Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024
Fundamentals of SIP Trunking

SIP trunking has made a boom in the business world, gradually eliminating the use of traditional phone lines. Trunking services are expected to grow at an annual rate of thirteen percent by 2030. Let’s see the fundamentals of SIP trunking.

SIP, Session Initiation Protocol, relies on the internet to send voice and other types of messages to anywhere in the world as long as the receiver has a telephone number. SIP trunks consist of channels, available in unlimited numbers. The benefits of this communication solution overshadow traditional telephony, as they include scalability, globalization, cost-effectiveness, reliability, an immediate return on investment, configurability, etc. 

These are the fundamentals of SIP trunking.

SIP channels

SIP trunks are often mistaken for SIP channels, even though both terms differ in meaning. The latter are usually referred to as SIP lines, given the resemblance in operation to traditional telephone lines. The former refers to a category of such channels. The more channels businesses add, the greater the SIP capacity. 

Unlike traditional phone systems, there is no need for additional configuration and infrastructure when adding new channels. Regarding billing, SIP channels are charged at a fixed inbound traffic rate per month instead of being charged per minute of usage. Another type of billing structure is the metered connections, imposing no limits on concurrent calls but bill usage per minute. 

Benefits

SIP technology is believed to have numerous benefits over traditional telephony, one of which is undoubtedly scalability. Traditional telephony systems used by businesses are limited regarding capacity, thus impeding the scaling process. Primary Rate Interface (PRI) lines generally contain no more than twenty-three voice channels. In case a company is interested in increasing this channel number, it should have its on-site equipment serviced. Visit this website to gain better insight into Primary Rate Interface (PRI). 

Nevertheless, SIP trunks are easily scalable due to their software implementation. New channels can be added at any time without worrying about the equipment. The scalability of these trunks isn’t just favorable when demand increases but also when demand drops. Channels can be removed whenever businesses need to scale their capacity down. Even if they don’t predict their capacity demand correctly, they can scale it up or down easily. 

Another reason why companies prefer SIP trunking over traditional telephony is globalization. Traditional telephone systems don’t allow companies to expand their communications on a worldwide level as easily as SIP trunking. SIP providers can establish a connection with local providers in any foreign country, thus routing the calls to a given country via the internet for them to be charged as local calls.

As a result, businesses will no longer be obliged to establish relationships with local telecom providers in different countries. Globalization also allows companies to use local numbers in every country, although they aren’t physically present there. Whenever businesses wish to enter a new market, they can advertise a local number, thus gaining the trust of customers more quickly. 

The growing popularity of this protocol is the absence of physical infrastructure. SIP providers have no such infrastructure to maintain, which significantly reduces the operating costs. The savings on operating costs are translated into reduced usage rates in comparison to those of traditional phone calls. 

Another factor that benefits the budgets of companies is the opportunity for them to save on international and long-distance calls. By using the smart call routing feature, long-distance and international calls aren’t subjected to surcharges, as these are routed over the web to the final destination. Instead of being charged as international or long-distance calls, they are charged as local calls. 

Such routing of calls is only subjected to local charges. Consequently, SIP providers are more capable of providing simple pricing plans to their clients. Unlike traditional telecommunication bills, SIP charges involve no hidden sub-charges and transit fees. These pricing plans allow customers to easily predict the rates and be tariffed in accordance with the dialed prefix. 

Companies switching from traditional telephony to SIP trunking communications are likely to experience an immediate return on investment. Given SIP communications are conducted over the internet, there is almost no initial capital to invest in when switching to such a solution. For further guidance on the limitations and developments of Return on Investment (ROI), see this URL https://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/returnoninvestment.asp.    

Reliability is another exceptional benefit of such trunking, which makes it more favorable than conventional telephony. The most important advantages can be seen in the field of disaster recovery. Natural disasters, like earthquakes, tornados, and flooding, are infamous for doing damage to traditional telephony systems. This isn’t the case with SIP trunks, as providers are in charge of operating their own networks. 

