SIP trunking provider to be certified as a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) in the United States. This distinction provides developers and businesses with direct access to and control over their telephony resources such as phone numbers, inbound and outbound calls, SMS, MMS, and other related communication services through the Flowroute Manage Portal and our APIs.

How does your voice service work?

Flowroute runs on top of your existing infrastructure and internet connection. Whether it be a custom-built switch or a basic on-premise switch, as long as your system supports Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) you can utilize Flowroute.

Once you have signed up and activated your Flowroute account, interconnection can be completed by SIP credentials or IP Based authentication.  If you have a static IP address or Dynamic DNS, we recommend setting up IP based routing for inbound calls. It’s much more reliable than SIP registration as we won’t rely on an active registration session (which can fail intermittently for many reasons) to route calls to your PBX. If you don’t have a static IP or DDNS, you can register your device using SIP credentials provided in your account.

If you have a static IP address, we recommend setting up IP-based authentication for outbound calls. It is much more secure & reliable than SIP registration as we will only permit calls from your PBX IP address & won’t require any credentials for you to place calls.

  • Outbound calls can be authenticated either via standard SIP credentials, which can be found in your online portal or use IP Authentication.
  • Inbound calls can be routed to a registered SIP device, host IP or domain, SIP URI, or forwarded to an external phone number. We also provide a secondary failover route in the event that the primary route doesn’t respond.

How does your messaging service work?

Messaging is supported by our messaging API. Our goal is to provide developers and businesses the utmost flexibility when it comes to integrating calling and messaging into their apps and services, which is why we have provided this functionality through an API. You can find more details about our APIs here. Please note that Flowroute Messaging is sent by way of an HTTP protocol, not over SIP.

What geographic regions do you support?

We currently support North American Numbering Plan (NANP) phone numbers (DIDs) – in the US/CAN. However, we provide nationwide coverage and are able to terminate calls worldwide. The same applies to our toll-free calling.

Flowroute’s messaging service only supports sending and receiving messages to and from NANP phone numbers.

Do you have a recommendation as to where I can buy international phone numbers?

Voxbone is a trusted Flowroute partner for international phone numbers. If you purchase International numbers elsewhere, they are not able to be ported to Flowroute.

How do I determine what my monthly phone bill will be?

If you are looking to estimate what your monthly spend will be with Flowroute we recommend you take a look at a recent bill of your current provider. They should give you a breakdown of the # of phone numbers you have and the minutes you use on a monthly basis.

How does your pricing and billing work?

Flowroute is a prepaid service, therefore you need to have an active balance on the account at all times for you to utilize our service. We allow you to configure low balance notifications and auto-replenishments through the Flowroute manage portal so you don’t have to constantly monitor your account’s balance. Payment methods we accept are credit cards and wire transfers. Please note: the auto-replenishment feature is not available for wire transfers. We bill in US dollars.

With Flowroute, there are two main fees:

  • Per minute fee for inbound calling of $.012/min and $.0098/min outbound US/CAN
  • A monthly recurring service fee for your telephone numbers of $1.25/month/phone number

Flowroute does offer discounts for high volume users. To learn more, contact sales@flowroute.com.

You can find our complete pricing details page here.

Are there any additional fees to consider when using Flowroute?

The only additional fee is the USF fee (mandated by the FCC) which changes on a quarterly basis and applies to all of your transactions.

For inbound toll-free services:

  • Toll-free dip charge – $.0053 per call

Fees also apply to the following add-on services:

  • E911 setup – $1.39 per phone number
  • CNAM lookup –  $0.0039 per lookup
  • CNAM storage – Free

You don’t bill me for channels, how does that work?

We have architected our network and infrastructure to provide our customers with significant capacity, which results in the ability for our customers to utilize an unlimited number of concurrent calls paths without affecting the quality of their calls. Flowroute dynamically establishes channels as you are making or receiving calls, all we ask is you notify us if you plan to use over 1000 concurrent call paths and/or send over 20 CPS. From an inbound call perspective, we connect all the calls you receive, it’s up to you and the logic you set up on your system/switch to handle the calls as you see fit.

Do you offer local phone numbers?

Yes, we do. You can purchase phone numbers through your online portal. To gain access to our phone number inventory, you will first need to create a free account. You can find our inventory under the DIDs → Purchase tab of your Flowroute manage portal.

To learn more about purchasing a phone number, read this article.

Do you offer vanity or toll-free numbers?

Yes, we do. There are multiple options to find specific phone numbers you are looking for.

Unfortunately, we don’t currently offer the ability to search the inventory by keywords or specific number sequences. If you don’t find the number you are looking for you have a few options:

  1. Submit a ticket to our support team so they can check all the numbers we have available on the Flowroute network.
  2. For 800 numbers, check out 800forall, if you find the number you are looking for there, you can submit a ticket and our support team will procure the number and add it to your account.
  3. For local numbers, check out NumberBarn, If you find the number you are looking for on that site, purchase the number and then port it over to Flowroute.

As a carrier, we have direct access to port from these sites quickly and efficiently.

How do I port a number to the Flowroute Network?

Before you start your port order, we recommend that you have the following available

  • The list of telephone numbers you want to port to Flowroute. You can enter a list of telephone numbers individually or upload a CSV, TXT, XLS, or XLSX file.
  • PDF copies of bills from your current service provider for each telephone number you want to port. Copies of bills must be in PDF format for uploading.
  • If you are porting multiple numbers from multiple accounts or carriers, you must submit separate port order requests for each account and carrier, as well as separate bills; however, each request can contain multiple numbers for that account or carrier. If you submit a single request containing multiple accounts and carriers, the request can be rejected and returned to you to correct.

Once you have these details, please following the steps provided in this guide.

Do you have a knowledge base for support articles?

Yes, we do. You can find it at http://support.flowroute.com

Do you have a status page that provides updates on services and network conditions?

Yes, we do. You can find it at http://status.flowroute.com. We recommend you sign up for proactive alerts to stay in the know with the health of our services.

What is the best way to reach technical support?

The best way to reach technical support is to submit a ticket so our support engineers can prioritize issues for the fastest resolution.

I received a Contact Support message when trying to sign up for a Flowroute account. Why?

Our number one priority is to keep our customers SIP account and credentials secure. Therefore, we have implemented a fraud scoring system which alerts us when details such as name, email, IP, and address don’t match. The fastest way to resolve the fraud flag is to submit a ticket so our support engineers can manually authenticate your account and get you up and running on Flowroute.

Can I consolidate accounts?

Yes, you can. If you are looking to consolidate accounts, you can do so by submitting a support ticket. In the ticket, please include the following:

  • The authentication information for all accounts – Name, email, and tech prefix, and;
  • How you would like the accounts to be consolidated

We are unable to transfer the balance from one account to another, so we will issue refunds to the credit card that we have on file.