SIP trunking is a modern method of connecting a company’s telephone system to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). It allows businesses to make and receive phone calls over the internet, rather than traditional phone lines. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what SIP trunking is, how it works, and the benefits and drawbacks of using it for your business.
What is SIP Trunking?
SIP trunking, or session initiation protocol trunking, is a method of voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) that allows businesses to use the internet to make and receive phone calls. It works by using a SIP trunk, which is a virtual telephone line that connects a business’s phone system to the PSTN. The SIP trunk acts as a bridge between the business’s phone system and the PSTN, allowing phone calls to be made and received over the internet.
How Does SIP Trunking Work?
SIP trunking works by routing phone calls over the internet, rather than traditional phone lines. When a call is made or received, the SIP trunk sends a request to the PSTN to establish a connection. The PSTN then routes the call to the appropriate destination, whether it’s another phone on the same network or a phone outside of the network.
The SIP trunk acts as a virtual telephone line, allowing the business to make and receive phone calls over the internet. This means that the business can use its existing phone system, such as a PBX (private branch exchange) system, to make and receive calls.
There are several types of hardware that may be associated with SIP trunking, depending on the specific needs and requirements of a business. Here are some examples of hardware that may be used:
- IP PBX (private branch exchange) system: This is a type of phone system that uses internet protocol (IP) to route calls. An IP PBX system is often used in conjunction to allow businesses to make and receive phone calls over the internet.
- SIP phones: These are specialized phones that use SIP (session initiation protocol) to make and receive phone calls over the internet. SIP phones are often used in conjunction with an IP PBX system and SIP trunking to allow businesses to make and receive phone calls over the internet.
- Router: A router is a device that connects a business’s local area network (LAN) to the internet. It is used to provide internet access to the IP PBX system and SIP phones, allowing them to make and receive phone calls over the internet.
- Firewall: A firewall is a security system that controls incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules. In a SIP trunking setup, a firewall can be used to protect the business’s network and phone system from cyber threats such as hacking and data breaches.
- Ethernet switch: An Ethernet switch is a networking device that connects devices to a network using Ethernet cables. It may be used to connect the IP PBX system, SIP phones, and other networking devices to the router.
- VPN (a virtual private network): A VPN is a private network that uses a public network (such as the internet) to securely connect remote sites or users. It may be used to securely connect remote employees or locations to the business’s phone system.
- QoS (quality of service) device: A QoS device is a networking device that helps to ensure that network traffic is prioritized properly, resulting in better quality and performance for real-time applications such as phone calls. It may be used to help ensure that phone calls are clear and reliable.
Benefits of SIP Trunking
There are several benefits to using SIP trunking for your business, including:
- Cost savings: SIP Trunking is a cost-effective solution for businesses looking to reduce their phone bills and hardware costs. By using the internet to make calls instead of traditional phone lines, businesses can often save money on their monthly phone bills. In addition, it may eliminate the need for expensive hardware such as PBX systems and phone lines, resulting in further cost savings. International calling can also be more affordable with it, as it allows businesses to bypass traditional phone carriers and make calls over the internet at a lower cost. It can also be less expensive to maintain than traditional phone systems, as it is software-based and may require fewer updates and repairs. Finally, it can simplify billing by consolidating multiple services onto a single bill, making it easier for businesses to track and manage their expenses.
- Scalability: SIP Trunking is highly scalable, meaning it can easily adapt to the changing needs of a business. This can be particularly useful for businesses that experience fluctuations in their call volume or need to quickly add or remove phone lines. With SIP Trunking, it is easy to add or remove phone lines as needed, without the need to purchase additional hardware or make other costly changes to the phone system. This flexibility makes SIP Trunking an ideal solution for businesses that are growing or experiencing changes in their call volume. Additionally, it can easily integrate with other technologies, such as Unified Communications (UC) systems, which can further enhance its scalability and flexibility. SIP Trunking’s ability to scale up or down to meet the needs of a business makes it a highly adaptable and cost-effective solution for businesses of all sizes.
- Flexibility: SIP trunking allows businesses to use their existing phone system, making it easy to switch to a VoIP system without having to purchase new hardware. It also allows businesses to make and receive calls from any location with an internet connection, giving them the flexibility to work remotely.
- Enhanced features: SIP trunking often comes with enhanced features, such as call forwarding, voicemail, and call waiting, which can improve the overall efficiency and productivity of a business.
