Way back in 2008, SIP was billed as the future of telecommunications. Well, the future is finally here. How does SIP work? If you’re thinking about investing in SIP for your organization, this will help you understand the approach to communications a bit better.
What is SIP?
SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol. That may not mean much to you, but in telecommunications, this is a game-changer.
SIP is the technology that makes Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services possible. VoIP is the ability to make voice calls and send messages over internet networks.
Phone Lines Before SIP
Before smartphones and sophisticated IP-based telecommunications systems, you used a regular landline. These would be touchtone phones, and before that, rotary phones were used.
Landline systems have two main parts: the PBX and PRI.
PRI stands for Primary Rate Interface. This technology came about in the 1980s and was the main form of business telecommunications for about 30 years.
PRI is the physical line that would connect calls and data to a phone company’s main network. These lines were a couple of basic copper wires that could be split into 23 different lines.
Your calls would start when you dialed the phone. The call would go to a terminal, then get sent to the phone company’s central office. The call would then get routed to another central office to the terminal at the company you’re trying to reach and then to the person. After all of that, hopefully, they pick up the call.
There was no way for small businesses to slowly scale up with these systems. It was 23 lines or nothing. That meant many unneeded lines costing small businesses money.
The second part of a legacy phone system is the PBX (private branch exchange). This is the internal phone network within an organization. The PBX contains all of your typical phone features such as call forwarding, voicemail, transferring calls and calling within the organization. PBX is also used to handle external calls.
How Does SIP Work?
SIP works by taking similar concepts but running the calls over the internet rather than regular phone networks. You don’t need to use a phone network’s PRI anymore because you take the phone company out of the equation.
PRI has been replaced by SIP trunks, which route calls to the public switched telephone network.
The main role of SIP is to start and end a data transmission. That can be in the form of a voice call, instant message, or video chat.
You need to have a SIP address or account, which you can try out for free. Once you have an account, you have to install a SIP client on a device, like a mobile phone or computer.
SIP will initiate the call. The call will then go to your servers, where the SIP trunk will send that call through your business network to the telephone network. The call will then get routed to its destination.
When the call ends, SIP will terminate the call on your network.
The Benefits of SIP
Now that you know how SIP works, how can it benefit your business? These are some of the ways SIP can improve your telecommunications.
– Reduced Costs: Because you can buy the exact number of SIP channels you need, and eliminate expensive PRI contracts, your business is likely to have lower communication costs with SIP.
– Increased Flexibility: Because SIP channels can easily be provisioned on-line, you can add or reduce channels at any time. There’s no need to schedule an installation or interrupt business.
– Location Independence: If your business moves or you have employees who want to work from home, SIP trunking is ideal. There’s no location-dependant hardware to install or move.
Get Started with SIP
Business needs have changed over the years. So have their telecommunications needs. Everything needs to be done faster. They also need to be more efficient.
Using SIP instead of standard landlines can help businesses of every size do more with less.
Are you ready to get started with SIP? Get started today.