SIP trunking is still a relatively new technology, closely related to the modern business phone system and it is potentially a technology that can bring business benefits to many.
What is SIP Trunking?
In its simplest form, SIP trunking can be viewed as no different to an ordinary digital telephone line that is connected to a business phone system. In the way it is used, the purpose of what it is for, and if you went into an office picked up the phone and made a call you would not know if you were calling out on a standard digital telephone line or a SIP trunking service. The difference is that with SIP trunking is that instead of just being able to use that line for one purpose, the line, or trunk, can carry many signals at once. The trunks have woven connections inside each line, so that data can be sorted, and sent along the fastest free channel open, which lets you make the most of out your time.
How is SIP Trunking Delivered?
SIP Trunking is delivered using the following two methods:
- (i) As a data service over an existing xDSL or similar
- (ii) Over a dedicated voice xDSL service or similar
Method (i) often routes calls over the public Internet, while method (ii) is a circuit supplied and typically guaranteed to provide a level of Quality of Service (QoS) as it links into the network backbone, therefore by-passing public Internet traffic.
Once the data circuit has been installed a connection then needs to be made to the actual business phone system, much the same as a conventional phone line needs too. If you would like to connect the SIP trunk to an older phone system (generally manufactured pre-2006), then it is likely a SIP converter unit would be required. The SIP converter unit connects to both the existing line ports on the phone system and to the xDSL SIP trunking circuit.
Many business phone systems manufactured post-2006 may require a license key, software upgrade or an additional piece of hardware to allow the SIP trunking service to be connected directly.
It is always beneficial to talk to a Unified Communications provider to see if they can work with your existing hardware. The best providers, will be able to minimize any extra cost for upgrading your network.
Why Use SIP Trunking?
SIP Trunking brings with it many new business benefits, the most important of which can be listed as follows-
- Lower line rental charges
- Lower call charges
- Free on network call charges (useful for multi-site businesses)
- Ability to retain telephone numbers no matter where the company moves
- Ability to have different National & International area codes numbers
- Instant call re-routing in the event of a disaster situation
Numbers don’t lie. In one recent piece, Stephen Leaden reports in ucstrategies, that his clients have seen savings annually from $200K to $1.5M annually and more. He urges, reiterates that now is a great time to consider moving to SIP trunking, just based on cost savings alone. Meeting Companies Demands Most companies today that require a private business telephone provider utilize an outdated method. Before the inception of wireless Internet, hard-line ISDN boxes were the norm. Using physical wires and phone lines were the only foreseeable method to transmit voice data to a service provider. This, of course, was expensive to maintain and was vulnerable to the natural elements. These types of problems lead to outages and missed opportunities that eventually result in lower revenue yields. Therefore a special Voice Over Internet Protocol or VoIP solution was created to address the needs of a private enterprise or customer.
Special controls are involved in the functioning of SIP trunking. Certain rules must be followed, and protocol specifications must be maintained in order to connect to the public domain. Choosing a company with SIP trunking enables a private domain to connect to any public service provider. It is a Voice over IP service that uses the internet to create a protocol that connects numbers dialed from a PBX to the actual line itself or operator.
SIP trunking enables a PBX to send significant amounts of data over the internet. Voicemail, voice calls, and web conferencing are an example of some of the data typically sent. This data can be immediately forwarded to the public domain at IP-like connectivity speeds. Smooth and firm connections can be created with inter-branch feature transparency.
SIP Trunking Summary
SIP trunking is now widely available, a proven technology and with SIP Providers working closely with business phone system manufacturers it should help to instill confidence in the marketplace for rapid take up.
However this is just part of the story, to ensure a SIP Trunking solution works as it should, correct calculations need to be undertaken in terms of the bandwidth that is made available to allow the required number of simultaneous calls to be made or received. Keep in mind, more trunks can always be added, if you underestimate your business, or if it grows.
The last, but my no means least, part of the equation that needs to be right is the supply, installation, and configuration of the necessary SIP hardware and SIP software may be required.
With all of these elements correctly in place, SIP trunking seems set to take the industry by storm over the next few years, benefiting many businesses and telecoms companies along the way. It might be worth checking if your company is due for a change.