There are a lot of companies that offer SIP trunking services. However, before a business can make an educated decision on which provider offers the right SIP trunking service to fit their needs, there are a few things that should be known: what kind of service this is, the benefits of using such a service and how the service is deployed. Only then can a business make an educated decision on which provider offers the right service for them.
What Is an SIP Trunk Service?
This kind of service offers a direct link between a business and its Internet telephony service provider, or ITSP. Using this service, a company can extend its voice over Internet protocol, or VoIP, beyond its firewall without needing an IP-PSTN gateway. This is great since setting up an IP-PSTN gateway can be expensive and difficult to configure. VoIP offers companies substantial savings because it’s easier to upgrade and maintain. Most businesses receive a substantial return on their investments when investing in SIP trunk services.
On top of handling VoIP calls, an SIP trunk also handles multimedia conferences, instant messages, enhanced emergency calling and user presence information. All of these services are bundled together to help businesses consolidate their communication needs.
What Does SIP and Trunk Stand For?
SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol, while “trunk” refers to a physical line that is dedicated to connecting switching equipment. As mentioned above, SIP is used to help control and create a communication session that ends up being the basis of VoIP telephony. One easy way to think of an SIP trunk is to compare it to its predecessor, the circuit-switchboard, in how it creates connections between telecommunications systems. The biggest difference between the two is that, unlike the old circuit-switchboard, the SIP trunk is able to create these connections virtually. As such, a communication connection can be made not only over a dedicated line for SIP trunking but also over dedicated lines that are used for IP traffic and SIP trunking, or even over the Internet via a virtual private network, or VPN.
How SIP Trunking Benefits Companies
There are several benefits that companies get from using this kind of service. The first and most notable benefit is that it’s a huge step forward in the organization of a company’s telecommunication needs. Companies are not only protecting themselves from enhancements in real-time communications, but they are doing it in a way that actually saves them money by consolidating all of these needs together. Here is a more detailed breakdown of how these kinds of services benefit companies.
• Saves money on long-distance costs – Compared to other services, long-distance service generally costs less when used with an SIP trunk connection.
• No need for IP-PSTN gateways – Due to the fact that this kind of service connects directly to a company’s ITSP without needing to be run through a publicly switched phone network, it eliminates the need for an IP-PSTN. This helps companies save on the extra cost and complexity of using such a service. In some cases, an ITSP may even host a PBX for the company, which eliminates the need for PBX hardware.
• No redundant networks – Using an SIP trunking service is a company’s first step toward getting rid of having redundant data and telephone networks. SIP trunking allows those services to be combined into a single network.
• No more PRI or BRI fees – By using a service like this, a business can get rid of the need for PRI or BRI and its subscription fees. It will save even more money because there’s no need to buy blocks of lines. They only need to buy the bandwidth that they are going to need and do so at a much better price.
• Extended features – With an SIP trunk in place, a business is able to extend its existing features by adding several new services, such as emergency calling and better integration with cellphones.
How Is an SIP Trunk Service Deployed?
Companies can have their SIP trunk connected to an ITSP using either a Mediation Server or an IP-PBX. The Mediation Server is able to encrypt, decrypt and translate data between the Office Communication Server and other communication lines. Deploying this kind of service via an IP-PBX is more complicated. It requires information that can only be provided by the company’s ITSP and the PBX manufacturer.
It is worth noting that most of these kinds of services can be deployed over a line that is dedicated to a company or via the Internet. If the company is using a dedicated line, using a fiber optic or T1 line is usually recommended. These lines are typically big enough to handle the highest amounts of call volume. Companies that don’t have a high call volume may get by with smaller lines.
SIP trunking is a great service for companies to consider if they are looking for ways to consolidate their communication needs. It not only gives companies access to more benefits but allows them to save money in the process. This VoIP service is best described as a streaming media service that is delivered to a company by its ITSP. This type of unified communication option allows for voice and video streaming and other helpful features such as Web conferencing, desktop sharing and shared whiteboards to help productivity. This is the perfect way for companies to get more communication services at a more affordable cost.