SIP trunking: what every business should know

10th October 2018

In the fast-changing world of business, it’s crucial to embrace change – and your company’s telephone system might prove a worthy case in point. By now, you might already know that BT intends to axe its PSTN and ISDN networks by 2025, as IT Pronotes.VOIP SIP IP PHONE SERVICE

This leaves open the question of which alternative phone system to which your firm should switch if it still uses a legacy PSTN or ISDN system. SIP trunking can help you to transfer to a modern system.

The difference between VoIP and SIP

It can be too easy to confuse SIP trunking with VoIP, a form of business communication with many well-publicised benefits. However, while VoIP would indeed fit the criteria of a modern system due to its facilitation of online-based voice calls, SIP isn’t quite the same thing.

It would perhaps be best to describe SIP as a “signalling” protocol within VoIP communication; this is how IT Briefcasedescribes it. So, what exactly is a SIP trunk?

How does SIP trunking work?

Usually, in telecoms terminology, a “trunk” is a physical phone line. However, a SIP trunk differs in being virtual, relieving the need for physical wires to be connected or crossed. Hence, SIP trunking refers to implementing SIP trunks and, in the process, metaphorically cutting the physical cord.

Our telecoms company, Planet Numbers, can carry out SIP trunking on your behalf – and so give your company’s existing communications system a single point of entry.

The savings with a modern system can be immense

If you are weighing up moving towards SIP trunking, it might not be just that BT-imposed cut-off date of 2025 for your current system’s functionality that is weighing heavily on your mind.

You might also be thinking of the benefits which your company could reap. As multiple SIP trunks could enable you to connect a range of corporate outposts and let customers call you cheaply even from overseas, the savings can significantly stack up, maybe even touching 99% with a VoIP system.

You can rid your business of portability issues

While VoIP provides a modern medium for audio transmission, you can also add video and messaging to your telecoms palette if you opt for SIP trunks. Furthermore, as voice and data will be channeled through the same network, this can unleash an impressive degree of flexibility.

Due to how SIP trunks are set up, you will be able to integrate your telecoms system with new offices or relocated premises – all without needing to draw upon complex call-forwarding.

Can your company’s current infrastructure support SIP trunks?

You might study your current voice system only to notice that its configuration supports strictly ISDN. That wouldn’t be a very future-proof system, for reasons that are already clear; however, you might alternatively discover that the PBX could support SIP.

The PBX could include an IP network interface for meeting this end. However, check whether that interface is enabled or you would need to pay an extra license fee to unlock it.

You can easily tinker with SIP trunking capacity

One of the most powerful incentives of moving to a SIP system is its ready scalability in comparison to, for example, an ISDN model. In this respect, ISDN is hamstrung by its physical configuration of the two channel Basic Rate or 30 channel Primary Rate, says Information Age.

This arrangement leaves zero scalability for businesses seeking to grow. However, SIP trunking is very different in letting firms quickly change the tally of channels as suitable.

A SIP system can be complemented with hardware

If your current PBX lacks support for SIP, you could source either a new PBX or a SIP to ISDN gateway. Even if your existing PBX already lets you plug a SIP trunk through an IP interface, going through with this could pose a security risk rectifiable with a Session Border Controller (SBC).

Rest assured, however, that going down the SIP trunking route tends not to entail heavy expenditure on new hardware. When you task Planet Numbers employees with SIP trunking for your company, you will have the option of keeping your office’s traditional handsets.

Put security in place on the software side, too

You have ready access to voice firewall products which can take you just minutes to download and install for use in the cloud. You could call these products virtual SBCs.

You can benefit from a truly future-proof system

We have already shed some light on why this is so with SIP trunking. You can still take the initiative to strengthen your SIP system’s long-term resilience yet further – such as by working to improve that system’s security.

It could take us just a few days – depending on what size of network you require – to provide operational SIP trunks for your firm; to get started, dial our free-to-call number 0800 088 6886.