Considered to be one of the most flexible and affordable ways to connect a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking is now a strategic technology. Businesses seek to gain the benefits it offers in cost savings, reduced management requirements, and more. So, how do you evaluate whether or not your business needs a SIP trunk and can realize benefits from that technology? First, it’s important to understand how SIP trunking works. Will the technology scale with your business? Does it provide the security and redundancy you require? And, what benefits will your business gain?
What is SIP Trunking and How Does It Work?
Session Initiation Protocol, or SIP, is the communications procedure that delivers voice and media services through an Internet Protocol (IP) to an IP PBX. PBXs connect telephone extensions to the PSTN as well as internal phone extensions.
SIP trunking’s primary function is to enable the convergence of voice and data over a single-broadband connection. Instead of traveling over traditional phone lines, the calls use the IP network and route through a broadband connection over the Internet to the PSTN. Domains for that connection can be through a private network or public or both. Using SIP trunking for your business requires a SIP trunk at the same location as your PBX.
What are the Key Benefits of SIP Trunking?
The move to using business VoIP services in a unified communications mix help position SIP trunking as a strategic initiative for many businesses. Several benefits drive the shift to using SIP trunks.
A SIP trunk increases your savings in several ways. Overall savings range from 20 to 60%. Traditionally, analog phone lines used channels on the Primary Rate Interface (PRI) and required several PRIs to maintain demand for inbound and outbound traffic. Many traditional carriers now no longer offer PRIs in some parts of the US as SIP trunking and the associated technology displaces the need.
Another area of cost savings is in the hardware and maintenance requirements. SIP trunks are virtual. No wireline required for each phone. No expensive on premise hardware needed. No ongoing maintenance updates mandated. And typically, business calling features are part of the SIP trunking setup—not charged as a separate add on feature.
SIP trunking works especially well for companies with multiple locations. The technology supports each of your locations and requires less provisioning than traditional telephony. Additionally, the more SIP channels you have (a SIP trunk generally come with 24 channels), the greater your simultaneous call capacity is.
Some of the advantages of SIP trunking save your company significant money, but the overall flexibility of this technology saves you time and alleviates overall stress. Because SIP trunks are virtual and provisioned over your Internet connection, it’s quite simple to add capacity, which makes your planning and optimization process much easier. It’s easy to scale—add or remove team members as your business requires with no additional hardware costs.
Disaster Recovery & Security
One of the great benefits of SIP trunking is the ease of setting up re-routing in case of emergencies such as power loss. Cloud-based services do not have the limitations of on premise hardware and backup systems when it comes to ease of recovery setup. Your provider can discuss failover and redundancy measures with you to ensure your recovery strategy meets your business requirements.
A key concern with SIP trunking and cloud communications revolves around security. Be sure your provider walks you through security measures you need to take and ones the provider includes as part of your service. You want to know that your data remains private and protected from breaches and toll fraud.
What Factors Determine Your SIP Trunk Pricing?
On average, SIP trunks cost between $10-$50 per month for each channel Some providers offer bundles that also include the monthly calling costs. Basically, your call traffic is virtual and leverages all the benefits of virtual phone numbers. Consider your specific requirements when shopping a SIP Trunking and VoIP provider. Do you want to connect an existing PBX system to the cloud? What percent of your calls are inbound? Outbound? What geographies? How many concurrent calls? How much bandwidth?
Approximate your bandwidth need:
Number of concurrent calls during peak business hours
X 85 kilobits per second
= Bandwidth in megabits per second (Mbps) needed to support communications
Your provider can help you determine what you need to operate efficiently and cost effectively. Plans vary by provider including bundles, metered, and channel (unlimited) plans. Are there any one-time setup fees? Are you porting your phone numbers? Do you need new numbers? Are you seeking to integrate with your legacy PBX? If so, you will need to purchase a VoIP gateway. Is your current PBX IP-enabled? If yes, there is no need to purchase additional equipment.
Have More Questions?
With our 16+ years’ experience in helping customers around the world move to cloud-based communications, AVOXI offers a breath of knowledge we share in multiple articles. Check out these resources as you determine your business needs for SIP trunking. Of course, we’re always ready to assist. Just contact us to match your requirements for a compelling, cost saving solution.