How Will SIP Trunking Help My Business?
This article by Robert Pepper was originally posted on GetVoIP.com.
SIP Trunking combines your voice, video and data networks into a single line. That’s right – local, long distance and broadband Internet service all rolled into one. By dynamically allocating your bandwidth you can keep your real time traffic on the internet, and off the PSTN as much as possible. This gives you several advantages over traditional telephony, and even over older VoIP protocols. Before SIP, you needed a Primary Rate Interface (PRI) to carry voice, data, and video over one line. SIP Trunking eliminates the need for BRIs (Basic Rate Inerfaces), PRIs, and PSTN gateways. With SIP, your business VoIP provider sets up a proxy server, also called a SIP proxy, which provisions incoming, outgoing, and PBX calls. Instead of an IT team, or IT contractor, your provider takes care of all technical support, saving you time and money.
In terms of pricing, SIP Trunks are considerably cheaper than traditional analog circuits. How much cheaper? Well, on average, the cost of SIP trunks will range from about $20 to $30 per trunk, while analog circuits will run you about $40 dollars per circuit. Long distance termination charges with SIP Trunks are also significantly less than traditional analog or TDM rates. With SIP, all calls are local calls. For your customers, that means that both incoming and outgoing calls have a local area code, giving a sense of familiarity and closeness to customers, and a lower bill for your business. SIP calls are a fraction of a penny per minute. Toll-Free SIP numbers are available as well.
A PRI has 23 channels. If you want 24 channels, you have to purchase a second PRI with 24 channels. You might have 20 unused channels at a time. With SIP If you need to add, subtract, or move a line, just make the arrangements with your provider – you never will have more or less than you need. In fact, even if you move into a new office, you keep all the same inbound numbers and internal extensions. To further clarify, SIP Trunks are catered to your needs, and may be purchased in increments of one, rather than overloading your office, and turning your pockets inside out.
Existing System Integration & Ease of Implementation
SIP Trunks only require a SIP-ready PBX, which can be modified to function with traditional analog or key systems with an IAD (Integrated Access Device). As explained above, SIP totally eliminates BRIs, PRIs, and/or local PSTN. In the event you are increasing your internet speed and capacity (which is suggested as systems become more complex), moving from one E1/T1 to two will require additional hardware. Additionally, multi-site companies may communicate via a single SIP trunking account as opposed to multiple sub PRI connections. Building an infrastructure is relatively inexpensive, requiring the purchase of an IP-PBX, IP Phones, IP enabled devices or softphones,Taking things a necessary step further, it is also prudent to put a SIP-aware firewall in place to regulate VoIP traffic. The ROI on these systems is typically fast and apparent – you’ll be glad you made the switch.
SIP Trunk Failover & Disaster Recovery
In the event of an emergency or disabling of communications at your location, SIP trunks will automatically reroute calls to other locations and extensions via predetermined failover services. For example, a power outage might set your incoming calls to be automatically rerouted to a satellite office. With the rapid growth of mobile device use and BYOD, many companies set forwarding options to their smartphones. Aside from being great for communications on the go, mobile devices are a great stop-gap and backup measure in the event your primary communications happen to go down for short, or even prolonged periods of time. Additionally, many of these systems are optimized to adjust to networks, requiring low bandwidth use of data, or even Wi-Fi, which makes calling completely free.
For companies that have an international presence, or are looking into outsourcing, SIP can take your business to the next level. You can have customer service staff spread across the country or even the world. Your company will be open for business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
With SIP, you don’t even need a phone line at all. A SIP URI (Session Initiation Protocol Uniform Resource Identifiers) is an addressing schema that involves numbers and the host name, so it might look like “sip:email@example.com,” or sip:112233@ 18.104.22.168.” This system bypasses the PSTN entirely, and, just as you wouldn’t pay for an email, you won’t pay a nickel to connect to another SIP number. To boot, many workers, both remote and on-site, are finding pleasure and ease in using their own IP-Enabled devices for SIP, including smartphones, PDAs, laptops, and tablets.
The advantages of SIP help level the playing field, making it easier for small businesses to appear large and professional, and easier for large businesses to maintain a local presence. Either way, the most important feature of any system is that it be reliable and add to your bottom line. VoIP business services and SIP specifically, help you do just that.
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