SIP Calling: Your Solution for Better Conference Calls
SIP calling can help solve a common problem for many in today’s heavily remote working environment: inconsistent conference call quality. What is more frustrating than dealing with latency issues or lost audio when you are trying to discuss important topics?
Virtual meetings and conference calls are now more essential than ever. Instead of gathering around a large table in a boardroom, more people are in front of their laptops from the comfort of a home office or living room. Audio conferencing allows everyone to dial into the call from where they are and participate in real-time.
This raises an important question: What actually makes a good conference call? Here, we aim to tackle that topic.
The Evolution of the Conference Call
Today, conference calls are a far more immersive experience. The predecessor to the conference call involved using a wireless device, known as the Jordanphone, to transmit a telephone voice to a loudspeaker so a group of people could hear a person speaking.
However, this isn’t 1945 anymore. Teleconferencing evolved as IP technology and internet streaming became more sophisticated. Today, the videoconferencing industry has become ubiquitous in many industries. Whether you are using video conferencing software, VoIP (voice over internet protocol), SIP trunking can help enhance the quality of today’s most demanding digital communications needs.
What Is SIP Calling?
SIP calling, also known as Session Initiation Protocol calling, is the process of transmitting a voice call over what is called a SIP trunk or SIP channel. While the term is often interchanged with VoIP calls, the difference between SIP and VoIP is worth noting, as SIP calling uses VoIP to move analog call traffic over an internet connection.
How Do SIP Calls Work?
To break down SIP calls, we need to highlight what a traditional phone system consists of. It comprises three different parts:
- A PBX (Private Branch Exchange), which is the on-premises system that manages incoming and outgoing calls.
- PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network), which is the network that directs calls to their destination.
- PRI (Primary Rate Interface) lines, which connect calls to the PSTN.
The benefit of SIP calling is that it eradicates the need for PRI lines. By using a SIP trunk, which is a phone line using the SIP protocol, it is installed over your internet connection virtually and uses the connection to connect the PBX to the PSTN. Thus, PRI lines are rendered obsolete in this ecosystem. As a result, you can use a wide variety of call management features like auto attendants and voicemail without using analog or multiple phone lines.
Is SIP Calling the Same As Wi-Fi Calling?
In essence, using a Wi-Fi service to make calls is straightforward. Instead of phone lines, you are using your wireless network to communicate.
However, because Wi-Fi calling relies on SIP technology instead of a cell tower, you are not using your cellular data network to place the call. Therefore, you don’t need mobile service and can rely on the Wi-Fi to transmit the signal. When you use a Wi-Fi service to place a call, it means that you are using the internet like you would in a SIP-powered VoIP call.
How Can SIP Calling Improve Conference Calls?
Sip calling helps solve poor connectivity problems for conference call environments. It can have a significant impact on your abilities to create good quality communications with clients, customers, and other workers. SIP benefits conference calls in a number of ways:
High Quality and Reliable Calls
We have grown to rely on physical landlines, but they can fail when we really need them. A physical landline can fall foul of bad weather, system failures, or power outages. And when we need to make a phone call, poor quality is not an option. SIP calling allows us to receive calls regardless of power outages or bad weather. The protocol uses redundancy to re-route calls automatically so it can easily go to another mobile phone or other locations.
It Creates a Sense of Unity Between Colleagues
SIP phone systems help individuals create a virtual presence. When using other types of systems such as VoIP, there isn’t an opportunity for unified communications. When a phone system can help you to centralize and synchronize communication channels instead of switching between them, this results in productivity increasing, as well as efficiency.
Beyond these benefits, there will be a better sense of collaboration between individuals. Now it is more important than ever to encourage productive cooperation between individuals, especially when they are scattered all across the world. Using SIP calling can ensure that everybody is reachable through their smartphone but do not feel left out during the conference call.
It Is Easy to Use
Conference calls can drag on if somebody doesn’t know what they’re doing and what buttons to press. Thankfully, SIP calling is very easy to use. An individual can manage a SIP account via a very basic interface. The great thing with a SIP account is that you can use it to manage the entire phone system and incorporate extensions, extra phone lines, and call routing. It is a fantastic way to beef up the powers of a conference call. Get a free sip trunk for testing and see the difference!
What Are the Components of a Good Conference Call?
While the quality of the call is integral to its success, there are things that every business can do to guarantee a good conference call. From the perspective of any business, there is the issue of people talking over each other. As conference calls are vital to ensure that virtual teams come together, there needs to be a specific set of ground rules to help you get the most out of your conference calls.
Here are some key components to consider when preparing for a successful conference call:
Using Your Conference Call Tools Effectively
While conference calling services are becoming more intelligent and providing you with new ways to manage efficiency, it is vital that you use these tools to your advantage. Using a visible dashboard that allows you to to get rid of noisy callers, mute individuals, or discreetly nudge a colleague to pay attention can all be done with the right toolkit.
Using a call recording function can also be a lifesaver for many businesses. If you are someone that needs to take a significant amount of notes but there are too many people chipping in, it can prove difficult to wade through the noise. But you can attach call recordings to note-taking software that everybody can refer back to later on.
Muting Your Line When You Are Not Speaking
Because conference calls can be taken anywhere, it seems that there’s a wide variety of new and unusual places that have become acceptable. You may find individuals making their way to the bathroom to take part in the call because it’s the only place they can get any peace and quiet. As well as this, people may end up going to their car or out of their back garden. And as a result, while it may be best for most people’s internet connection, the thrum of background noise can become distracting for others on the call, so hit mute.
Provide Clear Instructions for the Call-In
Preparation is key. You need to send out clear and detailed instructions so everyone knows how to dial in. At least one hour prior to the meeting, sending out access codes or PINs in one email makes it easy enough for everybody to dial in.
Setting Out Clear Guidelines
Proper telephone conference etiquette is crucial to ensuring the call is as productive as possible. While some might think this is overkill, it will keep the conversation focused and timely.
When you set out a list of clear guidelines, this guarantees that everybody knows what is expected of them.
You should also make sure that if you set a start time, that you start at that time. While it’s an inevitability that somebody would join the call late, it is not advisable to stop talking and start all over again. This only sends the message that it’s okay to be late. If you are hosting the call, you should also be on at least 5-10 minutes early.
Announce Yourself When You Join the Call
This is something that can be overlooked. If your conference has many callers, it can easily become confusing if somebody joins without announcing who they are.
This is especially crucial if you are taking part in a call with a large number of people. If many people are talking and trying to figure out who is speaking, this can cause serious confusion. By the time they’ve worked it out, they’ve missed key points.
Use SIP Calling to Enhance Your Conference Calls
Conference calls can be a hive of productivity. But a good conference call isn’t just about having the right etiquette, but it’s about having the best tools as well. When we use high-quality SIP calling services, it can increase the quality and clarity of your communications. which isn’t just a way to improve communication but it can be incredibly cost-effective.
Want to experience SIP-powered calling? Create a free trial SIP trunk or contact us anytime to learn more about how we can help streamline your next voice services experience.