Drawbacks of SIP Trunking
While SIP trunking has many benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider:
- Dependence on internet connection: SIP trunking relies on an internet connection to make and receive calls. This means that if the internet goes down, the business’s phone system will also be down.
- Quality issues: The quality of a connection can be affected by the quality of the internet connection. If the internet connection is slow or unstable, it can result in poor call quality or dropped calls.
SIP & VoIP
SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) is a signaling protocol used for initiating, maintaining, modifying and terminating real-time sessions that involve video, voice, messaging and other communications applications and services between two or more endpoints on IP networks. SIP is used to establish and terminate voice and video calls, as well as other types of communication sessions such as video conferences, and is a key component of many VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) systems.
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a method for transmitting voice, fax, and other types of data over the Internet or other IP networks. It allows users to make and receive phone calls, send and receive faxes, and conduct other types of communication using the Internet rather than traditional telephone lines. VoIP uses a variety of protocols and technologies, including SIP, to facilitate communication over the Internet.
In summary, SIP is a protocol used to initiate and terminate communication sessions, while VoIP is a method for transmitting voice and other types of communication over the Internet or other IP networks using protocols such as SIP.
Cost of SIP Trunking
The cost can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the specific needs and requirements of a business, the provider being used, and the location of the business. Some of the factors that can influence the cost include:
- Number of phone lines: The cost of SIP trunking is often based on the number of phone lines needed by a business. A business with a large number of phone lines will typically pay more for SIP trunking than a business with a smaller number of phone lines.
- Minutes of use: Some SIP trunking providers charge based on the number of minutes used, so businesses that make a large number of calls may pay more for SIP trunking than businesses that make fewer calls.
- Long-distance and international calls: The cost of long-distance and international calls can vary widely depending on the provider and the destination of the call. Some SIP trunking providers offer discounted rates for long-distance and international calls, while others may charge higher rates for these types of calls.
- Features and capabilities: SIP trunking providers often offer different packages with different features and capabilities, such as voicemail, call forwarding, and conference calling. The cost can vary depending on the specific features and capabilities included in the package.
- Hardware and setup costs: In addition to the cost of SIP trunking itself, businesses may also need to purchase hardware such as IP PBX systems, SIP phones, and networking equipment. These costs can vary depending on the specific needs and requirements of the business.
In general, the cost of SIP trunking can range from a few hundred dollars per month for small businesses with a few phone lines to several thousand dollars per month for larger businesses with a larger number of phone lines and more advanced features. It’s important for businesses to carefully consider their needs and budget when choosing a SIP trunking provider.
Transitioning from PSTN to SIP Trunking
If your business is currently using a public switched telephone network (PSTN) and you are considering transitioning, there are a few steps you can take to ensure a smooth transition:
- Determine your needs: Before making the switch to SIP trunking, it’s important to carefully consider your business’s needs and how SIP trunking can meet them. This may include things like the number of phone lines needed, the types of features you want, and the location of your business.
- Research providers: Once you know your business’s needs, it’s time to research SIP trunking providers. Look for a provider that offers the features and capabilities you need at a price that fits your budget. Be sure to read reviews and ask for references from other businesses that have used the provider.
- Test the system: Before fully transitioning to a SIP trunking setup, it’s important to test the system to ensure that it’s working properly. This may include making test calls to ensure that the quality is satisfactory and that the features are working as expected.
- Update your phone system: If you are using a PBX (private branch exchange) system, you will need to update it to support SIP trunking. This may involve adding a SIP gateway or other hardware to your existing system.
- Train your employees: Once you have made the switch to SIP trunking, it’s important to train your employees on how to use the new system. This may include things like making and receiving calls, accessing voicemail, and using other features such as call forwarding and conference calling.
- Monitor the system: After the switch, it’s important to monitor the system to ensure that it’s working properly. This may involve tracking call quality, monitoring the use of features, and tracking any issues that may arise.
By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth transition from PSTN to SIP trunking for your business.
SIP Trunking is a powerful and cost-effective communication solution that can help businesses streamline their phone systems and improve their productivity. With SIP Trunking, businesses can make and receive calls over the internet, eliminating the need for dedicated phone lines and expensive hardware. In addition, SIP Trunking is highly scalable, allowing businesses to easily add or remove phone lines as needed, and it can easily integrate with other technologies, such as Unified Communications (UC) systems. While SIP Trunking does depend on internet connectivity and there are potential security concerns to consider, these can be mitigated with proper planning and implementation. If you are looking for a phone system? Contact our experts at Jaxcom & we’ll be happy to be of service.