improving your SIP trunking

SIP Trunking 101: The Fundamentals

SIP trunking is one of the most cost-effective modern business communication solutions available. Valued at nearly $12 billion just a few short years ago, consumer demand for this service remains so strong that market analysts expect the market to expand to an impressive $26.8 billion dollar industry by the end of the forecast period (2027). Business owners and corporate decision-makers switching from legacy technology to SIP trunking marvel at the call quality and reliability of their telecom service.

Although SIP trunk service providers help business owners slash their communication costs, many decision-makers still believe they “need” to keep their business attached to a physical phone line to ensure reliable connectivity. 

If you’re on the fence, be sure to explore the many advantages of taking your communication service to the cloud. But first, make sure understand what SIP trunking is, how it works, and why so many organizations consider it an essential element for successful business communication today.

What Is SIP Trunking?

SIP stands for Session Initiated Protocol. It’s a telephony technology that converts analog voice signals into data packets. Although many organizations are exploring the value of SIP trunks for the first time, the technology has been in use for decades. It was originally designed to meet the evolving needs of IP-based communications, approved by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in 1996 and standardized in 1999.

Today, SIP is the industry standard protocol for voice transmission. It’s supported by a wide range of voice over internet protocol (VoIP) hardware but requires no physical infrastructure. One of the easiest ways to understand how SIP trunking works is to compare the technology to the legacy phone system you’re currently using.

How Does SIP Trunking Compare to Legacy Phone Service?  

Legacy business phones rely on a complex network of physical wires and cables to connect your private branch exchange (PBX) with your public switched telephone network (PSTN). Each circuit assigned to your business supports 23 calls and one data channel simultaneously. When you need more connectivity as your business grows, you’ll have to schedule an appointment with a technician to install additional circuits.

Related: SIP Technology: How It Changes the Game for Today’s Businesses

With SIP trunking, you’ll get the functionality of a traditional telephone system and more. But instead of transmitting your business calls over a physical “trunk” of bundled wires, your incoming and outbound calls are transmitted over your high-speed internet connection. Since your analog signals are converted to a digital format, a single SIP session can contain any combination of media.

Why Choose a SIP Trunking Service for Business Communication?

Most companies pay for phone service based on the number of phone lines activated for their business. On top of that, they pay additional fees to enable long-distance and international calling, whether they use those services regularly or not. They’re also forced to absorb the increasingly high cost of service calls, equipment repairs, and system upgrades, expenses that add up quickly.

Consider the global embrace of video conferencing platforms, business SMS, remote file sharing, and other services required to keep communication flowing in today’s increasingly digital environment. With all these essentials to remain competitive, the total cost of business communication keeps rising.

Although many business owners were initially pleased with the results of using a variety of digital services to overcome the limitations of their analog phone systems, it’s clear that “workaround” solutions aren’t all that efficient or cost-effective. Businesses are turning to SIP trunking service providers to reduce overhead costs, boost workplace efficiency, and consolidate everything they need for efficient communication into a single, user-friendly interface.

Why Business Owners Are Embracing SIP Trunking Opportunities

In nearly any business, the key to success requires making the best use of the available resources to reduce overhead costs without compromising product integrity or service quality. Many business owners are initially drawn to SIP trunk platforms based on the per-channel cost alone—, typically far lower than the fees charged by legacy phone service providers.

But that’s not all cloud-hosted SIP service brings to the table. When you look beyond the impressive price points, you’ll find that the following features are helping business owners and IT decision-makers reduce communication costs even further.

Modernization without Expensive Hardware Upgrades

With SIP Trunking, business owners don’t have to absorb the cost of a lot of expensive hardware upgrades to benefit from cloud-hosted communication solutions. Technically, they don’t need a phone system at all. 

All they need to get started is an internet connection, an internet-capable device, and the services of a reputable provider. Most business phones made in the ’90s or later are already SIP-enabled. Companies with older systems can still take full advantage of all the features by purchasing a low-cost analog-to-telephone adaptor (ATA).

