Learn about the benefits of SIP Trunking and its implementation
Building a modern business requires investment in unified communication services. A return on that investment is possible with SIP Trunking’s significant cost savings. Yet, how SIP Trunking works and its requirements are usually ignored. We will help you understand what SIP Trunking is, its benefits, and its implementation process.
Definition of SIP Trunking
SIP Trunking is an optimized method of delivering unified communications over the Internet or any IP-based network (e.g. dedicated line for voice). If you are looking for a more complex definition, SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol. SIP is a protocol that transports signaling packets between your PBX and its peer. And Trunks are the IP connections that enable voice and video call transmissions.
Trunking is a method of sharing one line of communication with multiple users.
SIP is a protocol that transports data packets between your PBX and their destination.
PBX or Private Branch Exchange is the device (physical or virtual) responsible for managing your office phone communication.
Main benefits of SIP Trunking
There are numerous advantages associated with the use of SIP Trunking:
SIP Trunking eliminates the mediators between the telecom providers and their customers which means less charging fees for the company. The call rates for internal calls within a company that has implemented SIP Trunking are free. Its technical simplicity significantly reduces the costs related to the installation, configuration, maintenance, hardware, and upscaling. Due to the lightweight structure of SIP technology and the absence of a bulky, physical infrastructure SIP Trunking is considered to be a cost-efficient solution for managing the company’s unified communications.
2. Fast ROI
Minimal initial investments and significant cost savings are the reasons why SIP Trunking is so attractive to businesses. In most cases, the old phone system can remain in place, with no need for major changes in technical equipment. Cost transparency and lack of major investment need result in fast ROI. Companies report up to a 40% decrease in their communication expenses.
3. Scalability and expansion made easy
Telephony services with Sip Trunking are highly adjustable. Lines can be added or removed with no physical restructuring within the limits of the available bandwidth. In times of high-demand channels or other add-ons, communication services can be easily scaled on. And when needed can be removed with no extra charges.
4. Unified communications
SIP Trunking allows businesses to manage all the company’s communication channels from one place. This is possible as with SIP Trunk technology we eliminate the need for two separate voice and data connections. Therefore, voice, data, instant messaging and other communication applications are part of one Unified Communications system and are handled on a single platform.
5. Mobility and increased productivity
Mobile VoIP applications allow employees to use the existing office numbers on their mobile devices. This constant connectivity between offices and field teams ensures smooth professional communication and increased productivity.
6. Flexibility and reliability
SIP Trunking is a trustful and reliable technology, unlike traditional phone services that can easily experience connection interruptions. Should connection failure occur, SIP Trunking providers can redirect numbers in case of connection outages and according to the customer’s needs.
Multiple Direct Phone Numbers
With SIP Trunking, office phone numbers are no longer attached to the physical presence in a certain area. Phone numbers of different regions or countries can often be used regardless of your office location (This option is a subject of the regulation governing the phone numbers).
Remote Offices with Local Numbers
With SIP Trunking technology your organization can build a virtual local presence anywhere around the globe. Employees who work remotely can keep their local phone numbers, related to your company’s headquarters.
Call Detail Records
Call Data Records (CDR) is a useful feature, that gives helpful insights. It allows tracking of business call history in a certain time frame. With SIP trunk they can be analyzed almost instantaneously instead of having to wait for the phone bill at the end of the month.
HD Call Quality
VoIP calls are crystal clear due to the possibility of SIP integration with protocols for the efficient exchange of media data, such as RTP (Real-time Transport Protocol). Fast network connection speed and bandwidth ensure excellent call quality.
Automated fail-over Routing
In case of an emergency (ex. internet or power outage), the disaster recovery option will protect the communications flow. If the main communication channels are down, they could be redirected automatically. The incoming calls will be routed to other secure locations like mobile devices or home phone lines
SIP Trunking services provide personalization of incoming and outgoing calls. The caller ID can be changed for additional exposure, branding, or identification.
International Toll Fraud prevention
International toll fraud prevention is offered by most of the trusted SIP Trunking providers. Suspicious activity and call patterns can be recognized and acted upon. In such cases, international call communication will be suspended to avoid the negative financial effects of fraudulent attacks.
SIP Trunk Monitoring
The benefits of well-monitored Sip Trunking are:
• Detailed information about performance metrics
• Active call monitoring and statistics
• Full-time access to SIP signaling information for a call review
• Monitoring of endpoint devices and device registration.
How does SIP Trunking work
• SIP Trunks connect your on-premises phone systems with the Internet Telephony Service Provider (ITSP).
• Simply put, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) establishes the telephony connection to the World. This could be a standard voice call between two clients or a conference call involving several participants with different phone systems.
• The company’s PBX system could be connected to one or more communication channels, according to the organization’s needs.
• Local and international calls can be made over the Internet, without restrictions to the number of concurrent calls.
SIP Trunking using an existing PBX
SIP Trunking Implementation can utilize a company’s existing PBX infrastructure. Some small technical adjustments are necessary to make it compatible with the traditional communication system. Switching over to VoIP does not necessarily mean buying new phones for all employees. The standard analog phones can be modified for VoIP telephony with adapters and IP network gateways. Instead of buying both desktop and mobile phones, the business can opt only for new mobile devices. Business numbers can be used on personal cell phones. Traditional communication lines could also support video transmission, instant messaging, or other IP-based communication services.
What about SIP Trunking technical equipment requirements
*The needed hardware involves a SIP-compatible PBX (be it Cloud PBX or IP PBX) and IP phones.
*Computers and mobile phones with the software installed and be used as IP phones.
*Conventional desk phones can serve with the help of VoIP modems.