Business continuity is easily maintained with SIP trunking, especially due to the use of softphones. These softphones serve to replace traditional desk phone handsets, which are significantly more expensive. Companies using softphones and Session Initiation Protocol trunking enable their employees to maintain communication from anywhere, not just their work desks. It goes in favor of remote working that has become normal last year. The calls made to the employees’ softphones, and desk phone numbers can be easily forwarded to their mobiles. 

Configurability is definitely a key benefit of software communication systems like SIP trunking, as it allows companies to maintain better control of every communication aspect. Some of the most important configuration capabilities include adding or removing call capacity, setting up call forwarding between numbers, monitoring call volumes and traffic in the real-time, smart routing of calls to different departments, employees, and offices, configuring call extensions, enabling or disabling calling to certain destinations, etc. 

Most trunking providers create a user interface for their clients to have access to their configuration options. Also, some of these providers even offer application programming interfaces for businesses to automate configuration changes as per their needs. 

SIP trunking is famous for its ability to unify communications, enabling employees to communicate seamlessly with one another, as well as with their customers. By offering unified communications as a service, these providers unify voice communication, messaging, video calling, fax, and conferencing into a single interface. 

What features should SIP providers offer?  

An essential feature to search for in a trunking provider is a private IP network. Instead of using the public internet, these suppliers should have their own private IP networks, having numerous points of presence worldwide. Such purpose-built communication networks minimize latency and packet loss, which guarantees impeccable call quality. 

Private IP networks are more secure than the public internet, as communications are less targeted on a secure network. If interested in SIP communication solutions, this is what SIP is and how it modernizes business communications. These solutions enable customers to select end-to-end encryption, which is the best defense against hacker attacks. 

Moreover, such providers maintain communications with various carriers all over the globe. Therefore, companies are advised to find a provider with licensed carrier status, verifying compliance with the regulatory requirements in the country of interest. Such a license is necessary for these providers to access local phone numbers and make global communications easier. 

Another thing to search for in these providers is 24/7 support. The configurable character of SIP trunking provides businesses with control over the process of communication, which can be complex for organizations with no prior experience in this field. Support centers, however, are created to help customers in maintaining, updating, and configuring their systems. Also, these support centers provide round-the-clock assistance such as issue diagnosis, troubleshooting, and suggesting configuration changes. 

In addition, these support centers are also known as network operation centers (NOCs), with engineers ready to help at any time. Such support is usually available to all customers of trunking providers, but you are still recommended to verify this fact. Some suppliers might offer 24/7 support only to loyal customers who meet the minimum spend limits. 

Furthermore, these providers should offer next-generation telephony tools, which control communications in an innovative way. For example, they should provide smart interactive voice response systems used for interacting with incoming callers and routing their calls to the corresponding recipients. Also, make sure there are call recording systems, which allow keeping a record of internal conversations, meetings, and sales calls.

Smart routing systems are another telephony tool to consider. These systems route incoming calls on the basis of the caller ID. Additionally, your company should be provided with custom conference calling solutions offering muting policies, welcome messages, and exceptional recording settings. Conversely, call tracking is a tool recommended to businesses that wish to understand their sales funnel. Its role is to match cold calls to their corresponding campaign. 

Easy configuration and monitoring should be offered by each provider for businesses to configure their communication in a way they see fit. Such freedom of configuration should include custom call routing, blocking international destinations, scaling capacity up and down, selecting media streaming codecs, etc. 

Final word

At a technical level, virtual PBXs and SIP trunking relies upon the Session Initiation Protocol.  A Virtual PBX can improve efficiency by directing callers to the right person or department. SIP trunks can improve existing PBX infrastructures and offer custom routing. Companies are no longer obliged to pay for more capacity than they need. 

Upfront costs are minimal, whereas the return on investment immediate!

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