SIP Trunking Defined
If you are looking for better communications solutions to improve your company’s connection to other parties, you probably run into SIP technology and are wondering: What is SIP trunking and what can it do for you?
To start, SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol. It’s a series of digital signals that create and terminate multimedia sessions (such as calls) with one or more participants.
Oracle explains, “The SIP protocol is used for internet telephony and multimedia distribution between two or more endpoints. For example, one person can initiate a telephone call to another person using SIP, or someone may create a conference call with many participants. The SIP protocol was designed to be very simple, with a limited set of commands. It is also text-based, so humans can read the SIP messages passed between endpoints in a SIP session.”
So, what exactly is SIP trunking? SIP trunks are basically virtual lines used for connecting internet-based calls to any phone number. Trunks transport digital data packets through the network, from the Private Branch Exchange (PBX) to their final destination. A trunk can be divided into an unlimited number of SIP channels to support one incoming or outgoing call.
Traditional phone systems are outdated in many businesses, mainly because they are unable to fit the unique needs of a hybrid workforce. On-premises staff need to collaborate and connect with mobile or remote employees efficiently, and old phones don’t make this easy. Aside from other inherent disadvantages, legacy systems are difficult to scale, costly to maintain and do not offer disaster recovery.
When businesses realize they must migrate to more efficient technologies, they usually explore whether SIP trunking can help them improve overall business communications, only to find a variety of benefits.
In a nutshell, the biggest pluses of SIP are the ability to have enterprise-class communications at lower costs, greater mobility and a simplified network without having to invest in expensive hardware. SIP trunking implementation and maintenance are effortless and don’t require an IT background.
Related: What to Look for in SIP Trunk Providers
SIP Trunking Advantages
As mentioned above, with SIP trunking people can stay in touch no matter how and where they work because it is a simple, cost-effective and efficient way to communicate. Therefore, its popularity is growing and will continue to do so in the following years. According to a recent report by Research and Markets:
- The SIP trunking market value was US $13.44 billion in 2019.
- Projections indicate SIP trunking market value will be US $30.22 billion by 2027.
- Overall, this technology may grow at a 10.8% annual rate from 2020 to 2027.
Statistics like these show how relevant SIP trunks are becoming worldwide. With SIP emerging as a primary telecommunications technology, many corporate users benefit from better connection capabilities and financial savings.
Here are additional advantages to provide more insight beyond just answering “what is SIP trunking?”:
- You will save on costs by eliminating overlapping networks. By consolidating your data network and your voice network functions onto one IP-based platform, you will achieve multiple digital streaming capabilities with more ease. This will also eliminate scalability issues and add more physical infrastructure to include extra users whenever necessary.
- You will remove local IP-PSTN gateways. When you eliminate the IP-PSTN gateway, you save money on telephony and additional upgrades. Rather than purchasing hardware, you’ll only need to increase your internet bandwidth when acquiring a SIP trunking service. This also gets rid of the costs associated with hardware purchases, installation and maintenance.
- You can eliminate BRIs (Basic Rate Interfaces) and PRIs (Primary Rate Interfaces). Since you will no longer use the IP-PSTN gateway with SIP trunks, the endpoints will only connect directly to the chosen ITSP (Internet Telephony Service Provider). These subscription fees will no longer be a part of your monthly budget. In addition, the service to replace them will be less expensive, and you won’t need to buy lines in blocks of 24 or 32.
- You will save on long-distance communications. SIP trunking reduces long-distance communications costs significantly. As a result, an organization that outsources its PSTN connectivity to a leading SIP trunking provider is able to save even more money since SIP calls connect via the Internet using a third-party’s IP network. Only then does the call reach a local PSTN. Therefore, you will be able to use the Internet to make an international call at a similar cost as a local call.
- You will have access to ENUM (Telephone Number Mapping). Because SIP trunks rely on ENUM to find known SIP addresses, they can conduct more calls over the Internet without involving the PSTN or incurring additional costs.
- You can eliminate 800 numbers. Rather than buying more expensive 800 numbers, you can include more local numbers quickly in each city where your company is located.
- You will enhance the Office Communications Server. In addition to using existing services such as E911, you will no longer need to spend more money to access any new services offered by ITSPs.
Related: The Differences Between SIP and VoIP
Best SIP Trunking Provider Checklist
Since this is a growing technology, many companies are claiming they are the best provider. If you ask “what is SIP trunking?” to any of these suppliers in the industry, they may give you a technical, accurate answer. But only top players will provide you with the most benefits for your investment.
To help you narrow down your search and choose the best one, here’s a checklist you can follow:
- Reduced Costs: SIP trunking consolidates local lines and trunks on your provider’s network. In this way you will be able to reduce hardware and trunk costs while eliminating the need to buy from multiple vendors.
- More Continuity: You can extend the network and geographical redundancy options as well as pre-defined contingency routes to avoid costly outages.
- Investment Protection: Your company can use current legacy PBX line/trunk cards or take advantage of IP-PBX native SIP trunk connectivity.
- Monitoring and Support: The best suppliers provide a complete service suite, including 24/7 network management, continuous monitoring and deployment expertise.
- Straightforward Pricing Strategy: The best providers allow you to add as many SIP channels as the business needs. You can simply purchase another channel if you need to add more. Whenever you need to scale down, you can simply remove the channels from your network. In contrast, other companies require a set monthly price per channel.
Investing in SIP provides a significant return on investment with a small monthly fee over the long run. Look for all of the best SIP trunking supplier options so that your business can take advantage of the features and services it really needs.
In short, the answer to “What is SIP Trunking?” is: a simple way to enhance the same voice capabilities your company already has with legacy phones by using internet-based technology. With SIP, you and your team will have access to video conferencing, chat, instant messaging, collaboration apps, desktop sharing, whiteboards, business analytics and more tools.
Using BCM One’s SIP Trunking Services will allow you to obtain all the functionalities you are already familiar with from traditional analog phone systems, but with the scalability, features and reliability of a next-generation multi-carrier IP network. Contact us today.