SIP Trunking and the business
Why businesses are switching to SIP Trunk service
Companies move to SIP technology because it meets their business needs. It is reliable, flexible, and agile. It becomes the core of the organization’s integrated system of communication. SIP Trunking eases the communication flow among employees, clients, and partners. This streamlines the team’s collaboration and boosts business productivity
How does SIP help businesses?
• Cost savings
• Unified communications
Those are the big three answers to this question. The immediate cost-saving effect makes more companies choose SIP technology. The business growth is supported by unifying rich communication capabilities into a single network that scales with ease. Fast adjustments to that network according to the company’s needs, enable the company’s resources optimization. SIP Trunking also helps enterprises take advantage of the business environment by providing:
• High mobility across locations
• Full-time availability of the teams
• No investment in physical infrastructure
• No investments in costly hardware
• Reliability and simple management
• Disaster recovery
SIP Trunking associated costs
Direct costs associated with SIP Trunks fall into two main groups. Initial costs like to set up fees and monthly expenses for maintenance and support.
Usually, the setup fee is predetermined and is not related to the number of channels a company needs.
Monthly trunk charges
This variable fee depends on the number of purchased channels within a company. Based on the call records history and development plans, the needed channels can be calculated.
Unlimited plans or metered calling options are the two alternatives. The first one refers to the unlimited number of inbound and outbound long-distance and international calls. The metered calling option includes paying for each minute that a call is performed.
Number porting and new numbers
Transferring the phone numbers or buying new ones is fast and easy. Numbers porting normally means a one-time fee while buying new phone numbers is bound to ongoing monthly costs.
Paying for toll-free numbers can be associated with recurring monthly costs. The charges can vary significantly depending on the pricing plan offered by the SIP Provider.
Old PBX that doesn’t support SIP Trunking might have to be replaced. With a cheaper alternative being Cloud PBX solutions. If your conventional PBX supports SIP Trunking, VoIP gateways have to be bought to allow conversion between traditional and SIP calls.
Additional Internet bandwidth might have to be bought depending on the concurrent call channels.
Deploying SIP trunking
Are the up-front costs steep?
SIP Trunking deployment requires minimal up-front costs. Cloud PBX can be rented and the price of IP phones is not too high.
Is the network ready for SIP Trunking?
Having enough bandwidth available: The required bandwidth can be calculated according to the number of expected simultaneous calls
Having the right Private Branch Exchange: Cloud PBX can be rented or existing on-premise IP-PBX can be used.
What kind of equipment is needed for SIP Trunking?
The equipment necessary for SIP Trunking consists of 3 major components:
IP or Cloud PBX – the PBX grants communication flow between two or more endpoints over an IP network. It switches calls between local lines and VoIP users
ITSP – it provides connectivity to the Public Switched Telephone Network from an IP network for fixed communications or mobile devices.
Border element – ensures the connectivity between an organization’s internal IP network, the PSTN, and the external IP-carrier network. This component can be a SIP capable firewall, SIP enabling edge device connected to a firewall or a switch.
Calculating SIP’s bandwidth needs
The amount of SIP’s bandwidth needed for smooth communication depends on three main factors
1. Determine the number of expected simultaneous calls at any given point in time. This can vary depending on the company’s organizational structure and calls intensity
2. The voice codec used by the SIP provider defines the IP bandwidth needed to support each separate call. Usually, 120 kbps upload and download speed is required for each call.
3. It is simple to calculate the necessary IP bandwidth. Multiply the expected number of concurrent calls by the consumption of bandwidth (given by your SIP provider) per call. After that add a margin of 10% for technical reasons.
(100 kb per second for single call means that a cheap 20 Mbps internet connection is enough for 150 concurrent calls)
Finding the right SIP Trunking provider
Several features should be considered when an organization searches for the right SIP service provider. We recommend that these questions are answered before signing a contract:
• Voice call quality – IP voice calls use a portion of the internet connection. Choose a provider that also offers internet as a service.
• Reliability – Good infrastructure guarantees consistency in voice calls. Choose a vendor that also provides PBX services.
• Security – fundamental security principles should be followed to protect the company’s communication networks from fraud and attacks.
• Scalability – How easy is to scale up or down and how the price packages change.
• Compatibility – make sure the provider can adjust its solutions to the client’s needs
• Costs – look for SIP Trunk providers that offer flexible pricing options
• Simplicity – the right service provider should make configuration and upkeep rather simple from both a technological and administrative standpoint.
• Flexibility – investigate if there are flexible in terms of phone numbers changes, IP addresses access, phone system adjustment, or softphones configuration
• Expertise in customer support – make sure the provider is an expert when it comes to complicated installations, scaling, unexpected troubleshooting, and more.
• Contract length – it is common that SIP providers offer short-term contracts
Migrating from PSTN to SIP Trunking
Switching from PSTN to SIP Trunking services is executed in 4 steps
• SIP Trunking vendors change
– Check if there is an option for phone number transfer and how long it takes.
– Research terms and conditions of providers’ offerings and prices, since this is an unregulated service and the package features can vary.
– Discuss issues like troubleshooting methods, SIP trunk status monitoring calls rerouting, etc.
• Deployment of SIP Trunk solution
– Consider geographical phases for the deployment schedule, the regional differences in costs, and the provider’s connectivity capabilities
• Designing SIP Trunking Network
– Is the data network protected from denial of service attacks?
– How are the troubleshooting problems resolved?
– Are the tools for call management and status monitoring provided?
– What kind of SIP Trunk it is – centralized or distributed?
• SIP Trunking service security
– The SIP Trunk system and the PBX type, determine the level of security planned for the business network. Smaller organizations usually rely on either firewalls or NAT devices as security border devices. Big companies’ data networks often opt for a Layer 7 SBC device for additional protection.
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