IP telephony, also known as internet protocol telephony, offers users the opportunity to use an internet connection for a variety of communications, including voice calling, voicemail, or video conferencing. The technology, which has been around since 1973 and available to consumers in the mid-1990s, has offered a considerable expansion of available communication technology and modernized the way people communicate.
Thanks to IP telephony, which serves as the foundation of modern VoIP services, businesses and private consumers alike can now use their internet connections to communicate, rather than needing an entirely separate phone line or platform. By 2024, it is estimated that the VoIP market will reach approximately $194.5 billion, making it a vital technology across the globe.
IP Telephony: Defined
Generally speaking, two-way voice transmission over an IP network is IP Telephony. You often hear IP Telephony and VoIP used interchangeably; still, the terms VoIP and SIP are more widely known for the services offered, and IP Telephony is the technology behind them.
The internet and it’s TCP/IP protocol suite started to turn data communications and the telephone industry on its head in the 1990s. It wasn’t long before IP became the universal transport method for data and video communications, and now it has mostly become the basis for voice communication.
The Difference Between VoIP and IP Telephony
VoIP is specifically related to sending voice traffic over an IP network. IP telephony, on the other hand, can refer to any telephone-type services that are carried over an IP network. Those services may include things like:
- Instant messaging/text messaging
- Video calling
- Video conferencing
- Direct phone calls
- Phone conferences
IP telephony can, in some cases, include considerably more services than you would usually receive through a VoIP package. However, VoIP services do fall under the umbrella of IP telephony. VoIP services, using their literal definition, encompass only those voice-based communication services that travel over an IP network. However, many people, including IT professionals, continue to use those terms interchangeably.
Related: Why Use VoIP for Business in 2022
The Best of IP Telephony: Introducing SIP
SIP, also known as session initiation protocol, is the signaling protocol used to help establish, maintain, and close virtual phone sessions, making it a key part of the IP telephony protocol.
The call process generally includes two distinct phases. First, you have to set up the call, which means providing all the details necessary to allow the two or more users to communicate. Then, there is a data transfer phase, during which that communication begins to take place. SIP is the protocol that operates during the setup phase of a call session.
When you work with a SIP provider, you will get a SIP address and a SIP client on your computer or mobile device. The client, installed on your device, contains the information you need to communicate via internet technology.
These SIP clients and applications can be used for both internal and external communications. Effectively, SIP protocols bypass the PRI lines, or the phone line connection, and allow for communication via the internet.
It also helps save money on many of those external communications, since there are not, in general, additional fees for international calling. This least-cost routing feature can help users save considerably on their phone bills.
Selecting a SIP Trunk Service Provider
When you select a service provider for your SIP needs, it’s critical that you look for the right elements in that provider. An effective SIP provider will offer the solutions you need to keep your business running effectively.
Trustworthy Tech Support
Can you get the help you need if your systems are, for any reason, not working properly? Effective tech support may mean less jargon and accessible support when you need it.
Network reliability can prove critical. You want your IP telephony solutions to work seamlessly when you need them. A provider that invests in redundancy may have better overall reliability.
Cybersecurity threats have grown exponentially over the past several years, with many businesses facing more threats than ever before. Your SIP trunk provider needs security in place that will help deliver on your needs.
What do you need out of your SIP plan? Look for a provider that offers flexibility so you can be sure you will get the solutions you need. Look into scalability: as your organization grows, you may need additional lines and support, and you need a provider that will allow for flexibility, scalability, and growth. In addition, look for features that fit your needs.
Look for a provider that offers pricing models that fit your specific needs. The goal of IP telephony and SIP technology is to help your business save money.
One of the biggest complaints about early VoIP technology was overall voice quality. Modern SIP lines should be clear and make it easy for users to understand one another.
When you talk to a representative, do they understand their product, its benefits, and why you should turn to them? Look for a provider that uses plain language, with no excessive technical jargon.
Why Choose SIP Trunking?
The leading reason companies are choosing SIP trunking is its cost-effectiveness. Businesses have always relied on the Least Cost Routing of their phone systems, but SIP trunking takes LCR to a new level. SIP trunking nearly eliminates the need for long-distance calling by routing international and inter-state calls over the internet.
SIP is the ideal choice if you have a business that relies on many inter-state and transcontinental calls, but its flexibility and features make it an essential solution for businesses that are making primarily local calls as well.
There are indeed many reasons to choose SIP trunking, including reduced costs, increased revenue, and increased customer satisfaction. SIP trunking often means fewer dropped calls and more overall availability–a win for all business providers.