Flexible Communication Consolidation

Once incoming and outbound business calls are being transmitted over the internet, business owners are free to choose the best combination of cloud-hosted services to accommodate the needs of their workforce. With calls no longer transmitted over wires and cables, pricing is simplified. 

Subscribers can add or delete active users from their accounts as needed and limit access to additional services. Such perks give subscribers far more control over their communication costs. Plus, most platforms also generate real-time data records (CDR) and allow third-party application integration to help optimize overall efficiency.

Minimized Burden of Maintenance & Repairs

The combination of outdated technology, loose connections, and aging wires can cause poor call quality and service disruptions even for companies with full-time IT professionals on staff. Virtual phone lines don’t require professional installation or costly repairs. Instead of devoting payroll hours to troubleshooting, repairing, or replacing equipment in-house, SIP trunking subscribers have access to a dedicated team of professionals working behind the scenes to ensure superior call quality and optimal performance.   

Disaster Recovery and Advanced System Security

Business owners need to know their calls are private and sensitive information is secure. SIP trunking service providers use the highest levels of encryption technology available. There’s also little risk of losing business because of internet disruptions, power outages, or gateway failures. Not only do the best service providers have robust backup power systems in place, but their geo redundant network detects connection failures in milliseconds, and data packets are promptly redirected.  

What to Look for When Comparing SIP Trunking Service Providers

The best service providers can have their subscribers up and running in short order, typically within minutes. Most often, you’ll have the option of choosing month-to-month service based on the number of channels you need for your business. With the right provider, you’ll also be able to add your choice of features to your basic service, including business texting, fax-to-email capabilities, and inbound DID numbers.  

Related: What is SIP Calling, and How Does It Make Communications Easier?

The ideal service provider makes it easy to manage your entire account, review and export real-time call records, and modify your billing preferences from a user-friendly interface. When you’re reasonably sure you’ve found companies that tick all the right boxes for your business needs, consider how they compare in the following areas.

Contract Terms & Start-Up Costs

SIP trunking is unlikely to provide the value you’re looking for if you get locked into a long-term contract with a provider that isn’t delivering high-quality service or exceptional support when you have an issue or concern. You can protect your business reputation, the customers who value your brand, and your entire workforce by sticking with companies offering month-to-month, contract-free service. 

Carrier Restrictions

Some platforms require subscribers to switch to their broadband internet carrier. For many business owners, that alone can be problematic. If you prefer (or need) to stay with your current provider or retain your relationship with your public telephone network, look for a “BYOC” SIP trunking service so you can bring your own carriers into your digital communication solutions. Top suppliers will allow you to choose your own internet (and phone service) providers to help ensure you can continue to make the best use of their services across multiple locations.

Network Support

The best SIP trunk providers have a track record of negligible downtime, excel at providing exceptional customer support, and offer Tier-1 service. Tier-1 carriers are not obligated to other networks for infrastructure access. On the other hand, Tier-2 providers (and below) rely on the permission of Tier-1 carriers, meaning they indirectly connect their subscribers to a network Tier-1 providers already control.

An Obligation-Free Trial

It’s natural to have reservations about moving into unfamiliar territory, especially when making decisions that impact your business. Of course, don’t dive in without testing the water first. As you’re comparing bundle prices and service options, consider signing up for a free trial account. SIP trunking providers that are willing to let end-users evaluate call quality and network performance have nothing to hide.

SIP Trunking: The Best Fit for Your Business Communication Needs

A simple internet search will direct you to multiple companies offering SIP trunking services. While you may be tempted to sign on with the first company you find, it’s important to choose wisely. The best service providers excel in customer service, offer maximum scalability, and protect your business on a network equipped with automation designed to detect and deter fraudulent activity.

To experience the benefits of a SIP trunking platform firsthand, visit SIP.US for a free, no-obligation trial. Our service works with any broadband connection, there’s no setup fee, and you can add, remove, and upgrade your channels as your business needs evolve. Let’s get started.

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