This is our 1st of 12 blogs on the subject of SIP Trunks. Subscribe in the box to the right to receive an email notification for each one in the series.
Introduction to SIP Trunking
The phrase “SIP Trunking” or “SIP Trunks,” is increasingly common in the world of telecom and they are rapidly replacing traditional telephone lines. However if you are reading this, you are probably not in the telecom business and would like to know more. Let’s take a look at what, exactly, SIP trunking is and who provides this service in the Bay Area.
Is SIP the Same as VoIP?
To understand SIP trunking you first need to understand VoIP. VoIP is short for Voice over Internet Protocol. It is the name given to any voice call transmitted over a data network. SIP Trunking is a version of VoIP, specifically designed to make and deliver phone calls. Just as a point of interest, Hosted PBX, (a PBX in the cloud that is used as a service in place of a premise PBX) is another version of VoIP.
What is SIP?
SIP stands for “Session Initiation Protocol.” Over the past few years, the telecommunications industry has standardized on SIP as the phone call protocol of choice. A SIP “session” could be a regular phone call between two participants, a multi-party conference call or even a video call.
What Is SIP Trunking?
Now that you better understand SIP, we can move on to the term “SIP Trunk.” A SIP Trunk provides the same service you get from a traditional analog phone line or a channel (Trunk) on a PRI. The difference is, instead of being a physical wire, a SIP Trunk is a “virtual” phone line which is provided by a SIP Trunk provider. It uses your data circuit (T1, Cable modem, DSL, Ethernet over Copper, Fiber, etc.) to connect your phone system to the Internet.
The End of the Traditional Telephone Network
A SIP Trunk costs providers considerably less than traditional telephone service. Customers are dumping their old service to save a ton of money.
Meanwhile the traditional phone companies are losing gobs of money on supporting the old network. They’ve lost over 30% of their customers to wireless and VoIP already and that number grows larger every day. If that’s not enough, the FCC is mandating the end of PSTN to speed the acceptance of an all-IP network. Between customers saving money moving to VoIP, phone companies lobbying to stop losing money on old technology and the Federal Government’s mandate to improve Internet speeds, traditional phone service has reached its end.
Early Fears about VoIP
When VoIP was first being implemented, there were frequently issues over call quality. SIP was a new service that was not fully baked and under-engineered. Plus, Internet quality was many times substandard and the bandwidth inadequate. As a result, there were issues.
But that was then, and this is now. Providers like TeleDynamic offer best-in-breed voice and Internet solutions so call quality is clear and reliable. SIP also offers better fail-over options for businesses that have fears about their phone system crashing. SIP provides a much easier path to move to a hosted PBX at a later date.
Who offers SIP Trunking services?
There are as many choices in SIP trunking as there are in traditional telecom. There are companies that specialize in SIP Trunking. Nearly every data and voice carrier also offers the service. TeleDynamic Communications is the leading SIP Trunk provider here in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The cost of phone calls for VoIP compared to PRI and analog lines are considerably less, saving your business money on its communications. By putting your telephone system onto a data network you could realize savings up to 50% or more on your monthly phone bill.
Trunks, Call Paths & Lines
Different parts of the industry use different names, thus the need for this clarification. For the purposes of this blog, think of these as different names for the same thing – a single Trunk, call path or line supports one phone call with the outside world.
Stay tuned for my next SIP trunking blog, “SIP Trunking Features: What are my needs?” where I explain the features of SIP Trunking and how they can be used to improve your business. Don’t miss out!